Women's World Twenty20: Ireland's Isobel & Cecelia Joyce retire after losing to New Zealand

By Mark MitchenerBBC Sport
Clare Shillington, Isobel and Cecelia Joyce, and Ciara Metcalfe
Ireland will lose a wealth of experience with the retirements of Shillington, the Joyce twins and Metcalfe
ICC Women's World Twenty20, Guyana:
Ireland 79-9 (20 overs): Lewis 39, Kasperek 3-19
New Zealand 81-2 (7.3 overs): Devine 51
New Zealand won by eight wickets

Twin sisters Isobel and Cecelia Joyce retired from international cricket after Ireland lost their final Women's World Twenty20 game to New Zealand by eight wickets in Guyana.

Veterans Clare Shillington and Ciara Metcalfe had already announced that the tournament would be their last.

With both sides unable to reach the semi-finals, Ireland could only post 79-9 - Gaby Lewis top-scoring with 39.

The Kiwis raced home in 7.3 overs as Sophie Devine hit a rapid 51.

The match result was of little consequence, with New Zealand already eliminated while only a mathematical improbability would have kept the Irish out of bottom place in Group B - which means they will have to pre-qualify for the next World T20 in Australia in 2020, rather than qualify automatically as the top four teams in the group will.

In truth, it was only the contribution of 17-year-old Lewis - watched by her father Alan, the former Ireland captain who was commentating on the BBC's Test Match Special - that prevented an even more comprehensive thrashing.

As well as rotating the strike sensibly while her partners became bogged down, she struck several powerful boundaries, and her departure in the 16th over prompted a clatter of five wickets for seven runs.

Isobel Joyce and Shauna Kavanagh were both trapped lbw by spinners - but neither of them chose to use the Decision Review System, when a referral to the third umpire would have saved them on both occasions, the ball-tracker suggesting the ball was missing leg stump.

Devine then hoisted three huge sixes, threatening to win the game inside the six-over powerplay - reaching 50 in 21 balls, the equal quickest half-century of the tournament - before perishing with a miscue.

Charlotte Edwards on Twitter
Ex-England captain Charlotte Edwards was among the first to pay tribute

End of an era for Ireland

It was already known that it would be the final game for opener Shillington, 37, and 39-year-old leg-spinner Metcalfe - who received a guard of honour from their team-mates before taking the field, and another from New Zealand as they left it.

But emotions clearly ran high among many of the players in the post-match huddle as both Joyces spoke to their team-mates to confirm their retirements at the age of 35.

It has been a year of farewells for the Joyce family, whose brother Ed - whose career took in spells with both Ireland and England - retired in May, soon after playing in Ireland's inaugural men's Test against Pakistan.

In all, five Joyce siblings have represented Ireland - including Dom, who played in three one-day internationals in 2006 and 2007, and elder brother Gus, who appeared for Ireland in first-class cricket before ODI status was earned.

Last month, Isobel's husband John Anderson also called time on his international career after 26 appearances for Ireland.

All-rounder Isobel led her country a record 62 times before stepping down as captain following the last World T20 in 2016, playing alongside opening batter Cecelia for much of that time.

It leaves Ireland shorn of several decades' worth of experience, and current captain Laura Delany said: "I can't thank them enough for what they've done for us.

"The next 10-12 months will be about transitioning the team as we don't have any international fixtures coming up."

C JoyceI JoyceShillingtonMetcalfe

*Isobel Joyce, Shillington and Metcalfe also appeared in a one-off Test in 2000

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