Laura Delany could offer no excuses in Cape Town last night after seeing her Ireland side outplayed in all three disciplines by Pakistan as they lost their second T20 World Cup group match by 70 runs.

The Girls in Green had high hopes of getting off the mark against a side they beat 2-1 in Lahore in November but a loose bowling display and some indifferent fielding allowed Pakistan to post 165-5 - a total they defended with some ease.

“We’re disappointed with our performance,” skipper Delany said. “At the start, we gave them too much width, and found it hard then to drag it back and take wickets.”

The pre-match talk was of containing Pakistan’s big-hitting Ayesha Naseem but the No5 didn’t get in until the final over, as the damage was done by wicketkeeper Muneeba Ali who struck 102 from 68 balls.

None of the Ireland bowlers managed to find a consistent line to build pressure on their opponents who took singles at will, and only Jane Maguire conceded fewer than six an over. 

A sharp piece of work by keeper Mary Waldron produced an early breakthrough, and Arlene Kelly just got her fingers under a catch at mid-off in the eighth over but the next wicket didn’t fall until the 19th.

To mount a challenge, Ireland needed big contributions from their openers but Amy Hunter failed to clear mid-on at the end of the second over, and Gaby Lewis was cleverly tied down and winkled out for 10 by off-spinner Nida Dar.

In form Orla Prendergast gave the Irish fans in the crowd hope with a gloriously struck six and four meaty fours in her top score of 31, and Eimear Richardson sparkled with 28 from 17 balls, but Pakistan never lost control and the innings petered out on 95.