August 2, 2000

Ireland Women too good for Pakistan

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Ireland celebrated their elevation to Test status in women's cricket with a crushing win over their Pakistani counterparts at College Park, Dublin on Monday. A match that was intended for four days was all over in less than two, as Ireland won by an innings and 54 runs.

Though rain delayed the start of the second day's play Monday till after lunch, it was still only putting off the inevitable, as Pakistan had already been outplayed on the Sunday - all out for 53, followed by Ireland making 193 for 3 declared. Resuming overnight on 8 for 1, they added just 78 more runs before the match was complete, Pakistan all out for 86.

Isobel Joyce, whose brothers have already made their mark in Irish international cricket, took 6/21 from 11.1 overs in a match which was, by definition, her Test debut. Catherine O'Neill took 3/12 to finish with seven wickets for the match. Pakistan's top score in both innings was Zamurad Afzal. She followed up her first innings 25 with a knock of 20 in the second.

While Ireland have the honour of registering an innings victory in their maiden Test - and goodness knows when they will play their second - Pakistan now have an all-time record of two losses from two Test appearances, having previously been defeated by 309 runs by Sri Lanka in 1998.

With the match ending two days early, both teams agreed to play two one-day games on the spare days at the same venue. It is not known at this stage if these matches will carry official one-day international status. We expect to have more information about these games, the final one being played today, later this week.

Both teams head off to England after the end of this series. Ireland continue their preparation for the CricInfo Women's World Cup, being held in New Zealand later this year, with three matches against the England Development Squad (also known as England 'A') at Oundle School, Rutland, this Friday, Saturday and Sunday. Pakistan have three games against club sides concluding with a match against MCC Women at Thames Ditton next Tuesday.