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03 December 201516:04

Ireland Women qualify for World T20 2016

O’Reilly does star turn in nine-wicket win over Scotland; China through to Shield final after edging out Thailand

Ireland Women qualify for World T20 2016 - Cricket News

Ireland Women joined Bangladesh Women, sealing the second and final qualification spot in the ICC Women's World Twenty20 2016 with a nine-wicket win over Scotland Women.

Ireland Women bowlers, led by Lucy O'Reilly (3 for 16), the right-arm medium-pacer, came up with a collective effort to help set up a nine-wicket win over Scotland Women in the second semifinal of the ICC Women's World Twenty20 Qualifier 2015 in Bangkok.

By virtue of the result, Ireland sealed the second and final qualification spot in the ICC Women's World Twenty20 2016, to be held in India. Ireland joined Bangladesh Women, who went through earlier in the day, thanks to a 31-run win over Zimbabwe Women.

After inserting Scotland, Ireland's bowlers kept the opposition down 77 for 9 in 20 overs on Thursday (December 3) at the Terdthai Cricket Ground. Clare Shillington and Cecelia Joyce then put on 58 for the opening wicket to ensure an easy chase for Ireland, who reached 79 for 1 in just 11.3 overs.

In the second Shield semifinal, China Women scored a narrow five-run win over Thailand Women in a low-scoring encounter, thanks to Li Yingying's spell of 4-2-3-2. China will now face Papua New Guinea in the Shield final on Saturday.

Fiona Urquhart, who top-scored with 21, and Rachel Scholes, the openers, put on 24 for the opening wicket, but that was the highest partnership Scotland could manage. The partnership was broken when Laura Delany, the right-arm medium-pacer, trapped Scholes leg before.

Urquhart and Elizabeth Priddle managed a brief stand of 18 for the third wicket, but Scotland once again lost wickets in a rush and could not find a way to stop Ireland. Priddle, who scored 11, was the only batter apart from Urquhart who reached double figures.

Reilly found good support all around. Robyn Lewis, the left-arm spinner, picked up 2 for 8 in three overs, while Kim Garth, Delany, Ciara Metcalfe and Isobel Joyce took a wicket apiece. "She's (Reilly) our No. 1 fielder and our go-to bowler when we need to finish off the innings. She's got a lot of different balls in her armoury and it's unbelievable," said Isobel Joyce, the Ireland captain. "She's only 15-16 years old, we're looking forward to seeing what she can do in India."

Shillington (34 off 28 balls) and Joyce (36 not out off 34 balls) then ensured a smooth chase for Ireland and kept its unbeaten streak in the tournament alive. Scotland had a consolation wicket when Shillington was dismissed by Kirstie Gordon, before Garth joined Joyce and took the team home with an unbroken 21-run second-wicket stand.

"Very excited. I suppose this has been the aim for us since the tournament has been on in Thailand. We really want to win the tournament, but the first job is done," Joyce said.

Bangladesh and Ireland will face off in the final of the tournament on Saturday. On the Bangladesh challenge, Joyce said, "We're taking it one match at a time. We haven't really focussed on playing Bangladesh yet. We obviously saw them today, but the plan will just be in playing our natural game and not get too caught up in what they are doing. They've got very smart spinners, but we'll do our best."

At the Asian Institute of Technology Ground, Caiyun Zhou (31) and Zhao Ning (13) added 46 for the second wicket, but the rest collapsed as China slipped to 82 all out in 20 overs against Thailand. Suleeporn Laomi, the legspinner, picked up 2 for 16 in four overs, while Chanida Sutthiruang and Nattaya Boochatham, Thailand's new-ball pair, took a wicket each.

China's bowlers, though, came up with a spirited fightback and made a match of it. While Yingying stole the show, Wang Meng (1 for 7 in four overs), Wu Juan (1 for 24 in four), and Liu Jie (1 for 18 in four) all did their bit in keeping Thailand to 77 for 8 in 20 overs. Onnicha Kamchompu was left unbeaten on 11 and was the only Thailand batter to reach double figures.