Australia crowned champions as rain washes away final fixture

Australia skipper Meg Lanning receiving the Tri-Series silverware © Cricket Ireland

Australia have been crowned the champions of the Tri-Series involving hosts Ireland and Pakistan as the last match of the tournament had to be called off due to wet outfield and persistent drizzle on Sunday (July 24).

Ireland were scheduled to play Pakistan in the last match of the Tri-Series but it wasn’t meant to be as unrelenting rain forced the match officials to abandon the contest.

With two emphatic victories and two no results Australia finished at the top of the points table and accumulated 12 points. Their net run rate (3.230) is a testimony to the fact that they meant business every time they stepped onto the field.

Australia’s wily leg-spinner, Alana King has been awarded the Player of the Series for her excellent bowling display during the series. King claimed eight scalps in 12 overs that she bowled at a note-worthy average of 5.75 and an impressive economy rate of 3.83.

Her best bowling performance of the series came against Pakistan in the first match of the tournament where she recorded a commendable figure of 3/8.

Reigning World T20 Champions, Australia faced Pakistan to get the Tri-series underway on July 16. Meg Lanning’s side was slightly rusty in terms of bowling display. They had reduced Bismah Maroof’s side to 56 for six before the game was abandoned but 28 out of those 56 runs had come in the form of extras.

Lanning’s side thumped the hosts in their second match by nine wickets as King was declared the Player of the Match for her superb bowling display of 3/9. King’s spell restricted Ireland to a mere 99 in their 20 overs and Australia chased it down with 7.1 overs to spare.

They locked horns with Laura Delany’s side again in the fourth match of the series and a splendid batting performance helped them register an impressive 63-run win. Batting first the Aussies rode on half-centuries from Lanning and Tahlia McGrath and posted 182 runs for the loss of four wickets in their 20 overs.

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King again turned out to be the most impressive bowler for the Aussies as she claimed 2/11 in three overs. She was bolstered by a returning Jess Jonassen who bagged a two-wicket haul herself and Megan Schutt (2/16).

In their last game of the series, Australia took on Pakistan yet again but the rain came to play spoilsport yet again and robbed them of what seemed like another victory.

Batting first, Pakistan had somehow hobbled to 94 in their 20 overs. In reply, the Aussies were on course to victory with 28/0 in 4.2 overs before rain interrupted the proceedings and the match had to be called off.

On the other hand, Pakistan finished second on the table with eight points. Persistent inclement weather washed away three of their matches.

They were made to sweat for their sole victory which came against the hosts in the third match of the series. Batting first they put up 92 runs on the board mainly due to some healthy contributions that came from the willows of opener Muneeba Ali and allrounder Nida Dar.

Ireland looked well on course to victory initially but a disciplined bowling effort helped the Green Brigade to bag a 13-run win (D/L method) at the end.

For the hosts, the series brought plenty of disappointment. They lost three games and finished at the bottom of the tally with two points (which they aggregated through a washed-out affair against Australia).

Ireland had an amazing opportunity to trump Pakistan in the third match of the series but despite getting off to a flying start chasing 97 in 14 overs they lost their way halfway through the chase and lost the game ultimately.

Both Australia and Pakistan will now be seen in action during the Commonwealth Games in Birmingham. Both sides are in Group A alongside India and Barbados.