Ireland lost their opening match of the ICC Women's Challenge in Potchefstroom, going down to Sri Lanka by 11 runs after seemingly being well-placed to record a victory. Having beaten Pakistan earlier in the day, this result means that Sri Lanka will appear in Saturday's final, while Ireland must defeat Pakistan in order to get into the third place play-off, almost certainly against South Africa.
Having won the toss again, Sri Lanka elected to bat with Galagedera top scoring with 28 off 23 balls. Laura Delany and Isobel Joyce showed some aggressive bowling technique, each taking two wickets.
Sri Lanka posted 127-6 at the end of its allotted 20 overs, Dilani Manodara also proved proficient with the bat scoring 26 not out.
Ireland's opening batters showed great promise and did well to score a combined 37 runs before Clare Shillington was bowled by Sripali Weerakkody for 14 runs in the fourth over.
The top order's batting seemed to idle at all the wrong times and made it difficult for the tail to catch up. Despite putting up a brave fight, Sri Lanka took crucial wickets, including that of Joyce for 37 runs and key top order batters Jill Whelan and Nikki Symmons and ultimately it won by 11 runs.
Coach Harsha De Silva is satisfied with the improvement his side has shown, “The comprehensive win against Pakistan is what gave the team the confidence they needed getting into this game (against Ireland).
“Ireland showed great fight and that game was a little too close for comfort, but we will take it. We have bowled better and the fielding has been really good, the players will look to continue in the same path in order for us to reach the final on Saturday.”