Source: ICC

Ireland rise to the top Group B

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Scotland maintain momentum

Two more matches were decided in the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier in Abu Dhabi on Monday afternoon.

Ireland made a statement when they beat Zimbabwe by a comprehensive 56 runs, to rising to the top of Group B at Zayed Cricket Stadium, while Scotland put behind their disappointing 10-wicket loss to Sri Lanka on Saturday by outplaying the United States of America (USA) by 44 runs at the adjacent Tolerance Oval.

Ireland’s opening pair of Amy Hunter (71) and Gaby Lewis (69) shone for their side with a brilliant, 130-run opening stand, while Scotland’s captain, Kathryn Bryce, produced a memorable all-round performance, returning unbeaten for 57 with the bat and taking four for 17 with the ball spearheading her side to a comfortable win in the Group A clash.

Ireland vs Zimbabwe

Scorecard

Amy Hunter and Gaby Lewis sizzled with a 130-run, opening partnership to help Ireland post their fifth-highest total in women’s T20Is. Hunter began the innings with a bang, slamming a hat-trick of fours from the first three deliveries from Josephine Nkomo, who came into the game fresh off a four-wicket haul.

With Lewis joining hands, Ireland got off to a flyer, racing to 59/0 inside the Powerplay. Lewis was the first to make a half-century, reaching the landmark off 36 balls. Hunter joined her soon, taking 34 balls for her fifty. It was Kelis Ndhlovu who finally put an end to the opening partnership when she had Lewis caught out for a brilliant 47-ball 69.

Nkomo sent back Hunter for 71 in the 17th over, but the damage was already done, by then Ireland had already crossed the 150-run mark and eventually finished on 176/3 in their 20 overs.

In Zimbabwe’s reply, Ava Canning struck twice in the Powerplay, sending back Sharne Mayers and Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano cheaply to give Ireland an even stronger grip on the game.

Skipper, Mary-Anne Musonda and Modester Mupachikwa combined to lift Zimbabwe out of trouble and at the end of 10 overs, the team moved to 65/2. Laura Delany broke the stand with the wicket of Mupachikwa (27), but Musonda (48) held on for as long as she could, finishing just short of her own half-century.

Zimbabwe went on to lose their next four wickets in the space of 22 balls and eventually finished on 120/8. They have one win in three games and will need a big one in their final game to stand a chance of making it to the semi-finals.

Meanwhile, with two wins in two games, Ireland are at the top of Group B and are favourites to make the semis now.

Scotland vs USA

Scorecard

Scotland’s skipper, Kathryn Bryce, led from the front to help them to a 44-run victory over the USA and make it to two wins in three matches.

Asked to bat first, Scotland encountered early jitters as they lost their openers Saskia Horley and Megan McColl inside the Powerplay, but it was the fourth-wicket partnership between Bryce and Ailsa Lister that steadied the ship for the team. The duo added 66 runs in just 39 deliveries to swing the momentum back into Scotland’s favour.

Lister’s knock of 34 (22) came to an end when she decided to step down the track against Aditiba Chudasama, only to be stumped by keeper Sindhu Sriharsha.

ICC Women’s Associate Player of the Decade, Bryce, held the innings together from her end, bringing up her ninth T20I fifty in 42 balls.

Her unbeaten knock of 57* along with Lorna Jack’s cameo of 20 (17) took Scotland to 149/6 in their 20 overs.

In the bowling department too, it was Bryce who made the headlines. Opening the bowling, she picked up a wicket from her first delivery, dismissing Gargi Bhogle without scoring.

She returned with her lethal inswingers in her second over and snared two more wickets – first rattling Disha Dhingra’s stumps and then trapping Sriharsha in the front. Both batters departed for ducks.

USA could only manage 26 runs for the loss of four wickets at the end of the Powerplay.

Leg-spinner Abtaha Maqsood was brought into the attack to dismantle the middle-order.

Maqsood dismissed Jessica Willathgamuwa (10) and Geetika Kodali (3) to reduce USA to 50/7.

Isani Vaghela and Jivana Aras combined to stop the flow of wickets and added 39 runs in 45 deliveries. Vaghela played a crucial hand of 30 off 26 balls before Chloe Abel dismissed her while Aras remained unbeaten on 24.

USA could only manage 105/8 in their 20 overs, falling short by 44 runs as they recorded their second loss in a row in the Qualifier.

Along with an unbeaten fifty, Bryce finished with career-best T20I bowling figures of 4/17 to earn the Player of the Match award.

Scores in brief:

Match 9:

Scotland beat USA by 44 runs

Scotland 149 for 6, 20 overs (Kathryn Bryce 57 not out, Ailsa Lister 34; Isani Vaghela 2-17, Aditiba Chudasama 2-25)

USA 105 for 8, 20 overs (Isani Vaghela 30, Jivana Aras 24 not out; Kathryn Bryce 4-17, Abtaha Maqsood 2-16)

Player of the Match – Kathryn Bryce

Match 10:

Ireland beat Zimbabwe by 56 runs

Ireland 176 for 3, 20 overs (Amy Hunter 71, Gaby Lewis 69; Kelis Ndhlovu 1-32, Josephine Nkomo 1-36)

Zimbabwe 120 for 8, 20 overs (Mary-Anne Musonda 48, Modester Mupachikwa 27; Ava Canning 2-13, Laura Delany 2-19, Cara Murray 2-29)

Player of the Match – Amy Hunter

With thanks to the ICC

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