-Joyce twins, Shillington, Metcalfe bow out of international cricket
New Zealand finished their play in the Women’s World T20 on a high yesterday, condemning Ireland to a win-less run in the competition by nine wickets with 75 balls remaining, the largest margin of victory in terms of balls in the tournament’s history.
In the presence of the largest crowd of the Guyana leg of the tournament, Ireland won the toss and elected to bat first in humid conditions, managing a dismal 79-9 while the White Ferns raced to 81-2 in just 7.3 overs.
Gaby Lewis, the youngest female to play international cricket was the only Irish player to settle on the ground, scoring 39 from 36 balls. She hit five boundaries before looking to accelerate only to be stumped in the 16th over.
Contrastingly, Clare Shillington, at 39 years, scored 12 and along with skipper, Laura Delany were the only other players to reach double figures.
Leigh Kasperek was the pick of the bowlers, taking 3-19. Shillington was the first victim of the off- spinner after she stepped backwards and exposed her stumps and was bowled. Two balls later, she trapped former captain, Isobel Joyce leg before wicket.
Eighteen-year-old, Amelia Kerr also struck twice in the same over, removing Lewis and Shauna Kavanaugh.
New Zealand’s chase began in a blitz with their two regular openers, Suzie Bates and Sophie Devine pummeling the bowling.
Devine carried on to hammer the joint fastest half century in the tournament, taking just 21 balls to reach the landmark. However, Delany accounted for her wicket for a score of 51 from 22 balls inclusive of five fours and three sixes, earning her the player of the match.
In a sign of respect, given their retirement, Ireland’s Shillington, Isobel Joyce, Cecelia Joyce and Ciara Metcalfe were accorded a guard of honour as emotions ran high for the two sides.
Speaking at the end of the match, Maddy Green said the sendoff was fitting for their dedication to the game since they know the sacrifices necessary to play that long. Meanwhile, Ireland’s Garth stated that the side only knew of the retirement when they were walking off the field. Garth said the shoes to fill are big ones and noted that they will definitely be missed.