Ireland women lose World T20 warm-up game against Sri Lanka

Cecelia Joyce (right) top-scored for Ireland in the warm-up defeat by Sri Lanka
Women's World Twenty20 warm-up, Savar:
Sri Lanka 170-5 (20 overs) beat Ireland 121-9 (20 overs) by 49 runs
Match scorecard (external site)external-link

Ireland were beaten by 49 runs by Sri Lanka in their opening warm-up game in Bangladesh ahead of their Women's World Twenty20 challenge.

Sri Lanka posted 170-2 from their 20 overs in Savar, with Isobel Joyce and Elena Tice the only wicket-takers.

In response, Ireland could only manage 121-9 with Cecelia Joyce top-scoring with 44 and Melissa Scott-Hayward contributing 22 in Savar.

The Irish have another warm-up game against India on Friday.

They then begin their first ever challenge at a women's World Twenty20 with a contest against New Zealand in Sylhet on 25 March before taking on Australia [27 March], South Africa [29 March] and Pakistan [31 March] at the same venue.

The Irish women are being coached by former Ireland men's star Trent Johnston who took up the role following his retirement from international cricket in December.

Since taking the job, Johnston has already guided the Irish women to a shock Twenty20 win over Pakistan and he believes his players are continuing to make progress.

"It's only two months ago that we beat Pakistan in Qatar and we were very close to beating South Africa in one of the T20 games and I think that we're a much better team now six weeks down the line," said Johnston.

"The ladies' commitment to training has been first-class.

"I couldn't have asked any more from that point of view and we've been training five, six even seven days a week."

Ireland captain Isobel Joyce was only 17 when she played in the Women's World Cup in New Zealand in 2000.

Fourteen years on she captains the squad in Bangladesh and she feels everyone is very well prepared for the challenges ahead.

"The aim is to get into the second phase, which means we have to win two matches probably," said the Ireland captain.

In Thursday's other warm-up game in Savar, Pakistan beat hosts Bangladesh by five runs.external-link

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