A little over a week after winning the Women’s Big Bash League with Sydney Sixers Women, Kim Garth made 63 and took 3 for 24 to help Ireland Women beat Zimbabwe Women by 119 runs in their first ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier Group A clash at the Mercantile Cricket Association Ground in Colombo on Tuesday (February 7).
Put into bat, Ireland made 237 for 6. Then Ciara Metcalfe, the 37-year-old leg-spinner, returned figures of 10-2-38-3 to help dismiss Zimbabwe for 118 in 37.5 overs.
Garth shared a third-wicket stand of 94 with Laura Delany, the captain, after Ireland had slumped to 42 for the loss of Meg Kendal (7) and Cecelia Joyce (26) in 12.2 overs. That set the tone for the victory.
Garth and Delany, who made 47, stayed together for 24.5 overs, hitting eight fours between them. Their primary focus was strike rotation, as they played out just one maiden over.
After Delany and Isobel Joyce fell within 13 runs of each other, Ireland relied on the fifth-wicket stand of 52 between Garth and Clare Shillington to go past the 200-run mark. Shillington was particularly aggressive, hitting four fours and a six in her 25-ball 30.
Josephine Nkomo struck twice with the first two balls of the 47th over to send Garth and Shillington back, but Gaby Lewis (13 not out) and Mary Waldron (18 not out) shared an unbroken stand of 36 to put Ireland in a position of strength.
Apart from Nkomo, who was Zimbabwe’s best bowler with figures of 2 for 46, Nomatter Mutasa also picked up two wickets.
Amy Kenealy struck twice in six balls to reduce Zimbabwe to 26 for 2 in seven overs. Metcalfe then got into the act with the first ball of her fourth over when Mary-Anne Musondo, who made 20, was caught. Loren Tshuma was the next to fall, caught behind off Garth for 25.
Reduced to 62 for 4, Zimbabwe never recovered despite Ashley Ndiraya hitting six fours in making 35. She was the last wicket to fall, stumped off Robyn Lewis, who returned figures of 2 for 7.
Ireland plays Sri Lanka Women at the Nondescripts Cricket Club on Wednesday, while Zimbabwe has a break of two days before its next match