Friday 17 November 2017

Johnston rues opportunities missed as Lanning's ton crushes Irish

Ireland's women suffered a heavy defeat to Australia at the World Twenty20 yesterday
Ireland's women suffered a heavy defeat to Australia at the World Twenty20 yesterday

Meg Lanning became the first player to score a century in the Women's World Twenty20 as Australia crushed Ireland by 78 runs in Sylhet.

The world champions flexed their muscles, with Lanning hitting a stunning 126 from just 65 balls with 18 fours and four sixes, as Australia piled up 191-4.

Once again, the fielding and much of the bowling let Ireland down, and coach Trent Johnston has promised changes for the next game, against South Africa tomorrow.

Despite a second-wicket partnership of 48 between Clare Shillington (22) and captain Isobel Joyce (28), the target was always out of sight. Two run-outs, both involving Joyce, in the space of 12 balls didn't help their cause and they lost two wickets in the final over to finish on 113-7.

Lanning was let off twice, and Johnston was again critical of his side's performance in the field.

"Australia showed why they are world champions but when someone (Lanning) gives you an opportunity on 40, a simple catch, you have to take it. She scored another 80 runs.

"But that's been the story of the last two games. Our bowling and fielding hasn't been good enough," he said.


"Elena Tice (1-25) was outstanding and apart from a couple of wides which were followed by two fours off the seventh and eighth balls of the over, Lucy O'Reilly also bowled a great spell. So if a 16-year-old and a 14-year-old can step up, there's no reason why the rest of them can't.

"There are certainly going to be changes for the next game and it is an opportunity for the four girls who haven't been involved so far to have a good training session."

Looking ahead to their final two games – they finish with Pakistan on Monday – captain Joyce said: "We know a lot about South Africa and Pakistan and I think they'll be surprised how much we have improved in the two months since we played them last, so hopefully we can pick ourselves up and target those two games."

Meanwhile, Alex Hales smashed England's first ever T20 International century to guide his side to a memorable victory over Sri Lanka and reignite their World Twenty20 campaign.

Hales hit an astonishing unbeaten 116 from 64 balls, and finished the game in unforgettable fashion as he heaved Angelo Mathews for an enormous six to seal a six-wicket victory with four balls to spare.

Eoin Morgan crashed 57 from 38 balls alongside Hales as England chased down a target of 190.

"It's one of the best knocks I've ever seen," said captain Stuart Broad of Hales' innings.

Irish Independent

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