Ireland falls short in rain-affected final league match to go down by 36 runs via the DLS method
South Africa had sealed its ICC Women’s World Cup 2017 spot as well as a place in the final of the qualifiers. Irrespective, the team came out at full strength to put in a strong all-round performance and wrap up a 36-run victory over Ireland in its final Super Six game at the Colombo Cricket Club ground on Sunday (February 19).
Ireland, who had been knocked out of the reckoning in its first Super Six match against Bangladesh, will return home with no wins against the higher ranked sides.
All the seven South African bowlers used took at least one wicket each as Ireland was bowled out for 166 after being put in. Dane van Niekerk’s side was on 82 for 1 in 21 overs when the rain came, and that was enough for a victory by the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method.
As usual, the South African pacers made the early inroads, before they were given a bit of a break. Van Niekerk and Sune Luus, the legspinners, and part-timer Lizelle Lee then finished the job.
The Joyce sisters, Cecelia (29) and Isobel (30), led the resistance in turn, but an inability to kick on once they were set – a malaise for the Ireland batters all through the tournament – hurt them once again.
Mary Waldron was the top scorer with 33, with six boundaries, and was unbeaten when the innings folded in 49.5 overs.
Lee, true to style, came on to smash a six and a four, before Kim Garth cut short the damage with an lbw. The young Laura Wolvaardt, who has shown a calm head on her shoulders to provide the perfect foil to Lee, played out 61 balls for her 32 not out. She had Mignon du Preez unbeaten on 29 by her side when the umpires called the players off the park.
The rain would not relent the rest of the afternoon, and with the required 20 overs completed, the result was called.