It’s a crucial encounter tonight as Ireland face Pakistan in Group B of the ICC Women’s World T20. With Ireland suffering defeat against Australia and Pakistan losing to both the Aussies and India, it’s a must-win game for both teams.
Ireland are facing a Pakistan side which have made an inauspicious start to their World Cup campaign. Despite possessing a talented group of players, Pakistan have endured losses against both Australia and India, Defeat to Ireland will end their chances of proceeding to the semi-finals as well as damage their hopes of automatic qualification for the next edition of the tournament.
Ireland too face a similar dilemma. In their opening game against Australia, they could only manage 93/6 in 20 overs. Tournament favourites Australia chased this down with ease as Alyssa Healy hit the fastest half-century in women’s World Twenty20 tournament history to make light work of the total.
There were some positives for Ireland as Kim Garth top-scored with 24 on her 100th appearance for the country. Garth proved herself to be comfortable at the elite level as she rotated the strike with comfort and showed her ability to find the boundary when needed.
After winning the toss and opting to bat, Ireland made a decent start after veteran opener Clare Shillington hit three boundaries in the opening five overs. Many of the Irish batsman made starts but were unable to push on.
The squad will be hoping to improve on this against Pakistan as other talented players will look to make a stern contribution.
Captain Laura Delany is excited about the challenge. The aggressive batsman said: “This is one of the biggest tournaments you can play at in women’s cricket and there is a great standard of cricket being played. Pakistan tomorrow is certainly our biggest game in the Group Stage and we’re itching to move on from the last game and get into it.”
The clash this evening at 8pm on SkySports is set to be a close contest. Ireland have proved they are more than a match for subcontinental sides and won’t fear a turning track as they have shown against Sri Lanka in the warm-up games. Be sure to tune in later – it’s sure to be a cracker.