Senior allrounder Sophie Devine lit up the match by smashing 51

Devine blasts half century as WHITE FERNS crush Ireland

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The WHITE FERNS campaign in the ICC Women's World T20 ended on a winning note, far too good for Ireland in their last Group B match in Guyana.

The New Zealanders were eliminated from semifinal contention after their earlier losses to India and Australia.

The WHITE FERNS were left to chase just 80 to beat Ireland, and did so in only 7.3 overs, reaching 81 for two to nail an eight-wicket win.

Ireland won the toss, chose to bat but were able to muster only 79 for nine in their 20 overs. 

It was the WHITE FERNS fourth win in as many T20 internationals against Ireland.

Senior allrounder Sophie Devine lit up the match by smashing 51, the equal second fastest T20 half century, reaching the mark in only 21 balls. That matched Australian Alyssa Healy, also against the Irish earlier in the tournament.

Power hitter Devine holds the outright record, for her 18-ball effort against India in Bangalore in 2005.

She was ferocious on Ireland's bowlers, hitting seven fours and three sixes and dominating the strike during her opening stand of 69 with Suzie Bates.

Bates produced a milestone of her own in the match, further cementing her spot as one of the greats of the women's game.

When she reached four on her way to 11, she become the first woman to pass 3000 T20 international runs.  

The winning runs came from captain Amy Satterthwaite, with a lofted off drive to the boundary.

Ireland's batting revolved almost entirely around 17-year-old Gaby Lewis.

Lewis, the daughter of former Irish international rugby referee Alan Lewis, showed her talents by hitting 61 off 45 balls against the WHITE FERNS in Dublin in June, and was several notches above her team mates in skill and technique at the Providence ground.

Lewis produced two fine on drives and a superb cover drive as part of her five fours.

When she departed, stumped by Katey Martin off Amelia Kerr for 39 off 36 balls, it led to a rapid decline for the Irish. Only two other batswomen got to double figures.

Indeed from 69 for three, Ireland lost their last seven wickets for just 10 runs.

The wickets were spread about, although the most successful was offspinner Leigh Kasperek, who finished with three for 19.

There were two wickets each for Lea Tahuhu - the fastest bowler at the tournament with a high of 126k/ph and the highest percentage of dot balls in Group B matches - legspinner Amelia Kerr, while Devine and Jess Watkin had one apiece.

The WHITE FERNS were left to bemoan their inability to beat India and Australia in their first two group games.

They won their last two matches against Pakistan and Ireland, but they were left with a hollow feeling knowing their campaign had effectively ended halfway through group play.   

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