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Ireland defeated Bangladesh by two wickets on the last ball of the game

ICC Women's World Cup Qualifiers.Trophy finalBangladesh v Ireland.Lahore: There was high drama in the final of the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 Qualifier 2015 on Saturday when Ireland defeated Bangladesh by two wickets to clinch victory off the last ball of the game in Thailand Cricket Ground in Bangkok.

The two sides went into Saturday’s final having previously booked the last two coveted places in next year’s ICC Women’s World Twenty20 India 2016 when they won their respective semi-finals on Thursday. But both sides were determined to finish the competition on a high as Bangladesh, having won the toss, reached 105 for three, thanks chiefly to a 74-run third-wicket partnership between Nigar Sultana (41) and Rumana Ahmed (38 not out). Leg spinner Ciara Metcalfe was Ireland’s best bowler and returned economical figures of three for 14 runs.

Set a victory target of 106, Ireland appeared to be coasting after Cecelia Joyce had steered the side early on with a breezy 32, but a flurry of middle order wickets put the pressure on thanks mainly to the efforts of Bangladesh duo Rumana Ahmed (two for 16) and Nahida Akter (two for 18). However Laura Delany (26 not out) held her composure to guide Ireland home off the last ball of the game to send Ireland into raptures in damp, challenging conditions.

Speaking after the Trophy final, a delighted Ireland captain Isobel Joyce said: “It’s an amazing feeling and I’m so proud of my team for getting over the line in really tough conditions. Bangladesh are an excellent bowling team, especially Salma Khatun who was bowling the last over, who is so experienced and would back herself every time to keep any team under eight (runs).

“I’m really delighted for Laura Delany because she didn’t have it her own way during her innings, but she stuck in and was there to help the team and Lucy O’Reilly over the line. The team took it one ball at a time, which is important especially in Twenty20 (cricket), rather than thinking about the whole match which can overwhelm you, because if we needed 12 or 13 runs off the last over it might have been too much. I think the fact that we scored well in the first few overs took the pressure off a little bit at the back end.”

Bangladesh Women’s coach Janak Gamage reflected: “The plans was to bat first and get close to 115 runs, but unfortunately it just wasn’t enough. I thought our bowlers did very well throughout the tournament and though we’re disappointed today, we’ll look forward to playing in the World Twenty20. Our target is to play well during the tournament and win a few games, but we know it will be a real challenge.”

Bangladesh’s Rumana Ahmed was named the player of the series after claiming 14 wickets in the tournament.

Bangladesh and Ireland will join reigning champion Australia, England, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, South Africa, Sri Lanka and the West Indies in the event proper, which will be staged alongside the men’s event from 11 March to 3 April 2016.

Meanwhile, Papua New Guinea defeated China by seven wickets to clinch the Shield final with Tanya Ruma’s 37 not out helping her side reach the victory target of 94 with eight balls remaining.

Zimbabwe had early secured the 3rd place Trophy play-off when it defeated Scotland by three wickets, thanks mainly to an inspired all-round performance from skipper Chipo Mugeri who took two wickets for 17 runs and then scored 47 not out to guide the Africans home. In the Shield play-off, host Thailand beat Netherlands by nine wickets thanks to Naruemol Chaiwai’s 34 not out at the Asian Institute of Technology
Scores in brief:

Trophy Final

At Thailand Cricket Ground, Bangkok

Bangladesh Women 105-3, 20 overs (Nigar Sultana 41, Rumana Ahmed 38 not out; Ciara Metcalfe 3-14)

Ireland Women, 106-8, 20 overs (Cecelia Joyce 32, Laura Delany 26 not out; Rumana Ahmed 2-16, Nahida Akter 2-18)

Ireland Women won by 2 wickets

Player of the Match: Rumana Ahmed (Bangladesh Women)


Trophy 3rd Place Play-Off

At Thailand Cricket Ground, Bangkok

Scotland Women, 94-4, 20 overs (Fi Urquhart 19, Rachel Scholes 19; Chipo Mugeri 2-17)

Zimbabwe Women, 95-7, 19.5 overs (Chipo Mugeri 47 not out, Pellagia Mujaji 18; Kirstie Gordon 3-21)

Zimbabwe Women won by 3 wickets

Player of the Match: Chipo Mugeri (Zimbabwe)
Shield Final

At Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok
China Women, 93-4, 20 overs (C Zhou 26, Zhao Ning 20; Ravina Oa 1-14, Sibona Jimmy 1-14)
Papua New Guinea Women, 94-3, 18.4 overs (Tanya Ruma 37 not out, Varoi Morea 30; F Song 1-20)

Papua New Guinea won by 7 wickets
Player of the Match: Tanya Ruma (Papua New Guinea Women)


Shield 3rd Place Play-Off


At Asian Institute of Technology, Bangkok
Netherlands Women, 70, 19 overs (Sterre Kalis 21; Sornnrin Tippoch 2-11)
Thailand Women, 71-1, 14.1 overs (Naruemol Chaiwai 34 not out; Elt de Lange 1-12)

Thailand won by 9 wickets
Player of the Match: Naruemol Chaiwai (Thailand Women)

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