Women's WT20: A must win game for Ireland

Apart from the match between West Indies and Bangladesh, in which the former scored 148, batting first, all women’s World T20 matches played here — including the warm-up games — have been low-scoring ties.

The South African players during a practice session.   -  K. Pichumani

Having lost its last two matches, Ireland is in a tight situation which demands the Isobel Joyce-led side to not only win its remaining two matches but also with a good net run-rate. Going into its third match, against South Africa, at the M. A. Chidambaram Stadium in Chennai, Irish captain, Isobel, is not looking too much into Australia’s loss to New Zealand yesterday, which helped in keeping her side’s chances alive.

Speaking to the media on the eve of the match, Isobel said: “Australia didn’t play that well yesterday but we won’t be looking ahead much, yet.

“It is very important for us to win the last two games, which are against two very good teams — South Africa and Australia. We will do everything we can to win the matches.”

Apart from the match between West Indies and Bangladesh, in which the former scored 148, batting first, all women’s World T20 matches played here — including the warm-up games — have been low-scoring ties.

“We haven’t spoken about our targets, yet. We haven’t got over 120, yet. So, we will be looking at 130-140. But the wicket is slow, so 120 might be enough,” said Isobel.

 

Ireland is likely to field a different side compared to Mohali. “Spinners will be very important. We will be relying on them and probably some change of fast bowlers,” said Isobel.

A brilliant bowling display by South Africa saw Australia reeling at 9/3, at one point in the last match. However, the Southern Stars’ two most experienced batswomen — Meg Lanning and Alex Blackwell — guided the side to victory.

South Africa’s skipper Mignon said: “Defending such a low total was never going to be easy.

“In women’s cricket, 130 would be a competitive score in most of the conditions,” she added.

Mignon believes South Africa’s main area of improvement will be its batting. “The batting let us down (in the previous match). We had too many dot balls. We are working on our options of reducing them. We want to score 130-140 more often.

“For us to come out and execute well, we need one of our top batswomen to come good. We have got some brilliant bowlers,” she added.

However, the South Africa captain is upbeat ahead of the side’s second match as the team had already played here during the warm-up games.

The squads:

Ireland: Isobel Joyce (capt.), Catherine Dalton, Laura Delany, Kim Garth, Jennifer Gray, Cecelia Joyce, Shauna Kavanagh, Amy Kenealy, Gaby Lewis, Robyn Lewis, Ciara Metcalfe, Kate McKenna, Lucy O'Reilly, Clare Shillington and Mary Waldron.

South Africa: Mignon du Preez (capt.), Trisha Chetty (wk), Moseline Daniels, Dinesha Devnarain, Odine Kirsten, Yolani Fourie, Chloe Tryon, Shabnim Ismail, Marizanne Kapp, Masabata Klaas, Ayabonga Khaka, Lizelle Lee, Marcia Letsoalo, Sune Luus and Dane van Niekerk.