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Ireland lose by six wickets to West Indies in Women’s ICC World Cup qualifying opener


Amy Hunter

Amy Hunter

Amy Hunter

Amy Hunter was run out without facing a ball as Ireland wasted a fine start to their ICC World Cup qualifying campaign in Harare and lost by six wickets to a powerful West Indies side.

Teenage star Hunter became the youngest batter - male or female - to score an ODI century in her previous innings in Zimbabwe last month but this time the 16-year-old from Belfast was the second of two wickets to fall in successive balls.

To make matters worse for Ireland, Hunter was only at the crease because Gaby Lewis had been caught and bowled from the seventh ball of the 20th over - an umpiring miscount that would normally be welcomed by the batting side - but not this time.

Lewis, who top-scored with 36 from 58 balls, including one six, had added 79 for the first wicket with Leah Paul but Ireland were unable to kick on from that solid platform and were bowled out for 159, with seven of their 50 overs unbowled.

Eimear Richardson was the pick of the Ireland bowlers taking 2-33 to add to her hard-hitting 32 but the West Indies eased home with 10.3 overs to spare, leaving Ireland to rue the extra 25-30 runs they could have added.

“We’re only one game into the tournament and we haven’t played our best cricket yet,” skipper Laura Delany said.

Coach Ed Joyce will be encouraged, though, that the Girls in Green stretched one of the tournament favourites and a similar performance and a victory against the Netherlands on Thursday should be enough to see his side into the Super Six.

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