Having already booked their ticket to South Africa, Ireland's women were edged out by seven runs by Bangladesh in the final of the ICC Women's T20 World Cup qualifier at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on Sunday.

After grinding out a win in nail-biting fashion against Zimbabwe on Friday, Ireland entered today's qualification tournament final, knowing that their principal task had already been achieved.

After losing the toss, Ireland were put in to bowl, captain Laura Delany (3-27), Cara Murray (2-21) and Arlene Kelly (2-17) emerging as the pick of the bunch in a respectable bowling effort.

Delaney's tally brought a half-century of wickets for the captain, only the second Irish player to achieve the feat after Eimear Richardson.

The Bangladeshi openers started cautiously with two runs from the first 10 balls, but the experienced Fargana Hoque Pinky soon after found her groove, hitting seven boundaries in an innings of 61 from 55 balls, anchoring the innings until she was finally dismissed in the 17th over.

However, by the midway point, the run-rate was relatively sluggish, when Joty fell for just 6 in the 10th over, the Bangladesh score was a pedestrian-looking 47-2.

Rumana Ahmed then joined Hoque and the pair put on a 49-run third wicket partnership off just 37 balls, finally broken when Ahmed skied a ball from Murray, caught by Waldron behind.

Hoque followed shortly after, and Ireland sensed an opening, finishing much the stronger side with the last 25 balls producing six wickets for just 24 runs – Delany's last over finished with a remarkable 3-3. Bangladesh posted an underwhelming tally of 120-8.

However, the Irish batters struggled in the face of the Bangladeshi bowling attack, their opponents bowling spin for all 20 overs.

From the moment opener Gaby Lewis (4) was deceived by left-arm off-spinner Shanjida Maghla in the second over – bowled through the gate – the Irish batters rarely looked settled.

Delany (12 from 22 balls) and Eimear Richardson (18 from 15 balls) gave Irish fans a brief sense of hope with a counter-attacking 23-run stand for the fourth wicket, but the regular fall of wickets proved fatal in the end.

At 58-7 in the 13th over, Waldron (19 off 17 balls), a composed Kelly (28* off 24 balls) and Murray (13 from 10 balls) played impressive cameos, but the lack of wickets on hand was a challenging prospect to a lower-order battling hard against a mounting run rate. Eventually Ireland finished a heart-breaking seven runs short.

Speaking afterwards, captain Delany praised the bowling effort at the top by her bowlers but indicated that lack of partnerships with the bat hampered the run chase.

Asked about the team's overall tournament performance, Delany said the squad was pleased, had gain great experience and that their fielding was an area they had targeted and felt had developed well over the tournament.

Bangladesh 120-8 (20 overs; Hoque Pinky 61, R Ahmed 21; L Delany 3-27)

Ireland 113-9 (20 overs; A Kelly 28*, M Waldron 19; R Ahmed 3-24)