This was the final game of the tournament for these two teams, a tournament that for Ireland unfortunately never took off as they struggled their way through their 20 overs in this game before New Zealand’s Sophie Devine battered a quick-fire 50 to see the White Ferns win by eight wickets.
Batting first, Ireland couldn’t find any real consistency in this game. As a major theme of this tournament, suiting the bowlers so far, three players reached double figures for Ireland but none of them could register big scores.
Gaby Lewis was the highest scorer for the side in bright green, hitting 39 from 36 deliveries. Both Clare Shillington and captain Laura Delany made 12 off 22 balls, but no one else scored more than five runs for Ireland.
As a result, Ireland fought their way to a final score of 9/79 at the end of their innings.
With the ball, New Zealand was accurate and unrelenting with their pressure, as Leigh Kasperek took 3/19 off her four overs. Lea Tahuhu also stood out with her fast bowling, taking 2/17 off four overs.
New Zealand, or to be more specific Devine, was in a rush to finish the tournament with a win as Devine hit 51 entertaining runs from just 22 deliveries which included 10 boundaries, with three of them flying over the boundary.
The game was all over, thanks to Devine’s fireworks, midway through the eighth over as New Zealand reached the target score of 80 just two wickets down and with 75 balls left.
For Ireland, the two wickets were shared between Delany, who took 1/9 off one over, and Eimear Richardson with her teams’ best figures of 1/12 off two overs.
A disappointing end for Ireland, but they did reach this tournament as runners-up in the qualifying final. They will have learnt a lot about themselves, where to improve and what they need to close the gap to the best sides.
A good finish for New Zealand, winning their last two games, but they couldn’t compete with Australia or India in their group. Plenty of room to grow and plan ahead for the next major competition.
Ireland 9/79 (Gaby Lewis 39, Leigh Kasperek 3/19) defeated by New Zealand 2/81 (Sophie Devine 51, Eimear Richardson 1/12).