Horror batting collapse sends Ireland spinning to defeat
Ian Callender (Sunday Life)
A HORRIBLE batting collapse, which, unfortunately, has been the feature of the Ireland Women’s season, condemned them to a 10 runs defeat to Bangladesh in their final game yesterday.
After the bowlers had dismissed the Full Member nation for just 106, it was plain sailing for Ireland as Meg Kendal, in her first full game, and Cecilia Joyce put on 52 for the first wicket.
But, incredibly, they then lost all 10 wickets for 44 runs — the last seven for just 18 — to hand Bangladesh the most unlikeliest of victories.
In the middle of the mayhem, Rumana Ahmed, with the agreement of umpire Alan Neill, helped herself to a hat-trick of leg before decisions and when Amy Kenealy, the early bowling heroine, was caught in the next over, Ireland has slumped from 84 for four to 85 for eight!
Captain Laura Delany was still at the other end but she too froze in the headlights and, still 11 runs short of the winning post, gave a return catch to leave the last pair of Lucy O’Reilly and Ciara Metcalfe the task of getting Ireland home.
They couldn’t even survive the over with O’Reilly’s ‘yes, no’ call giving Metcalfe the impossible task of reaching the other end.
Yet, it was all so different in the first innings with Ireland reducing the Tigers to 25 for five, four of the wickets for Kenealy, including a tremendous catch by Shauna Kavanagh, with a direct hit by O’Reilly from backward point putting Ireland in control.
O’Reilly, the youngest member of the team but who has already played 35 internationals at the age of 16, then broke the stubborn sixth wicket stand of 42 and Kim Garth and Metcalfe brought the innings to a close in the 41st over.
Joyce’s wicket, a run out after she was sent back by the captain, proved to be the crucial one as her sister, former captain Isobel turned one straight to backward square shortly afterwards and then came Ahmed.
Garth was the first victim of the 25-year-old Bangladesh leg spinner and Clare Shillington and Mary Waldron were bamboozled by her next two deliveries to set up the sensational finale.
It was only the second completed match of the tour, which had already been shortened to four games, Ireland having won the first by six runs in a 10-over (T20) international at Bready on Monday while the first ODI between the teams on Friday was abandoned after just 18 overs.
It left Ireland’s record this summer as played eight, won three, lost five but the batters know it could have been so much better.