Delaney tells Ireland to play with freedom and confidence

Ireland Women captain Laura Delaney has told her side to play with freedom and confidence when they open their World T20 campaign against top-ranked Australia on Sunday.

Ireland will go into the tournament on the back of an encouraging warm-up victory against Sri Lanka on Wednesday, and Delaney hopes that is a sign of things to come.

“We hope to take confidence from our last warm-up game into our first match against Australia,” Delaney said on the Cricket Ireland website. “We know come Sunday we have to reset and work just as hard as we did last Wednesday.

“Whilst the team are in great spirits, we can’t get too far ahead of ourselves as we have some very tough games ahead.

“We have our own targets set for each game and all I can ask is that every player plays with the freedom and confidence previously displayed.”

Ireland, ranked 10th in the world, have been drawn in Group B of the tournament in the West Indies, with India, New Zealand and Pakistan also in alongside Australia, who opened the tournament with a 52-run victory over Pakistan on Friday.

Alyssa Healy, who scored 48 off 29 balls in that win, said Australia would treat Ireland with plenty of respect.

“I honestly believe there’s no easy beat in this competition,” she said on the tournament website.

“I think all sides participating can win this World Cup. And we’re not taking our position as number one for granted.

“Ireland are a tricky side. We’ll do our homework, come out there and hopefully put another good performance on the board.”

Follow the live blog of Ireland v Australia on RTE.ie and RTÉ News Now app on Sunday at 8pm