Women's World Twenty20 Qualifier: Ireland top group to reach semi-finals

The third wicket partnership between Gaby Lewis and Laura Delany helped Ireland to a commanding win
The third wicket partnership between Gaby Lewis and Laura Delany helped Ireland to a commanding win
ICC Women's World Twenty20 Qualifier, Amstelveen
Uganda 78-8 (20 overs): S Nampiina 16; C Metcalfe 3-8
Ireland 79-2 (12.1 overs): C Shillington 27, G Lewis 18 no; R Musamali 1-12
Ireland win by eight wickets
Scorecard (external site)

Ireland are through to the semi-finals of the Women's World Twenty20 Qualifier after an eight-wicket win over Uganda.

Veteran bowler Ciara Metcalfe took three wickets as Uganda were restricted to just 78 runs from their 20 overs.

Opener Clare Shillington scored a rapid-fire 27 as Ireland cruised past their target with 47 balls to spare.

The win means Ireland have finished top of Group B and will face the runners up from Group A in their semi-final on Thursday, 12 July.

The two winning semi-finalists this week will not only progress to Saturday's final but will also secure one of the two qualifying spots for the Women's World Twenty20 taking place in the West Indies in November.

The start of the day's play at Amstelveen was delayed by half an hour because of persistent rain and Ireland captain Laura Delany elected to field first when she won the toss.

Her decision was quickly rewarded as both of Uganda's openers Prico Nakitende and Racheal Ntono were dismissed within the first three overs, with Isobel Joyce accounting for Ntono with her first delivery.

Metcalfe, who conceded just eight runs from four overs, frustrated the Ugandan middle order as she accounted for the wicket of team captain Kevin Awino, whose side slumped to 31-5.

Stephani Nampiina, Franklin Najjumba and Immaculate Nakisuuyi all managed to get into double figures as Uganda rallied slightly to see out their innings.

Shillington and fellow opener Cecelia Joyce made a blistering start to the run chase as they put on 31 runs for the first wicket to effectively seal the result.

Shillington's departure still left the favourites with some work to do but Gaby Lewis and Delany combined to steer their side to victory.

Player of the match Metcalfe reached the 100-wicket mark for Ireland by taking her second dismissal of the game and described the milestone as "a really special occasion".

"The wicket was good for me, I got some turn and I got some wickets so it worked out well," said Metcalfe.

"We're taking each game one at a time, now we're in the semi-final ready and we're prepared."