Laura Delany rues loss in Game One but determined to build on performance against Zimbabwe
Ireland Women’s cricket team captain Laura Delany may have hit her highest international score in yesterday’s first one-day international against Zimbabwe, but the loss has only encouraged her and her teammates to re-double their efforts moving into the second match starting tomorrow at Harare Sports Club.
Delany, 28, who has 147 international caps since making her international debut in 2010, recently passed Isobel Joyce as the longest-serving captain for Ireland Women (Delany currently 68 matches captained, Joyce 62). During yesterday’s first ODI against Zimbabwe, Delany struck her highest international score of 88 from 81 balls – which was also her maiden ODI half-century.
Despite mounting Ireland Women’s third-highest total in ODI cricket of 253-8, Delany’s side lost by four wickets after Zimbabwe’s batters weathered early pressure and completed a successful run-chase with 31 balls to spare.
Speaking ahead of training today, Delany said:
“We were really happy with how our batting unit performed yesterday – Leah Paul and Gaby Lewis were played patiently up at the top and gave us a great foundation to build on. Rebecca Stokell continued on the good start after Pauly fell, and then myself and Shauna Kavanagh had a good partnership which gave our batters in the latter overs the opportunity to really have a go - which Sophie MacMahon did brilliantly scoring 29 off just 13 balls. Personally, it was just a good feeling to spend some time out in the middle after the La Manga tournament at the end of August.”
“To be honest, we thought 253 was defendable despite it being a nice deck to bat on. But Zimbabwe are a very professional side, they were very athletic in the field, and they bowled and batted really well. We thought we had enough runs on the board, but perhaps didn't back that up with the ball and in the field. Unfortunately, we let a couple of chances go down, which impacted on our ability to drag them back and put more pressure on them.”
“But it’s the first game of the series, and it was good to be back playing competitive cricket - that is what we are out here for. We didn’t come out the right side of it yesterday, but we have three more games ahead of us and will be looking to put right the skills and tactics we know that we need to work on.”
Delany also confirmed that the Irish support staff are taking a cautious approach to Orla Prendergast as she recovers from a recent injury, so she wasn’t available to bowl during yesterday’s match.
The second ODI between Ireland Women and Zimbabwe Women starts at 9.30am (Harare time) tomorrow and will be available to watch via Zimbabwe Cricket’s YouTube channel.
Laura Delany (captain), Zara Craig, Georgina Dempsey, Sarah Forbes, Amy Hunter, Shauna Kavanagh, Gaby Lewis, Sophie MacMahon, Jane Maguire, Cara Murray, Leah Paul, Orla Prendergast, Celeste Raack, Rebecca Stokell, Mary Waldron.
5 October 2021: Zimbabwe Women v Ireland Women – 1st ODI (scorecard)
7 October 2021: Zimbabwe Women v Ireland Women – 2nd ODI (Harare Sports Club)
9 October 2021: Zimbabwe Women v Ireland Women – 3rd ODI (Harare Sports Club)
11 October 2021: Zimbabwe Women v Ireland Women – 4th ODI (Harare Sports Club)