Welcome to our coverage of the Women’s T20 World Cup Group 2 match between England and Ireland. England have already played their opening game, but this is Ireland’s opening game of the tournament.
While much of the focus on women’s cricket these days revolves around the inaugural IPL auction, and understandably so, there is still a pretty big tournament taking place in South Africa.
England come into this game in good form, having last lost a white ball 11 games ago, against India in England last September.
They made light work of the West Indies at the end of last year, winning the three-match ODI series 3-0 and the four-match T20I series 4-0. They also saw them off comfortably in their World Cup opener, winning by seven wickets over Paarl.
Sophie Ecclestone was the standout with the ball, taking 3-23 from her four overs, which helped restrict the West Indies to 135-7 from their 20 balls.
England achieved that target within 15 overs with the loss of just three wickets. Sophia Dunkley got off to a brisk start with 34 off 29, before Nat Sciver-Brunt – who has been sold for £320,000 in the IPL auction – and captain Heather Knight finished things off with 40 not out from 30 balls and 32 not out. off 22 balls respectively. They each hit six in their 67-run partnership to give England a winning start to the tournament.
England, therefore, are naturally favorites at 1/20 going into this game, but it would be foolish to ignore Ireland’s potential. They got within two runs of a difficult 149 in their warm-up opener last week and then beat tournament favorites Australia by scoring 169 in the final two days later.
Of course, there are caveats to that in that it was an unofficial T20I with Australia retiring on reaching their fifties, but it was still a fine result for Ireland.
Anyway, Ireland vs England kicks off at 1pm GMT and we’ll be here for the live updates and reactions from him.