Richardson dazzles with bat and ball to steer Ireland to victory

Dhaka, ICC Media Release, 17 November 2011: Eimear Richardson helped Ireland to its first victory of the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifiers 2011 in Dhaka today after the 25-year-old all-rounder hit a half-century and claimed five wickets to steer the team to 255-run victory over Japan at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Mirpur.

Meanwhile, Sri Lanka continued is run of wins comfortably beating Zimbabwe by seven wickets while in the only ODI of the day, West Indies beat Pakistan by eight wickets. Helmien Rambaldo’s Dutch side bounced back from its recent defeat to beat the USA at Khanshaheb Osman Ali Stadium.

In Mirpur, watched by a crowd of 400 lively Bangladeshi supporters, it was a day for run-making as Isobel Joyce’s side batted first against Japan after losing the toss. The crowd cheered every boundary hit and every wicket taken as the Irish scored an impressive 311 in its 50 overs.

Isobel’s twin, Cecelia, opened the batting alongside Clare Shillington but after 25 runs Shillington departed after being clean bowled by Kurumi Ota. It was then up to Cecelia alongside Jill Whelan to add runs to the board, which the pair did, with Cecelia making 64 before she was caught by Ayako Iwasaki.

Richardson put in an impressive performance with the bat to score her half-century, the right-hander hit 57 runs in 45 balls, while the young tail-enders, 14-year-old Elena Tice and 15-year-old Kim Garth, put on 17 runs for the last wicket to help the Irish to a hefty total and one the Japanese were going to struggle to chase down.

As the Japanese ambassador to Bangladesh looked on alongside a small group of Japanese local supporters, Mariko Yamamoto and Shizuka Kubota took to the crease to face the strong Irish bowling attack which has been coached ahead of this event by Ireland fast bowler Trent Johnston. Richardson proved to be the pick of the attack, claiming her first five-fer in the tournament in the process, undoing the Japanese batting line-up with her off-spin. The Dubliner combined with Kim Garth and captain Isobel Joyce to dismiss Ema Kuribayashi’s side in just 23 overs.

Isobel admitted, despite the score, that the Japanese side had improved since the team last faced it in 2003 in The Netherlands at the ICC Women’s World Cup Qualifier. “I think they have improved greatly in the field and a couple of their fast bowlers and spinners are playing far better than before and their wicketkeeper was excellent.

“It was a good toss to lose this morning as we wanted to have a bat and it was important we got some runs on the board as we haven’t in our last couple of matches, but we did think the ball would move around early on. “It was good to see Eimear, Cecelia and Jill (Whelan) all contribute and help us to post a big score. And then for our bowlers to perform so well was satisfying. It also puts us in good stead ahead of our important match tomorrow against hosts Bangladesh,” said Isobel.

In a match that was being watched by 2.3 million Bangladeshis as it was broadcast on local television, Richardson admitted the game plan had worked out for the side: “We had a good game plan, which we stuck to which in previous games we had not done so well. It was important for the batters to make runs which we did and it was great to take five-fer in the Japanese innings.

“I think perhaps the Japanese were a little inexperienced on how to combat the spin, especially here where there is lots of turn and bounce which can make it hard to read.”

Japan coach Chris Ferguson was disappointed with the side’s performance but admitted the team were still learning about playing on the big stage: “I think we have to look positively at how the side fought back when it looked like the Irish were on their way to 340 and we took three wickets in I think roughly one and half overs.

“I know the side aren’t showing their true potential which they and I know they have to play this game. They are a side that is still learning and they take each of these games as a chance to take new points on board and improve.”

At the only ODI of the day, Pakistan took on West Indies at BKSP 3, with Sana Mir winning the toss and electing to bat against Merissa Aguilleira’s side. The Pakistani batting attack struggled against a fine performance of spin bowling from West Indies vice-captain Anisa Mohammed who, like Richardson in the Ireland game, walked away with five wickets.

Pakistan’s opener, Sana, along with Nain Abidi, proved to be the only batters of note in the side, with the former scoring 49 while the latter managed 53 against one of the most favoured teams in the tournament.

It was then up to the inform all-rounder Stafanie Taylor to open the batting in reply for the West Indians, and despite her losing her opening partner, Juliana Nero, for five, and then Shanel Daley shortly after, the ICC Women’s Cricketer of the Year 2011 stuck out the innings alongside Barbadian Deandra Dottin.

Dottin is perhaps best known for her quick fire century at the ICC Women’s World Twenty20 2010 in St Kitts, but this time round the 20-year-old struck a patient innings of 60 in 97 balls to help the West Indies to another win in the event. On the opposite ground at the Bangladesh Institute of Sport, Zimbabwe faced an inform Sri Lanka and it was a day for five wicket hauls, this time with Sri Lanka’s Chamani Seneviratna claiming five wickets off the African side after the batters this time failed against the pace of the ball.

The 33-year-old dismissed both openers, Ashley Ndirya and Sinikwe Mpofu and then fourth batter Julia Chibahba to have the Zimbabweans reeling on three wickets for just six runs by the fifth over. Sri Lanka’s bowling continues to be tight with the side bowling just eight wides and the attack preventing the Zimbabweans from scoring runs, which meant that once Seneviratna had worked her magic the team were 62 all out in 42 overs.

In response, Sri Lanka’s top order didn’t quite live up to the mark, with only Yashoda Mendis proving her worth finishing the day 35 not out, while her fellow three top-order batters departed to Sharyce Saili medium pace bowling. The Zimbabwean tempted Chamari Athappathua and Shashikala Siriwardene to edge the ball and to be caught while Inoka Galagedara had her stumps flattened. Mendis, alongside Sandamali Dolawatter steered the island to victory in the 10th over.

At the other stadium, Khanshaheb Osman Ali, Netherlands were keen to ensure they did not put in another poor batting performance and Rambaldo’s side certainly made runs today, scoring 329 in its 50 overs. Wicketkeeper-batsman Miranda Veringmeier, alongside Kerry-Anne Tomlinson proved to be the stars for the ladies in orange, with the duo making 99 and 80 respectively.

Claudine Beck ford and Samantha Ramautar managed two wickets each but the side were punished by strong batting from the Dutch top order.

Veringmeier proved a worthy Player of the Match after the 19-year-old from Schiedam claimed a run out and a stumping in the USA’s reply innings. The Americans struggled against the two off-spinners of the Dutch side, Esther de Lange and Esther Lanser, the duo combining to dismiss six of the side, while Tomlinson’s medium pace helped both at the beginning and end of the innings.

Tomorrow will see Zimbabwe take on USA at Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium, Japan play West Indies at Khanshaheb Osman Ali Stadium, Netherlands play South Africa in the only ODI of the day at BKSP 2 and hosts Bangladesh face Ireland at BKSP 3.

Scores in brief – Day Three:

At Sher-e-Bangla National Cricket Stadium

Ireland 311-0, 50 overs (Richardson 57, C Joyce 64, Whelan 49)

Japan 56 all out 23.2 overs (Richardson 5-4)

Ireland won by 255 runs

Player of the Match: Eimear Richardson (Ire)

At Khanshaheb Osman Ali Stadium:

Netherlands 329-5, 50 overs (Veringmeier 99, Tomlinson 80, Lanser 51, Rambaldo 41)

USA 104 all out, 49.5 overs (De Lange 3-8, Lanser 3-11, Tomlinson 3-21)

Netherlands won by 225 runs

Player of the Match: Miranda Veringmeier (NL)

At  BKSP 2 (ODI):

Pakistan 140 all out, 49.2 (Sana 49, Nain 53; Mohammed 5-26)

West Indies 142-2, 34.5 overs (Taylor 66 not out, Dottin 60 not out)

West Indies won by eight wickets

Player of the Match: Anisa Mohammed (WI)

At BKSP 3:

Zimbabwe 62 all out, 41.4 overs (Nyathi 18; Seneviratna 5-15, Ravikumar 3-17)

Sri Lanka 63-3, 10.5 (Mendis 35 not out; Saili 3-19)

Sri Lanka won by seven wickets

Player of the Match: Chamani Seneviratna (SL)

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