Bangladesh women clinch series against Ireland
For the second consecutive match the visiting Bangladesh Women’s side have clinched a tight last over victory against Ireland – this time striking the winning runs with a six over square leg.
The match, at Malahide Cricket Club, was featuring as part of a double-header with the women’s match being followed by the Ireland versus India men’s T20 International.
Ireland 124-8 (20 overs; C Joyce 60, L Delany 20; J Alam 2-15)
Bangladesh 125-6 (19.1 overs; S Sultana 51, F Hoque 36; L Delany 2-21, C Metcalfe 2-26)
Result Bangladesh won by 4 wickets
Ireland captain Laura Delany won the toss and decided to bat first under near-cloudless blue skies.
Yesterday saw Isobel Joyce shine with the bat, but today it was twin sister Cecelia holding together the innings and registering her first Twenty 20 International half-century. Her innings of 60 runs came from just 47 balls, including six fours and a six. During her innings she passed 500 runs in this format of the game, and looked commanding throughout.
Joyce received good support from Skipper Delany (20 runs from 28 balls; 2 x fours) in a 63-run partnership for the third wicket. However the loss of wickets at regular intervals during the innings never allowed the Irish side to take the game away from their opponents.
A final over flourish of 13 runs ensured a defendable total was posted, reaching 124-8 from their 20 overs.
For Bangladesh, yesterday’s 5-wicket hero Jahanara Alam again bowled well, finishing with 2-15 from four overs using her pace and length to good effect.
The Bangladesh batting response was measured and assured as they pushed up to 96 in the 14th over. Seemingly cruising to victory, the Ireland bowlers claimed opener Shamima Sultana for 51 (49 balls; 9 x fours) and then – sensing an opportunity - pushed for an unlikely victory by taking four further wickets in relatively quick succession (two wickets apiece to Delany and Ciara Metcalfe on her return to the national squad).
The wickets slowed the run rate and forced the match into a final over situation where Bangladesh required six runs from six balls.
Eimear Richardson was again called upon to bowl the final over, however unlike yesterday’s effort when she took the game down to the final ball, this time Richardson pitched up a good length ball but batter Sanjida Islam swung it over the square leg boundary for six to claim an unassailable 2-0 series lead for the visitors.
The final match of this competitive series will be played on Sunday at Pembroke Cricket Club.