Dominant Ireland level T20 series with Scotland at Stormont
A rapid-fire 47 from Gaby Lewis and a four-wicket haul from Leah Paul led Ireland Women to square the series against Scotland at a game apiece at Stormont on Tuesday.
Winning the toss, Ireland captain Laura Delany – on the day she became Ireland Women’s most capped T20I player - chose to bat first in sunny but cool conditions. Signalling her side’s intent early, opener Rebecca Stokell powered the first ball over mid-wicket for four, before both she and skipper Delany fell in quick succession.
Gaby Lewis and Shauna Kavanagh recovered the innings and began a 68-run that changed the momentum of the innings – and in the end, the match. Lewis timed the ball beautifully, hitting six boundaries on her way to 47 from 39 balls in a Player of the Match performance, while Kavanagh (31) found the gaps regularly and ran hard to constantly put pressure on the fielders throughout.
Having lost both Lewis and Kavanagh within the space of an over, the Scots sensed a way back into the match, but Orla Prendergast (24*) and Lara Maritz (16*) put on 43 runs from the last 42 balls to finish the home side’s innings at 137-4 from their 20 overs.
A wicket from the second ball in the Scottish response seemed to foretell the story of how the rest of the game would play out. Only two Scottish batters made double figures as the Irish side rammed home their advantage – bowling tight lines, holding every catch and looking exceptionally sharp in the field.
Left-arm spinner Leah Paul bowled with control and flight to capture 4-16 – the second best bowling figures in T20Is for Ireland Women (4-15 from Ciara Metcalfe in 2016 is the best return to date).
But while Paul deserves great credit, the reality is that every bowler played their part in an all round convincing display. Prendergast completed the rout by yorking Samantha Haggo and sending the bails flying, with Scotland all out for 76 in 16.4 overs.
With the series now locked at 1-1 with two matches remaining, the two sides will return to the same venue at 1pm tomorrow
Ireland Women v Scotland Women, 2nd Match, Belfast, 25 May 2021
Ireland 137-4 (20 overs; G Lewis 47, S Kavanagh 31; K McGill 2-26)
Scotland 76 (16.4 overs; K McGill 19; Paul 4-16, L Delany 2-11)
Ireland Women won by 61 runs
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