Australia win by nine wickets in 9.1 overs
There’s no way to say this differently: that was an absolute drubbing. No one expected Ireland to beat Australia, but that was as far away from competitive as possible. The sport has to persevere with the developing teams of course, and the Irish did win through qualifying to be here. But at this level there’s a lot of work to do. Their top order batted as though they were knee-deep in sand, and when it came time to defend their total they gave up extras galore and couldn’t bring any level of control. Healy finished with 54 from 30, while every Australian bowler except perhaps Megan Schutt (1 for 30) would have finished happy with their figures. The Australians notch a second win, but are yet to face India or New Zealand. That’s it from us, over and out.
9.1 overs: Australia 94-1 (Healy 56, Perry 9) And it ends quickly, with a Garth full toss whacked over cover by Healy.
9th over: Australia 92-1 (Healy 54, Perry 9) Another quiet one, O’Reilly giving up two runs and a leg bye. But it’s all but over. The field comes in with only a couple of runs to get.
8th over: Australia 89-1 (Healy 52, Perry 9) And that was a quiet over! What gives? Kim Garth settles on a good line on off stump, and Healy can’t time any big shots away. The keeper Waldron gives up a bye with a fumble, and there are two singles, plus Perry nearly playing the ball onto her stumps.
7th over: Australia 86-1 (Healy 51, Perry 8) We almost had a quiet over there. A couple of singles and three dots from Richardson, so Perry charges the last ball, which would have been a full toss anyway, and makes it a high full toss that she can baseball over midwicket for six.
Half century! Healy 50 from 21 balls
6th over: Australia 78-1 (Healy 50, Perry 1) The Aussies were getting boundaries by accident before Mooney got out. She tried to rotate strike with a little dab, but timed it past backward point and away to the fence. Hit two to the leg side, then gave up her catch. Perry comes to the crease – I thought she was listed at No7? – and Healy raises her milestone with a leg-cleared slap down the ground, dead straight and high for six from a position down on one knee. It’s not the fastest in this format – Sophie Devine has that record off 18 balls – but it is the second-fastest.
WICKET! Mooney c Delany b Garth 14 (15 balls), Australia 71-1
Trying to maintain the pace, Mooney aims a big pull shot that neither gets up nor down, and hits midwicket in the breadbasket.
5th over: Australia 65-0 (Healy 44, Mooney 8) Isobel Joyce, the experienced 35-year-old, tries to take control with her left-arm meds. Healy takes her for four off the pads along the ground. Plays a dot ball to point, then gets one short enough to nail a pull shot. Her seventh boundary. She’s 36 off 17 now. Really has been in golden touch with the bat the last couple of years after underperforming for a long time before that. Found her mojo to great effect. This isn’t the sternest test, of course, but plenty of great players didn’t retain their focus for the more modest engagements.
Make that 40 off 19 as Healy clubs down to long-on, and then 44 off 20 as she goes over cover once more. Doing this easy as a cool summer breeze. 16 from that over, and Mooney has 8 in total.
4th over: Australia 49-0 (Healy 28, Mooney 8) Healy’s on a tear! Gets a full wide ball from Delany, slower ball, waits for it to drop and times it sweetly along the ground through cover. The next one isn’t so full, so Healy hangs back, gives it airtime instead, and gets the same result in the same region. She’s 27 from 13. Chases a very wide one for a single when it would have been an extra. Mooney sweeps a couple to fine leg - Rusere says it came off pad, not bat. Didn’t sound like it. Finally a dot ball for Ireland as Mooney can only drag a wide ball to cover. But it doesn’t last, with another leg side gimme, and this time Mooney gets it out of the screws with her one-knee sweep for four. “Expensive over,” says Alan Wilkins on the telly. They’ve all been expensive, Wilko.
3rd over: Australia 34-0 (Healy 19, Mooney 4) Now there are runs off the bat. Facing Metcalfe’s spin, Healy goes to her strengths: the midwicket swat and the inside-out cover drive. Two boundaries. Add in an overthrow from a direct hit, and Australia end up with 12 from the over. Racing towards this target.
2nd over: Australia 22-0 (Healy 8, Mooney 3) Did I say ropey start? Kimmince bowled five wides before, but at least she did it in one ball. O’Brien bowls five individually, in an 11-ball over. Swinging down the leg side. She can’t start the ball straight enough. Nerves must be a factor. Australia barely get a run off the bat, but they don’t need to.
1st over: Australia 14-0 (Healy 7, Mooney 1) Jeepers, a ropey start. Not just with five penalty runs before a ball is bowled, but a no-ball for height as the ball slips from Eimar Richardson’s hand, and that ball is swept for four. Healy misses the free hit. But the openers work the field, they take nine from the over in total.
Australia need 94 to win
In fact they’ll need 89 to win, because they’ll start with five bonus penalty runs. See below. I tell you what though: get Kim Garth up the order for the next match. She’s the only one who rotated the strike with any level of comfort, and she also showed the ability to find the boundary where required. The top order today got mired in stodge and wasted a lot of deliveries.
20th over: Ireland 93-6 (Delany 15, Kavanagh 6) Garth starts the over gorgeously, skipping down the wicket to drive Schutt back over the bowler’s head for four. But then tries that sweep and gets bowled. Kavanagh has two balls to face, and muscles them both to midwicket. A brace and a boundary to take Ireland to 94. Could have been worse...
WICKET! Garth b Schutt 24 (26 balls), Ireland 87-6
Another one behind the legs. Garth looks to open up that region of the field behind square, jumps across a long way, and misses Schutt’s delivery to lose her leg stump. Played well though.
19th over: Ireland 81-5 (Delany 13, Garth 20) Not big enough. Four singles, a two, from Molineux. Delany could have been run out too, but Healy wasn’t awake to the chance. Had her back to the struggling batter as the throw came in. There was some talk of the St Lucia games being moved to avoid the heavy rain in that part of the world. Looks like that won’t happen now.
18th over: Ireland 74-5 (Delany 11, Garth 15) Kimmince obviously feels bad for Ireland over the five penalty runs, so she donates back five wides on one ball. And six of them in total in the over. Losing her line. Five more runs worked around off the bat. A couple of big closing overs could see Ireland get something vaguely competitive, we’ve seen teams bowled out for under 100 chasing before.
17th over: Ireland 63-5 (Delany 10, Garth 11) Garth knows these Australian players well from the WBBL. Finds a boundary from Schutt just by opening the face through third man. Three singles add to it. If they’d got seven from every over, Ireland would be looking good.
16th over: Ireland 56-5 (Delany 9, Garth 5) Just four singles and a wide from Perry’s over, so she finishes her bowling day with 2 for 12. I somehow doubt we’ll see her batting.
15th over: Ireland 51-5 (Delany 7, Garth 3) Wareham’s over is another cheap one. To expand on those comments about the umpiring, with Ireland taking on Australia at a World Cup, you’ve already got a team likely to be overawed. Lots of teenage players. And then suddenly as an umpire you throw in something they’ve likely never encountered - you suddenly decided that a couple of steps on the wicket after playing a drive is illegal. When it’s the way cricket has been played for years. You throw that in there, and you completely throw the focus of the batting team, which is suddenly trying to adjust to your new interpretation mid-innings. It’s just not on for umpires to insert themselves into the game, but Rusere undoubtedly has. Will he penalise every Australian who begins their runs with a couple of paces on the wicket? I hate to say it, but hard to imagine he’d ever pull out a couple of decisions like that against an international men’s side.
14th over: Ireland 49-5 (Delany 6, Garth 2) Ireland try to recompose themselves. Three singles from the Molineux over.
WICKET! Lewis run out 8 (17 balls), Ireland 45-5
13th over: Ireland 46-5 (Delany 5) Well that’s an all-round horrible over for Ireland, and not really of their own fault. Put it down to the umpire Langton Rusere. First he gives Lewis a warning for running on the pitch after striking the ball, which looked overly zealous. Then, immediately, he gives Delany an even more absurd warning. She hit the ball and took three paces on the pitch before veering off! And she’s been penalised five runs for her team. Australia will start their innings at 5 without loss. So from the last ball, when they try for a quick single, Lewis throws in a couple of extra paces to get off the pitch drastically, and she’s run out by an inch. Put that down to Umpire Rusere. That’s absurd, incompetent officiating.
12th over: Ireland 44-4 (Lewis 7, Delany 4) Another late boundary, as Delany prods at Gardner and gets a thick outside edge. I thought it would only squirt off for a single, but the outfield is fast and it beats the chaser into the rope.
WICKET! Joyce b Gardner 1 (7 balls), Ireland 40-4
Gorgeous from Gardner. Her second ball of the match, gets serious turn with her off-break and it skips forward off the pitch. Joyce is stuck on the back foot and so is in no position to counter it. She’s stranded as it rips through her gate and knocks off the bails.
11th over: Ireland 39-3 (Lewis 6, Joyce 1) They just can’t find any purchase, the Irish. They’re swinging hard at Kimmince but are only miscuing singles. Three runs and a wide from the over.
10th over: Ireland 35-3 (Lewis 4, Joyce 0) Perry finishes her third over with figures of 2 for 7 so far. Whew. The Joyce family furnishes Ireland with most of its players, and another of those joins Lewis in the middle - it’s Isobel.
WICKET! Richardson b Perry 1 (4 balls), Ireland 35-3
The same way as Shillington, though Richardson looks more stylish as she drops to one knee trying to lap Perry fine. Still gets bowled behind her legs.
9th over: Ireland 34-2 (Lewis 3, Richardson 1) With an entirely new partnership at the crease, Wareham is able to get through an over conceding only three singles. Not ideal for Ireland.
8th over: Ireland 31-2 (Shillington 19, Lewis 1) Gaby Lewis came in for Joyce, another Irish player who started an international career at an age when most of us were still collecting fireflies or blowing up letterboxes. Then Eimar Richardson for Shillington. Perry’s over concedes one run. Australia right on top.
WICKET! Shillington b Perry 19 (18 balls), Ireland 31-2
Walks across her stumps to Perry looking for the lap shot to fine leg. The only timber the ball strikes is her wicket.
WICKET! Joyce run out Kimmince 10 (27 balls)
7th over: Ireland 30-1 (Shillington 19) The changes keep rolling, with Georgia Wareham on, the young leg-spinner who was a surprise pick in this side. Not necessarily a choice that was adequately explained either: she’s a bowler who bounds in with enthusiasm, but she doesn’t have anything like the intrinsic quality of Amanda Wellington’s leg-breaks. Wellington missed out on this squad. Developing players is well and good, but not in World Cups.
Three singles from the Wareham over, and when Ireland look to pinch a fourth from the final ball, they chance their arm once too often. Kimmince steadies at mid-off and hits the stumps. Tough going, of course, but that innings was far too slow from Joyce for a T20 opener.
6th over: Ireland 27-0 (Shillington 17, C Joyce 9) Delissa Kimmince bowling now, and like the other new bowlers, the batters can’t get a handle on her. Two singles from the over, the last of them another fortunate one when Shillington miscues high to midwicket but again it falls short of the boundary rider coming in.
5th over: Ireland 25-0 (Shillington 16, C Joyce 8) Another dicey shot that falls just short of mid-on from Joyce. Then when Shillington gets strike, she slices just over the nominal slip cordon where the field is up, and away for four. Another boundary late in the over. Schutt annoyed. A decent start building for Ireland, who generally lose early wickets against the top sides.
4th over: Ireland 19-0 (Shillington 11, C Joyce 7) A dicey single from Molineux, but Kimmince can’t get the throw in fast enough. This batting pair need to hustle, they only get three runs from the over against spin during the Powerplay.
3rd over: Ireland 16-0 (Shillington 9, C Joyce 6) Perry for the third over, and starts with a no-ball for overstepping. Joyce steps across to try and wallop the free hit, but misses outside off. Again, there are plenty of dot balls and one boundary as Joyce glides a ball too far square of the deep third man position.
2nd over: Ireland 11-0 (Shillington 9, C Joyce 2) Molineux opens the bowling at the other end with her left-arm tweak. Lands them nicely to begin with, just conceding a single from her first five balls. But spoils the set somewhat by dropping short with the last, letting Shillington crack a cut shot for four.
1st over: Ireland 6-0 (Shillington 5, C Joyce 1) Megan Schutt straight on target as always, zeroing in on the stumps first ball. And second ball. Shillington can only block, then drive to cover, then prod and miss outside off. Doesn’t want to get bogged down, so she aims a standing slog-sweep that nearly carries to Perry in the deep. At midwicket the Australian made such good ground that she nearly pulled off a stunner diving forward. Not quite! They get a single. Joyce gets a less dramatic one next ball, and Shillington whacks a straight drive for four to finish the over.
Ireland win the toss and will bat
A special presentation within the Irish team today as well, with Kim Garth playing her 100th match for Ireland today. She’s only 22 years of age, and was signed in the WBBL with the Sydney Sixers as a rookie before becoming an integral part of their T20 bowling unit. But she’s already racked up that level of experience for her country. A lot of Irish women players debut very young, given the relative shortage of players, and Garth is no exception - she made her ODI and T20I debuts aged 14.
After an encouraging start to their campaign over the weekend, Australia have a second chance to show their wares – and title credentials – against Ireland in Guyana.
Alyssa Healy put in a starring performance in that first game against Pakistan, claiming four dismissals and hitting 48 to guide the Southern Stars to a nerve-settling opening victory.
Today, Ireland stand in their way. Some Australians have previously played for the Irish men’s cricket team, but Celeste Raack is the first Australian to play for Ireland’s women. The western Sydney-born woman will line up against the Southern Stars today, against her former junior teammates Ellyse Perry, Alyssa Healy and others. Raack qualifies through that old reliable, an Irish granny.