GABY LEWIS and Amy Hunter led Irelandís charge to a nine-wicket victory over the USA in Abu Dhabi last night to set up a sudden death final group match against Scotland at the T20 World Cup qualifiers.
After losing their opening game to Bangladesh on Sunday, the Girls in Green had no room for error and responded with a sharp bowling and fielding performance that saw the underdogs dismissed for 91.
Hunter made the initial breakthrough with a direct hit from mid-wicket - the first of four Irish run-outs - and after Cara Murray had broken a worrying second-wicket partnership, the USA lost their last eight batters for 25 runs.
Eimear Richardson and Arlene Kelly picked up two wickets each while the nagging medium pace of Laura Delany proved almost impossible to get away as the skipper returned figures of 1-6 from four overs, including the only maiden of the innings.
The Ireland openers quickly settled nerves with good running and a flurry of boundaries: five fours for Lewis in her 44 not out and another two, plus a six, for teenager Hunter, who was bowled for 43 with the scores level.
Ireland won with 6.5 overs to spare and will return to the Tolerance Oval tomorrow for a match against Scotland starting at 3pm (noon Irish time) that will decide which team progresses to the semi-finals as runners up to Bangladesh.