Eimear Richardson helped secure Ireland’s place in the last four of the T20 World Cup Qualifier with miserly spell of 3-8 last night  as her side saw off minnows Vanuatu by nine wickets at the Tolerance Oval in Abu Dhabi.

A third successive victory, allied to a vastly superior run-rate, means that barring a catastrophe in their final game against the Netherlands tomorrow the Girls in Green will top Group B and face Scotland or Thailand - and not favourites Sri Lanka - in the all-important semi-finals.

Ireland were always going to beat Vanuatu but veteran Richardson’s canny four-over spell of off-spin, that included a maiden, ensured a straightforward chase as the Pacific islanders were restricted to 88-9.

Laura Delany and Arlene Kelly were also miserly, and collected two wickets each, but Ireland coach Ed Joyce will be hoping leg-spinner Cara Murray rediscovers her form before the semi-finals which will decide which two teams qualify for the World Cup..

Murray is a proven T20 match-winner and bowled well against the UAE but she then struggled against Zimbabwe and lost her radar again yesterday bowling a series of high full tosses on the ground where Ireland’s men won their first Test match in February.

One area where Joyce has no concerns is at the top of the batting order and prolific openers Amy Hunter and Gaby Lewis raced to 82 in 11 overs before the latter was caught for a very good 45, that contained eight boundaries.