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Arlene Kelly interview on yesterday's comfortable win over PNG in warm-up match

Ireland Women completed a comfortable 60-run win over Papua New Guinea in a warm-up match yesterday ahead of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier starting this weekend. Irish all-rounder Arlene Kelly was speaking today about the hot conditions experienced during yesterday’s game, the batting talent in the squad and the importance of fielding well in T20 cricket.

The warm-up match at The Sevens Stadium ground in Dubai saw Ireland compile 168-3 from their 20 overs, then held PNG to 108-9 in response.

Acclimatising to local conditions and providing centre-wicket time for as many of the playing squad as possible was the main emphasis of the game, with top order batters Gaby Lewis (32 off 22 balls), Orla Prendergast (38 off 21 balls) and Laura Delany (32 off 29 balls) all showing positive intent but retiring not out in order to provide batting time for the middle-order.

While the 40+ degree heat and accompanying humidity were sapping conditions to play in, the bowlers didn’t wilt in the second innings. Wickets were shared, but what will please head coach Ed Joyce most is the disciplined line and length the bowlers adopted on the slow pitch. Spinners Cara Murray (2-12), Rachel Delaney (2-2) and Leah Paul (1-9) demonstrated great skill in not only tying the PNG batters down but taking wickets. Collectively, the trios seven overs returned 5-23.

The two sides meet in an official ICC tournament warm-up match on Friday at Tolerance Oval in Abu Dhabi ahead of the tournament proper starting on the weekend.