Ireland’s women got their World T20 Qualifying campaign off to a thoroughly convincing start on Saturday morning with a very comfortable 8-wicket win over the Netherlands at the AIT Ground in Bangkok.
Set a winning target of 91, Cecelia Joyce led from the front for the dominant Irish making 39 of an opening stand of 74 with Clare Shillington.
Shillington looked in good touch herself as she hit 6 fours in her 33 before falling to Cher van Slobbe with the winning line in sight while Sterre Kalis gave the final margin some respectability- picking up the wicket of Joyce just before the end.
Kim Garth (8 not out) and debutant Cath Dalton (1 not out) saw the job out after that to give their side an early foothold in the battle to reach next week’s semi-finals.
A superb performance in the field was the catalyst for the impressive win as all the bowlers performed with great discipline. Joyce was the most successful taking 3-18 after conceding ten runs in her opening over; however Ciara Metcalfe was excellent in claiming 2-19 from her 4 overs as was Garth with 1-14 from 4.
Perhaps the pick of them was Lucy O’Reilly, who despite not picking up a wicket conceded just 8 runs from her 4 overs- a remarkable effort in this format of the game.
Having won the toss and opted to bat first, the Dutch ladies couldn’t break the shackles and it needed a brilliant effort from Miranda Veringmeier to propel them towards their final total of 90 for 6 in their allotted 20 overs.
The opener hit 8 fours in her 53 while partner Kalis (12) was the only other player to reach double figures in the innings as the Irish girls kept them at arm’s length throughout.
Following warm-up wins over Scotland and the hosts, Thailand, the Irish players and backroom staff will be delighted with their emphatic start to the tournament proper, but will have little time to rest on their laurels.
The team is in action again on Sunday morning when they take on China before completing the group phase on Tuesday against Zimbabwe.
In the other games played, Bangladesh beat Thailand, Scotland were too strong for PNG, while Zimbabwe thumped China.