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Ireland Women's International Matches
Ireland v New Zealand - no result
ODI, Clontarf, 1 July 2002
Adèle Spence
Davina Pratt bowling for Ireland against New Zealand

To play against the champions of the world in any sport is a fantastic opportunity for any team in any sport, a chance to see why they are champions and learn from them and to benchmark your standard against theirs.

New Zealand Women's cricket team visited Ireland at the end of June this year as part of their tour of Europe which included Holland and England as well. Reports told that the New Zealanders viewed the Irish leg of the tour as a warm up for their Tri Series with England and India, held in England after their Irish Visit.

Who can blame New Zealand for their attitude. As reigning World Champions who saw their World ranking move from 2 to 1 at the last World Cup, they would be aware that Ireland slipped in rankings from 5 to 7 and have now to play in a qualifying tournament to participate in the next World Cup.

However, it was these reports that fired up the Irish team, who as underdogs, were well aware that they had nothing to lose, but dignity, and were determined to do better than Holland had done, a team that Ireland would always consider a weaker side than themselves. Having an Australian Coach and two New Zealand born players, all with personal scores to settle, only added to the motivation of the team.

The first game in Clontarf, saw New Zealand in fine fettle with the bat, scoring a stylish 247 for 2 off their 50 overs. With respect to the Irish, Rebecca Rolls, the New Zealand opening bat and wicketkeeper, simply outclassed the bowling attack. However, through pure Irish grit and determination, the bowlers stuck at their task and dismissed Rolls before she made her century. The rain may have saved the day for the Irish on this occasion - their response started shakily and finished at 16-1 with rain stopping play. Davina Pratt on her comeback to the team after injury, was top wicket taker that day with figures of 2 for 41.