Left-arm spinner Sadia Yousuf's career-best figures of 4 for 9 punched Pakistan's ticket to the Women's World Twenty20 in Bangladesh after a nine-wicket win over Ireland in the first semi-final of the Qualifiers.
Pakistan put Ireland in after a wet outfield caused a delayed start , and captain Isobel Joyce lost her middle stump on the fourth ball of the match. A run-out got rid of tournament top-scorer Clare Shillington before Yousuf plundered four wickets in her first three overs to leave Ireland reeling at 32 for 6 after 13 overs. She was on a hat-trick after having both Laura Delany and Elena Tice stumped off the last two balls of the 13th over. She induced Kim Garth's edge off her next ball, but it landed safely. Garth made an unbeaten 38 but the rest of the line-up could not reach double figures as Ireland were dismissed for 65.
The openers took Pakistan almost halfway to victory before Garth removed Nahida Khan for 13, but her partner Javeria Khan and Nain Abidi completed the formalities with 35 balls to spare, though heavy rain did interrupt play with Pakistan six runs from victory.
Sri Lanka controlled a rain-marred game to become the second team to go through to the T20 finals in Bangladesh, after Netherlands fell short of a revised target of 85 in 9 overs.
Having been invited to bat, Sri Lanka made a bright start, scoring at over 10 before Chamari Atapattu was run-out in the third over. Yasoda Mendis and Deepika Rasangika consolidated with a 52-run partnership for the second wicket. Mendis fell in the 10th over but Rasangika's 47 off 50 balls, with four fours ensured Sri Lanka were on course for a healthy total. Two quick wickets brought Eshani Kaushalya to the crease, who struck her third ball for six and kept going. Her 33 off 16 balls pushed Sri Lanka to 152 for 6 in 19 overs when rain arrived.
Netherlands' openers began steadily, but Veringmeier's fall paved way for Heather Siegers' wicket six and put them at 39 for 2 in the sixth over, 14 behind the Duckworkth-Lewis par score. They could only manage 9 of the 46 needed in the last 18 balls to give Sri Lanka a comfortable victory.
With three teams slated to qualify for the World T20, Ireland and Netherlands still have shot of making it to Bangladesh if they win the third-place play-off match on July 31.
A triple-wicket maiden, which included a run-out as well, by Mai Yanagida could not prevent Zimbabwe from progressing to the Shield final of the Qualifiers. Her 4-1-5-4 kept Japan alive, after they had made only 58, until Zimbabwe sealed the game in the 16th over by three wickets.
Zimbabwe's bowlers came up with a miserly performance, reducing Japan to 5 for 2 in the third over. Captain Shizuka Miyaji and Kurumi Ota plugged any further wickets from falling with a 28-run stand, but Ota's wicket in the tenth over initiated a collapse and they were all out for 58 as not a single batsman was able to score in double digits.
Zimbabwe were 30 for 2 at the start of the ninth over when Yanagida replaced Shizuka Kubota, and her first ball saw Mary-Anne Musonda run-out. The next ball accounted for Chipo Mugeri, before her final two of the over spelled the end of Christabel Chatonzwa and Ashley Burdett. Now at 30 for 6, Nonhlanhla Nyathi and Josephine Nkomo held firm and took Zimbabwe home.
Rain hit the second Shield semi-final between Thailand and Canada more severely as play was postponed to Tuesday after only 18 overs bowled. Thailand were 92 for 6 having won the toss, with top-scorer Chanida Sutthiruang at the crease on 23 off 17 balls.
Canada collapsed from 31 for 1 to 79 for 8 as Thailand defended an under-par score of 92, winning by 13 runs, and propelled into the Shield final against Zimbabwe which will be played on July 31. Thailand won the toss and elected to bat, but were unable to put on meaningful partnerships through the course of their innings. Chanida Sutthiruang top-scored with 23 off 17 balls, as Thailand eventually reached 92 for 6 in their 18 overs in the rain-hit match.
Canada started promisingly, putting on 31 for 1. However, Thailand's bowlers came back into the contest strongly, in the form of Nattaya Boochatham (2 for 11), Somnarin Tippoch (1 for 11) and Rattana Sangsoma (1 for 18). Their performance with the ball added pressure on Canada's middle and lower order, as they succumbed to three run-outs, all executed by Nattakan Chantam, which only hastened their demise.