Bangladesh and Ireland registered victories against Zimbabwe and Scotland respectively in the semi-finals of the ICC Women’s World T20 Qualifer tournament in Thailand yesterday to book the last two berths for the Women’s World T20 finals to be held in India next year.
Bangladesh and Ireland join current champions Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and West Indies in the 10-nation battle for the coveted Women’s World T20 title.
The tournament will be staged alongside the men’s event — from March 11 to April 3, 2016.
In the first game yesterday, Bangladesh beat Zimbabwe by 31 runs to qualify for the final.
Batting first, Bangladesh finished with a total of 89 for 5 in their 20 overs with Fargana Hoque (43) top-scoring.
In reply, Zimbabwe ended up being bowled out for 58 with Rumana Ahmed (4-8) starring with the ball.
Jahanara Alam, Bangladesh Women’s captain, was delighted with the victory and said: “From the beginning, we were under a little pressure. The wicket wasn’t good, it was on the slower side. But Sharmin and Fargana got a very good partnership, which is why we reached 89. We had the confidence, we knew if we scored 80-plus, then we have a strong bowling and fielding side. We again proved that we are a good side. The team is very happy, there is a lot of excitement today. This is the first time we have qualified for the ICC Women’s World T20. Last time, we directly played in the event, but this time we needed to qualify, so we’re very happy.”
In the second match of the day, Scotland could only post a total of 77 for 9 in 20 overs as Lucy O’Reilly (3-16) and Robyn Lewis (2-8) were excellent with the ball.
Ireland then rode on a 58-run opening partnership between Cecelia Joyce (36*) and Clare Shillington (34) to reach the target with ease.
Ireland captain Isobel Joyce hailed her side’s efforts in overcoming Scotland.
“We’re really excited and this was the aim for us since we knew the tournament was going to be in Thailand. We really want to win the tournament, but the first job is done for us. Cecelia (Joyce) and Shillers (Clare Shillington) know that they have licence to play their shots and they really took the wind out of Scotland’s sails early on. Lucy (O’Reilly) is our number one fielder and our go-to bowler when we need to finish off the innings. She has got a lot of different balls in her armoury and it’s unbelievable to think that she’s only 16 years old, so we’ll be looking forward to seeing what she can do in India.
“It’s on to Bangladesh now and we will take it one match at a time. The plan will be to focus on our game because they (Bangladesh) have very smart spinners. But we will play the balls that are bowled (to us) and do our best.”
Meanwhile, in the Shield semi-finals, Papua New Guinea clinched a one-wicket last ball victory over the Netherlands and will now face China who defeated host Thailand by five runs. The losing sides in both the Trophy Zimbabwe and Scotland – and the Shield Netherlands and Thailand – will now face off in a third/fourth place play-offs. — online