Gaby Lewis took Ireland within a shot of beating powerhouses India at St George’s Park as the Girls in Green ended their T20 World Cup campaign with a five-run (DLS method) defeat in Gqeberha, formerly Port Elizabeth.

Lewis struck 32 not out from 25 balls and skipper Laura Delany was unbeaten on 17 when rain brought a premature end with Ireland on 54-2 after 8.2 overs in reply to India’s 155-6. The DLS par score was 59.

“It kind of came out of nowhere,” Delany said. “We were prepared for the wind and were trying to build a partnership but the rain got in our way. 

“Overall this World Cup has been a very positive experience. Orla Prendergast has gone from strength to strength and if we could all emulate her it will be great for the future.”

After losing the toss, Ireland were again poor in the field, giving the dangerous Smriti Mandhana a couple of outrageous lives before the opener accelerated away to a top score of 87.

If there was an excuse for the dropped chances it was the vicious wind sweeping across the ground, although Orla Prendergast held a screamer at deep mid-wicket, diving forward, and Lewis stayed impressively solid under two swirling skiers. 

Delany took two wickets in two balls to restrict India’s late charge and finished with 3-33 from her four overs while Prendergast, who was also on a hat-trick in her final over, returned 2-22. What a fine all-rounder cricketer she is.

The Ireland reply started badly with a reckless call for two that saw Amy Hunter run out by a distance and four balls later Prendergast took her signature skip down the pitch but missed for once and was bowled to end her stellar tournament on a low.

Hunter will be disappointed to have totalled only 23 from her four innings but the teenager could take heart from Eoin Morgan’s failures in his first World Cup - better times surely lie ahead for Ireland’s most precocious talent.

Lewis and Delany added 53 for the third wicket, with the former sweeping boundaries on both sides of the wicket but as rain clouds approached the required run rate was always just out of Ireland’s reach.