Friday 9 December 2016

Delany helps Irish to qualifier success

David Townsend

Published 07/12/2015 | 02:30

Ireland's Laura Delany
Ireland's Laura Delany

Laura Delany can look forward to her trip to India in March after keeping a cool head and also surviving a 'mankading' attempt as she helped steer Ireland to a last-ball two-wicket victory over Bangladesh in the final of the T20 World Cup qualifiers in Bangkok.

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The 22-year-old Leinster all-rounder reached 26 not out from 36 balls as she drew Ireland level with Bangladesh's 105-3 from the penultimate delivery of the chase, but then, with Lucy O'Reilly facing, bowler Salma Khatun broke the stumps with Delany backing up and out of her ground.

The umpire initially raised her finger, but after consulting her colleague with heated words being exchanged between players and spectators, the decision was reversed and O'Reilly won the game with a pull to the mid-wicket boundary. "We got there in the end," Delany said. "It's great to win the tournament."

The Ireland celebrations were much like their performances in winning five straight matches - a conspicuously collective effort - with coaches Aaron Hamilton and Alex Cusack and the support staff eventually joining in as well.

The side is improving with a nice blend of youth and experience.

Clare Shillington and Cecelia Joyce provided starts in four of the five wins, while captain Isobel Joyce and Delany have the nous to build on a foundation or affect repairs in the lower middle order. The spinners should also thrive in Indian conditions.

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