Ireland’s faint hopes of making the Women’s World Twenty20 semi-finals were ended by a 67-run defeat at the hands of South Africa in Chennai.
Opener Trisha Chetty (35) led the way, while some late-order hitting helped the Proteas post 156-5 as they smashed 46 from their last three overs.
It left the Irish needing to make their second highest T20 total of all time.
Clare Shillington made 34 but spinner Sune Luus took five wickets for eight runs as Ireland finished short on 89-9.
The leg-spinner’s analysis was the second best in women’s T20 international history – only bettered by Amy Satterthwaite’s 6-17 for New Zealand against England at Taunton in 2007.
Ireland have never won a match at a Women’s World Twenty20 event – and had never successfully chased a target higher than 116 in this format,
However, South Africa have received a massive boost to their net run rate, creating some interesting permutations in Group A as three teams now have two points from two games, with the Proteas’ run rate significantly superior.
While Ireland will complete their campaign by playing Australia in Delhi on Saturday, there are three women’s matches on Thursday which will have a large bearing on the semi-finals.
In Group B, England host West Indies in Dharamsala (10:00 GMT), and with both teams having won their first two games, the victor will all but secure their spot in the last four, while later in Delhi (14:00 GMT), Pakistan look to press their semi-final claims against a Bangladesh side who have already been eliminated.
In Ireland’s group, Australia meet Sri Lanka in Delhi (10:00 GMT). Both teams have won one and lost one of their first two games – and with New Zealand virtually assured of one of the semi-final places from Group A, the second spot is realistically between Australia, Sri Lanka and South Africa.