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Dublin: 12°C Tuesday 18 May 2021

Ireland well-beaten once again as World T20 proves a 'very tough learning curve'

‘You can see the foundations are there for us if we were a professional side,’ Isobel Joyce said after a third loss to India.

Ireland veteran Isobel Joyce.
Ireland veteran Isobel Joyce.
Image: Cricket Ireland.

IRELAND SUFFERED A third consecutive defeat at the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 (T20) as the fell short to India, adding to previous losses to Australia and Pakistan.

India won by 52 runs in Guyana, and secured their place in the semi-finals before facing Oz — also unbeaten — next to determine who finishes top of Group B.

Despite downpours threatening to delay the start of play, Ireland set out brightly — but India even more so, and they went from there.

Graham Ford’s charges’ bowling performance, led by Kim Garth and her 2-22 from her four overs, was one positive aspect. Captain Laura Delany inspired with one wicket, as did Lucy O’Reilly and Eimear Richardson.

Clare Shillington became the first Irish woman to surpass 1000 T20I runs, and the fourth Irish player overall, in her 21-year career.

With one fixture to fulfill against New Zealand, the aim for Ireland is just to improve as they go. The tournament has been tough, but they must take the positives.

As Isobel Joyce — sister of former Ireland and England international Ed — reiterated, the fact that they’re not professional is a huge disadvantage.

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“We tried to put the Pakistan match behind us and learn from our mistakes, with the aim of just trying to go better every game,” she said, in a realm of quotes issued by Cricket Ireland.

“A World Cup is tough for us – we don’t play the high class sides as often as they play each other, so it can be a very tough learning curve trying to put into place changes just two days after a loss like that against Pakistan.”

“A game like this for younger players can be daunting, especially when you saw how they [India] played against New Zealand – who hammered us earlier in the summer. But it’s one of those things you try put out of your mind.

“I think once they posted 140-plus that was always going to be tough for us. I’m not saying we couldn’t do it, but when you look at other sides they are playing against top bowlers all the time – they play against the likes of Ellyse Perry several times a year. Today was the first time I’d faced some of those bowlers for several years. That’s the difference with the top sides.”

“We have played in this tournament every two years for the past while, and while we build up to the tournament each time, the occasion is still big for us.

“I think you can see the foundations are there for us if we were a professional side. I think if we regularly had players going to play in overseas competitions, you’d see the girls would be ready to go all in.”

The New Zealand clash is tomorrow.

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Emma Duffy

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