The ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifying tournament will go into an unscheduled 10th day tomorrow after heavy showers in Dublin meant only 20 overs of the final between Pakistan and Sri Lanka were bowled before the third-fourth placed play-off between Ireland and Netherlands was completely washed out by the persistent rain.
Sri Lanka will require 113 runs to win when the sides return to the YMCA Ground on the reserve day but with the forecast showing similar conditions for tomorrow, tournament organisers will be sweating about getting the showpiece final completed.
However, the big worry will be about the classification match scheduled to take place at 14.00 GMT with the final place at next year’s tournament in Bangladesh still undecided.
In the action that did go ahead, Chandima Gunaratne continued her fine form with the ball as she took 2/7 off her four overs to restrict Pakistan to 112 for five during their rain-interrupted innings despite well-constructed knocks from Nain Abidi (45) and Bismah Maroof (35 not out).
But, after playing through light drizzle for the majority of the first innings, the umpires were forced to call a halt to proceedings shortly after 1pm local time as the heavens opened on the Sandymount ground, leaving the outfield and square saturated.
Earlier, there was no surprise that Sri Lankan captain Shashikala Siriwardene opted to bowl first in overcast conditions when she won the toss and her decision was quickly justified as the bowlers extracted movement both through the air and off the pitch.
The Pakistan openers were forced to start watchfully but after breaking the shackles with a couple of boundaries, Javeria Khan departed for 11, giving Gunaratne her eight wicket of the tournament.
Abidi showed grit and determination to battle through difficult conditions early in her innings but then proceeded to show her quality with some deft stroke play including two trademark shots which reached the fence.
The wicket of Nahida Khan in the sixth over for eight only brought Maroof to the crease as she scored a run-a-ball 35 to add some much needed impetus to the innings. But, a brief 10-minute interruption in the seventeenth over halted some of their momentum as three wickets were lost in the final over.
The umpires had an additional hour to play with before overs were lost but had little choice but to call the action off for the day during the innings break.
There wasn’t much hope of Ireland’s game with their Dutch opponents getting played at the same venue shortly after with the rain continuing to fall in the Irish capital.
A brief interruption in the deluge meant both captains and umpires could venture out to the middle for the toss which was won by Denise Hannema who not surprisingly asked the opposition to bat before the heavens opened again to end any hope of play.
© Cricket World 2013