Joyce focusing on T20 World Cup qualifying after career best score

Cecelia Joyce

Ireland‘s Cecelia Joyce hit a career best T20 score on Friday in a defeat to Bangladesh, their second in consecutive days, but whilst disappointed with the result she took a lot of positives from the game.

Joyce said, “You`re always working on things. There’s a few things I`ve been working on that came off, thats the kind of thing I`m taking from it because to play the innings that you mean to play, to play the shots that you mean to play, to move the field, to execute your skills the way you want to. That’s really what I’m focusing on. Really, this is like a warm-up for the T20 qualifying, so if I can bring those things forward that will be brilliant, so I will focus on that.”

Joyce opened the batting alongside Clare Shillington, as they looked to rebound from Thursdays last ball defeat, however Shillington barely lasted until the third inning when Jahanara Alam took out her leg stump.

Alam, who took 5 wickets for just 28 runs just 24 hours earlier, also claimed the wicket of youngster Gaby Lewis in similar fashion in the fifth over, again hitting leg stump leaving the Irish on 20 for 2.

Once captain Laura Delaney entered the crease Ireland settled down to play some nice cricket, reaching the boundary with regularity. She did have a little luck in the ninth over when on a mis-field, Delaney called a single but then changed her mind forcing Joyce to slip, however she did manage to get back.

After that, the big hits kept coming, including a huge six off the bowling of Rumana Ahmed. Unfortunately Delaney then sliced to Nigar Sultana at Backward point before Joyce’s twin sister Isobel found herself run-out. Partners were coming thick and fast, but she did manage to reach her half-century from just 38 balls.

Joyce and Delaney head out to the crease
A couple of further big hits off Rumana Ahmed moved Ireland closer to 100 before Eimar Richardson became yet another victim, but her lbw dismissal was very harsh as the ball from Nahida Akter was missing off-stump by quite a long way.

In the eighteenth over Joyce’s innings finally came to an end, as she was caught and bowled by Sanjida Islam. A superb career best T20 score for Joyce, 60 runs off 47 balls.

Shauna Kavanagh and 17 year-old Lara Maritz, with a monumental six, added some runs at the death to leave Ireland on a score of 124/8 from their 20 overs. Ultimately, Bangladesh went on to reach that total, albeit in the final over when Sanjida Islam smashed a six off the bowling of Richardson with the very first ball.

When asked what the overall feeling was in the squad following successive defeats, albeit close ones, Joyce said, “It`s ideal preparation really. Obviously not the loss, but you want to be pushed. Not only do you want to win games, you want to know what you can do. Bangladesh don’t hit the ball as hard as New Zealand. We`ve had people dive around, we`ve had people taking catches, we have people focusing on the things that they need to work on. So it`s actually the absolute best preparation that we could have had ahead of a big tournament.”

The third, and final match in the series takes place on Sunday in Pembroke Cricket Club at 2 pm.

Picture Credit: Cricket Ireland

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