Netherlands Women emerged victorious in a low-scoring thriller against Zimbabwe Women, beating them by three runs in a Group A match of the Women's World Twenty20 qualifiers in Dublin.
Netherlands, who were 59 for 1 in 10 overs, lost quick wickets after right-handed batter Tessa van der Gun left the field retired hurt. The remaining batters could add only 36 runs, as tight bowling from Zimbabwe restricted Netherlands to 95 for 7 in 20 overs.
Zimbabwe made a feeble attempt of the chase, stuttering to 29 for 5 before a 33-run stand between Ashley Burdett and Nonhlanhla Nyathi took then within striking distance of the target. Zimbabwe needed seven runs off the final over with two wickets in hand and Nyathi was still at the crease. However, Zimbabwe scored just three runs finishing the innings at 92 for 9. Nyathi was awarded Player of the Match for her unbeaten 30.
Left-arm spinner Leonie Bennett was the pick of the bowlers for Netherlands, ending with 4-1-15-3.
In another Group A match, Pakistan Women routed Thailand Women by 69 runs. Batting first, Pakistan scored 145 for 6 off their 20 overs. Nain Abidi's 38-ball 47, which included seven fours, was the crux that stabilised the Pakistan innings, after they lost opener Javeria Khan off the third ball of the match. Abidi stitched together a 50-run partnership with Javeria Rauf before she was dismissed. Bismah Maroof and Nida Dar hit brisk twenties towards the end of the innings.
Thailand struggled to keep up with the run rate from the start of their innings and, as a result, lost their wickets in pursuit of quick runs. The top score for Thailand was am 11-ball 19 from Chanida Sutthiruang, a measure of how dominant the Pakistan bowlers were. Sumaiya Siddiqi and Asmavia Iqbal picked up two wickets apiece as Thailand were restricted to 76 for 8.
In Group B, opener Clare Shillington scored an unbeaten century as Ireland Women comprehensively beat Japan Women by 117 runs.
Ireland were in complete control throughout the match, as Shillington and Cecelia Joyce added 134 runs for the second wicket. Shillington, who was named Player of the Match, struck 13 fours and two sixes during her 72-ball 114, as the hosts eventually finished at 170 for 1 in 20 overs.
Japan were never convincing in the chase as they lost wickets in regular intervals and hit only three fours throughout the innings. Legspinner Elena Tice was the best bowler for Ireland, finishing with figures of 4-1-10-3 as Japan were bundled out for 53 in 18.2 overs.
Ireland captain Isobel Joyce was delighted with the performance. "We were very clinical in three aspects," she said. "We only lost one wicket, the way we set the total and in the field we didn't put any chances down. When Clare gets going there is no stopping her. She put in a great performance today."
In the same group, Sri Lanka Women needed just 6.1 overs to knock off a target of 46 against Canada Women with nine wickets in hand. Canada's dismal batting effort, saw them fold for just 45 after they chose to bat first. Wicketkeeper S Sivanantham was the only batter to reach double figures, top-scoring for Canada with 13 off 19 balls.
Left-arm spinner Chandima Gunaratne took 3 for 6 off 4 overs, while Sripali Weerakkody and Sandamali Dolawatte picked up two wickets apiece. Sri Lanka lost opener Chamari Atapattu early in the innings, but the second-wicket pair of Yasoda Mendis and Eshani Kaushalya eased the team past the target in the seventh over.