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Clare Shillington

‘Wickets just got the better of us’ – Clare Shillington

WT20Q final, interview

Despite qualifying for the ICC Women’s World T20 2018, losing the qualifier final to Bangladesh has hurt Ireland.

Ireland were confident of winning the ICC Women’s World T20 Qualifier 2018 against Bangladesh after restricting the opposition to a ‘below par’ 122/9, said Clare Shillington, the Ireland batter. It didn’t go to plan, as Ireland folded for 97, giving Bangladesh the title.

“We were really confident, 123 I thought was below par, so I certainly felt very confident walking out to the middle,” said Shillington after the match on Saturday, 14 July.

“We were really confident and then, obviously, not a great start, ebbed and flowed a bit, then there was a bit of hope. It was up to 10 an over, and then wickets just got the better of us and we fell well short in the end.”

Shillington praised the bowlers' disciplined performance, especially Lucy OReilly (4/28) and Ciara Metcalfe (2/24), who did most of the damage, and Kim Garth, who was most economical.

“They (Bangladesh) got off to a bit of a flyer, and we did really, really well to pull that back to 123 in the end,” Shillington said. “Could have been a few less. Lucy obviously finished with pretty good figures, Kim Garth was instrumental in pulling it back in the middle and, obviously, Ciara Metcalfe bowled really well.”

Video Video 15 Jul 18
WT20Q: Bangladesh v Ireland – Clare Shillington interview

Ireland needed a steady innings from at least one of their batters, similar to what Ayasha Rahman did for Bangladesh, scoring 46 from 42 balls.

But Shillington, whose 126 runs in five matches helped her become the Player of the Tournament, could only contribute a 15-ball 14 in the final. Gaby Lewis (26) and Eimear Richardson (23) were the other two batters who scored in double digits while the rest of the line-up crumbled.

“I got a few scores, and it’s obviously very nice to get it, but I do think we all pulled together to get the wins that we needed to do to get into the World Cup. So I do think it’s probably shared between all 14 of us instead of just me,” she said of the tournament award.

That they lost didn’t change the fact that Ireland – along with Bangladesh – qualified for the ICC Women’s World T20 2018. They still wanted to win the qualifiers, though, said Shillington.

"It’s a bit difficult. We didn’t massively celebrate beating PNG the other day to get into the World Cup, because this was our real focus still, to go on and win this,” she said.

“But we will celebrate tonight. It’s a bit gutting, especially when we pulled it back so well to get ourselves in a position where we could win it. It’s sad not to go on and do that, but again, our No.1 goal was to qualify for the World Cup in the West Indies and we’ve done that.”

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