With two days remaining for the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup in South Africa, Ireland Women’s team shocked the defending champions Australia in a warm-up match ahead of the tournament. Led by skipper Laura Delany, Ireland defeated Australia by 3 wickets in an exciting thriller.
Deciding to bat first after winning the toss, Australia lost Beth Mooney on the very first delivery of the match, as Orla Prendergast clinched her first for the game. The Aussies then took control courtesy, wicketkeeper-batter Alyssa Healy and Tahila McGrath, adding 135 runs for the second wicket. Healy made 62 off 40 deliveries scoring nine fours and a six. While on the other side, McGrath scored 56 off 47 with seven fours and a six. Australian Women’s posted a total of 168 for 5 in their 20 overs with Ellyse Perry unbeaten on 40 from 20 balls with six fours and one six. For Ireland, Prendergast took 2 wickets in her four overs, conceding just 19 runs, while Arlene Kelly bagged one wicket.
Chasing a total of 169 runs, Ireland kept losing wickets at regular intervals after Amy Hunter and Gaby Lewis gave a quickfire start by adding 39 runs for the first wicket in 3.5 overs. The score was reduced to 81 for 4 in 9.3 overs. Skipper Laura Delany took matter into her own hands (32 off 28) and added 51 runs with Louise Little (21 off 16) for the fifth wicket. The match went down to the last over where Arlene Kelly and Lean Paul finished the game for Ireland with two balls to spare. Ireland successfully chased the winning total losing seven wickets. For Australia, Megan Schutt and Alana King took two wickets each, while Jess Jonassen, Tahilla McGrath, and Heather Graham shared a wicket each.
In a second warm-up match of the day, England defeated New Zealand by 5 wickets. England bowlers restricted the New Zealand women’s to 114/9 and chased the total with five wickets and 37 balls to spare. Sophia Dunkley remained unbeaten scoring 60 off 38 deliveries.
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