Hunter powers Dragons to convincing win over the Typhoons in the Arachas Super 20 Trophy
Irish international Amy Hunter struck a domineering 69 from 50 balls as the Dragons comfortably chased down the Typhoons total in the Arachas Super T20 Trophy at Leinster Cricket Club.
The 16-year old wicketkeeper-batter from Belfast looked in imperious form as she struck six boundaries and two sixes in her 65-minute knock. Hunter had missed out on the recent internationals against South Africa due to exams, but was named earlier in the week in the Ireland Women’s squad to face Australia and Pakistan later in the month. Her form will be heartening for head coach Ed Joyce ahead of a tough series ahead.
The Typhoons’ openers began sprightly under leaden grey skies, with Rebecca Stokell (22) cutting the first ball to the boundary, one of three fours struck from Arlene Kelly’s first over. Both Stokell and partner Robyn Searle (13) looked solid against the seamers, but when Dragons captain Leah Paul (3-23) decided to introduce spin in the 5th over, via her own bowling, the momentum of the game swung back towards the side in red. Paul trapped Searle in front with her third ball, then tempted Mary Waldron out of her crease with a slower, flighted ball that the batter missed and keeper Amy Hunter was quick to whip the bails off.
Paul then claimed a third wicket in her subsequent over, getting through Stokell’s defences and knocking back her middle stump.
With spin in the ascendancy, leg-spinner Cara Murray was introduced and slid one in one Georgina Dempsey to strike the in-form batters back pad. After a strangely muted appeal, Dempsey was given out by umpire Paul Reynolds and the Typhoons had collapsed from 29-0 to 41-4 in 18 balls.
Needing a stabilising innings, Typhoons captain Laura Delany stepped forward and began to counter-attack. She brought up her half-century from just 37 balls, featuring seven boundaries. The Irish skipper showed no signs of her recent injury as she commanded the middle overs, joined by her fellow Leinster CC clubmate Ava Canning (26*) in an 84-run fifth wicket stand.
Despite losing late wickets, including Delany for 53 (from 42 balls), the Typhoons went into the innings break slightly the more satisfied, having recovered from the loss of those four quick wickets to post 137-6 at the end of 20 overs.
In response, the Dragons opening pair of Paul and Hunter were motoring from the outset. 28 runs came from the first three overs as the batters dominated a bowling attack that missed their mark early. Waldron was a surprise choice to bowl the opening over, but after 10 runs were struck, Typhoons skipper Delany reverted to her frontline seamers of Canning and Dempsey. The team in Red brought up a fifty-run opening stand inside the powerplay, but just as they were looking in total control Paul dragged a pull-shot straight to mid-on where a running Celeste Raack took a well-judged catch.
Sarah Forbes then entered the fray and immediately found the boundary. Hunter struck her second six a few balls later, then brought up her half-century from 31 balls. The second-wicket pairing were relentless, punishing anything full or wide.
Cruising along at 131-1, the Dragons then lost four wickets for two runs in eight balls, before course-correcting and passing the target of 138 with 10 balls to spare.
Hunter was named Player of the Match.
Typhoons v Dragons, Arachas Super 20 Trophy, Observatory Lane, 6 July 2022
Typhoons 137-6 (20 overs; L Delany 53; L Paul 3-23)
Dragons: 138-5 (18.2 overs; A Hunter 69, S Forbes 35; C Raack 3-22)