Women's World Twenty20: Australia thrash Ireland to top Group B

By Jamie LillywhiteBBC Sport
ICC Women's World Twenty20, Guyana
Ireland 93-6 (20 overs): Garth 24; Perry 2-12
Australia 94-1 (9.1 overs): Healy 56*
Australia won by nine wickets

Tournament favourites Australia maintained their 100% record at the Women's World Twenty20 with a crushing nine-wicket win over Ireland in Guyana.

The former champions restricted Ireland to 93-6 as Ellyse Perry took 2-12.

Kim Garth, on her 100th appearance, top-scored with 24 for Ireland but they were penalised five runs for running down the centre of the pitch.

With Alyssa Healy smashing 56 not out, Australia needed barely nine overs to reach their target and top Group B.

Ireland opted to bat and made a positive start as veteran opener Clare Shillington struck three boundaries in the opening five overs, but she and Eimear Richardson both attempted audacious scoop shots at Perry and saw their stumps rattled.

Having seen Pakistan concede 10 penalty runs for two similar indiscretions in their defeat against India on the same pitch earlier in the day, Ireland were penalised in the 13th over.

Seventeen-year-old Gaby Lewis was warned and two balls later Zimbabwean umpire Langton Rusere enforced the penalty against skipper Laura Delany, even though she ran towards the edge of the cut strip after a couple of initial steps - meaning Australia would start their innings on 5-0.

Lewis certainly appeared mindful of suffering further punishment and in ensuring she kept out of the danger zone she was run out, one of two Irish players to fall to direct hits in another clinical display of Australian out-cricket as the world's highest-paid professional women's side showed no mercy to their amateur opponents.

Charlotte Edwards
Former England captain Charlotte Edwards is not in favour of the strict enforcements

The ruthlessness continued with the bat, 19-year-old Lucy O'Reilly unable to control nerves or swing as she conceded five wides in the second over of Australia's reply, while Healy struck four fours in an over from Isobel Joyce.

Healy reached fifty from only 21 balls with a towering six over long-on off Garth, who had taken the one Australian wicket to fall when Beth Mooney was caught at mid-wicket for 14.

Perry, a former Australia football international, also hoisted a six over mid-wicket as the top-ranked side made it six wins out of six against Ireland and recorded their 11th successive T20 victory against all opposition.

Ireland next play Pakistan on Tuesday, while Australia face New Zealand on the same evening.

ICC Women's World Twenty20
Venues: Guyana, St Lucia, Antigua Dates: 9-24 November
Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary and in-play video highlights on all games on BBC Radio 5 live sports extra and via the BBC Sport website & app; live text commentary on all England & Ireland games, plus selected other matches

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