IRELAND were bolstered by superb efforts from the twin sisters of England left-hander Ed Joyce, but the team collapsed to a 57-run defeat by Pakistan in the women’s world cup qualifying tournament in South Africa, which started today.
Isobel Joyce produced an incredible five run-outs of the six at Stellenbosch that restricted Pakistan to 165 for nine off 50 overs. Her 24 year-old sister Cecilia top-scored with 36 in reply, but Ireland themselves were damaged by four run-outs, including Cecilia and the captain Heather Whelan, in a collapse to 108 all out.
In the whacky world of women’s fringe cricket Bermuda had earlier been bowled out for 13 by host nation South Africa -- a total that included only three runs off the bat and was passed in four legal deliveries for a 10-wicket defeat.
Ireland can still qualify for the later stages if they beat Scotland. Pakistan's bowlers were disciplined, conceding only eight extras compared to their opponents' 27, and their fielding was lively, but the Irish were let down by a long tail.