ZIMBABWE will now need a miracle to progress beyond the group phase of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier 2024 in the United Arab Emirates. 

A phenomenal batting display helped Ireland beat Zimbabwe by 50 runs yesterday to all but secure a semi-final ticket. 

Ireland batted first and made 176/3 off their 20 overs and then restricted Zimbabwe to 120/8 off their 20 overs.

Ireland topped Group B after their massive win over Zimbabwe, powered by a terrific opening stand from Amy Hunter and Gaby Lewis.  

Hunter and Lewis sizzled with a 130-run opening partnership to help Ireland women post their fifth-highest total in women’s T20Is. 

Hunter began the innings with a bang, slamming a hat-trick of fours off the first three balls from Josephine Nkomo, who came into the game fresh from a four-wicket haul.  

Ireland raced to 59/0 inside the Powerplay. 

It was Kelis Ndhlovu who finally put an end to the opening partnership when she had Lewis caught for a brilliant 47-ball 69. 

Nkomo sent back Hunter for 71 in the 17th over but, by then, Ireland had already crossed the 150-run mark.

They finished on 176/3 in their 20 overs to set a formidable target.

In response, Ava Canning struck twice in the Powerplay, sending back Sharne Mayers and Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano cheaply to give Ireland an even stronger grip on the game. 

Skipper Mary-Anne Musonda and Modester Mupachikwa combined to lift Zimbabwe out of trouble and at the end of 10 overs, the team moved to 65/2, still quite some distance away from the big target.  — ICC.

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