Ireland Arachas Super 50 Cup: Gaby Lewis century scorches the Dragons at Oak Hill
A 90-ball century to newly-named interim Irish captain Gaby Lewis led the Scorchers to a comprehensive victory over the second-placed Dragons in the Arachas Super 50 Cup today at Oak Hill Cricket Ground.
Dragons v Scorchers, Super 50 Cup, Oak Hill Cricket Ground, 29 May 2022??
Scorchers 297-7 (50 overs; G Lewis 122, S Kavanagh 67; A Caulfield 3-46)
Dragons 124 (33.1 overs; L Paul 33; R Delaney 4-23)
Result - Scorchers won by 173 runs
Lewis, who was named interim Irish international captain during the week with Laura Delany still recovering from injury, dominated the match with a Player of the Match-winning 122 from 108 balls, an innings that featured 19 boundaries. She received a life on 22 when she was dropped, and an outside edge flew wide of the keeper on 38, but other than those near-misses Lewis commanded the crease throughout.
This was the sixth century scored by an individual in the history of the Arachas Super Series, and the second by Lewis, surpassing her previous best of 115 last year against the Typhoons
Lewis and Rachel Delaney set the tone of the innings with a 121-run opening stand, Delaney playing the support role until she fell for 20 feathering an edge through to the keeper Amy Hunter off Amy Caulfield. That was the first of Caulfield’s three wickets (3-46), with the right-arm medium-pacer removing Bhavi Devchand (12) and – eventually – Lewis, caught by Mollie Devine at deep square leg.
Shauna Kavanagh took up the mantle for the innings and compiled a neat 67 from 72 balls, working the ball around and punishing the loose balls, while Lara Maritz’s cameo of 21 from 15 balls helped push the score towards 300.
The Scorchers finished on 297-7 from their 50 overs, setting what would be a competition record-winning run-chase if the Dragons were to chase successfully.
In response, Dragons captain Leah Paul and Sarah Forbes (4) started with vigour – Paul playing the more aggressive role, finding the boundary twice in the fourth over by Maritz. However, Jane Maguire speared in a ball on the leg stump at the start of the fifth over and trapped Forbes adjacent the stumps for the first wicket.
Paul was joined by Amy Hunter and the pair put on 44 for the second wicket at a run-a-ball pace to keep the Dragons up with the run rate required. Hunter’s knock included a beautifully-timed lofted on-drive off the bowling of Maritz for the first maximum of the day, followed by a blistering cover drive for four. But just as the pair were starting to look comfortable, Hunter attempted an ambitious sweep off medium-pacer Sophie MacMahon only to top-edge the ball, which was caught by wicketkeeper Kavanagh running towards square leg.
When Paul (33) fell shortly after, adjudged LBW while attempting to sweep Delaney, the Dragons innings was somewhat adrift and in need of a steady hand to guide it through the middle overs. Arlene Kelly came and went for 3 – driving a full-blooded drive straight to Jenny Sparrow at wide mid-off. A middle-order collapse ensued, the Dragons losing 4-9 in four overs, and the game seemed to be heading for an early close. The off-spin of Delaney (4-23) was the main threat, but despite late resistance from Mollie Devine (15) the Dragons tail wasn’t able to hold out, and they were all out for 124 in the 34th over.