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Laura Delany leads Ireland to victory in first T20I against Netherlands

Laura Delany, captain of the Ireland Women’s cricket team hit a sublime 61 – her maiden international half-century – as her side completed a dominant 28-run win in the first T20 International of the four-match series against Netherlands at Malahide today.

MATCH SUMMARY

Ireland Women v Netherlands Women, 1st Match T20I International Challenge, Malahide Cricket Club, 26 July 2021

Ireland 160-6 (20 overs; L Delany 61, O Prendergast 27*; E Lynch 2-14)

Netherlands 132-7 (20 overs; M Veringmeier 33; L Maritz 3-13, C Raack 2-20)

Ireland Women won by 28 runs

 SCORECARD

After winning the toss and sending the home side into bat first, the Dutch side started well snaring the key wicket of Gaby Lewis for just 6. However, that brought the Irish captain Delany to the crease. The skipper hit her highest T20 International score of 61 from 43 balls – with her maiden international half-century coming up from just 36 balls.

Her innings was punctuated by eight boundaries, many of which scored through the off-side as she pounced on anything wide or over-pitched. While Delany had entered the field of play at a tentative-looking 13-1, by the time she was out Ireland was a healthy 107-3 in the 15th over and looking well-and-truly on top. She eventually fell, smashing a pull shot high into the outfield, but was caught at cow corner.

Shauna Kavanagh, who shared a 69-run stand with her captain, fell the next ball for a well compiled 21, but late runs from Eimear Richardson (19) and Orla Prendergast (27* from 13 balls) ensured the Irish side set a target above 150.

The Ireland total of 160-6 was their fourth-highest T20I team score featured 20 fours and a six from a side that looked as though they wanted to set the agenda for the series early.

Needing a solid start in the run chase, the Netherlands openers Frederique Overdijk and Heather Siegers began slowly, albeit keeping their wickets intact. It wasn’t until the end of the fifth over that Orla Prendergast made the initial breakthrough, inducing an airy shot from Siegers, who was well caught by Richardson at mid on for 10.

Celeste Raack then claimed two wickets in the 10th over to leave Netherlands at 51-3, needing 11 an over in the last ten overs for victory.

Miranda Veringmeier struck a breezy 33 from 15 balls to inject momentum into the visitors run chase, but the introduction of Leah Paul – Player of the Series against Scotland in May – foretold the end of the Dutch chances. Three wickets fell in eight balls, and Lara Maritz (3-13) chimed in with three identical dismissals – all bowled – to see Ireland home by 28 runs by the end of Netherlands innings.

Delany was named Player of the Match, and the two sides return to the same venue tomorrow for the second T20I.