By John Kenny
Ireland's women's cricketers have cruised to a 117-run victory in their opening World Twenty20 cricket qualifier against Japan at the Hills Cricket Club in north Dublin.
Put in to bat having lost the toss, Ireland made the most of some very ordinary fielding by the Japanese who dropped five relatively easy catches as Jeremy Bray’s side made 170 for one of their allotted 20 overs.
Japan lost wickets cheaply in reply to Ireland's big total and were eventually bowled out for just 53 runs.
Earlier, 32-year-old opener Clare Shillington, who plays her club cricket with Malahide, made history by becoming the first Irish women's cricketer to make a 100 in an official T20 game, when she carried her bat throughout the Irish innings, making 114 not out.
Shillington made her century having been dropped an astonishing five times during her innings. She was aided by a 40 not out by Cecelia Joyce. Ireland reached 170 for one, with the only wicket to fall being their opener Isobel joyce who perished for five with the score on 36.
Japan never looked like making Ireland big total after openers Mariko Yamamoto (10) and Ayako Nakayama (three) fell early to some precise Ireland bowling, the pick of whom was Elana Tice who took three wickets for just ten runs off her four overs.
Ireland, who are also grouped with Canada and Sri lanka, are chasing one of three places available in the qualifying tournament for the finals which will take place alongside the mens finals in Bangladesh in 2014.
Their next group game is against Canada at Merrion Cricket Club on Thursday.