Photo Credit: ICC
Ireland captain Laura Delany promised there is more to come from her side as they end their ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 campaign against India on Monday.
Delany’s side are winless from their first three matches, with narrow defeat against West Indies on Friday ensuring they could not qualify for the semi-finals.
It means their tournament will come to an end at St George’s Park in Gqeberha against an India side looking to bounce back from defeat to England.
“We know that we’ve performed well in certain aspects of the game throughout the last number of games, but there are certain areas that we definitely want to target now in this last game,” she said.
“What’s most exciting for us is that we haven’t played our best cricket yet and we want to put in a really good performance tomorrow and show everyone what we’re capable of.
“We’ve performed well in certain parts of the game. Our top order has performed with great intent, but then we’ve failed to kick on in the latter stages of the batting innings.
“We’ve bowled well at times; we just haven’t been consistent; we haven’t backed it up. One area that we really want to try and focus on is making sure that if we perform with the bat, we back that up in the same game with the ball.”
Youngsters such as Orla Prendergast, 20, and Gabby Lewis, 21, have impressed with the bat so far in South Africa, with Prendergast hitting 61 off 47 balls against West Indies as part of a 90-run partnership with Lewis.
It is the first World Cup for many of Ireland’s players, and Delany knows her side will be much better in the future for the experience of pitting themselves against the best in the world.
“At times throughout this tournament, nerves have definitely got the better of a few players, which is understandable,” she added.
“There are several players in this group that have never competed in a World Cup before and haven’t played against certain sides like England and tomorrow against India, there’ll be some girls that have never played against India.
“I’m really excited about where this team can go. I know the past few performances may not have shown that to everyone else but being involved and leading this team is such an honour and I know that we’re heading in the right direction irrespective of the results.
“There’s so much potential within this team and the squad at the moment. And if we keep putting our best foot forward, hopefully we’ll just keep tracking in the right direction.”
While Ireland will be looking to end on a high, India know a win will go a long way to ensuring their tournament continues into the semi-finals.
Despite England slipping to 29 for three at the start of their innings thanks to the superb bowling of Renuka Thakur, who took five for 15, India were unable to chase down 152.
The 11-run loss means a second-place finish in Group B is the most likely, but field coach Subhadeep Ghosh insisted there would be no panic or big changes.
“Yesterday’s match was a very good match,” said Subhadeep. “I think both the sides played well.
“I think 150 was chaseable, definitely, and we were in the game throughout the 20 overs. We were in the game till the 20th over. One or two sixes would have been a different story.
“We have to give credit to the English bowlers. They kept us under pressure, and they fielded well. They didn’t give us the boundaries.”