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Laura Delany’s special fifty hands Ireland victory in first T20I against Netherlands

The Ireland team. Photo: ICC

Malahide (Ireland), July 27 (MNN) Skipper Laura Delany’s half-century helped Ireland seal an early 1-0 lead in the four-match T20I series against Netherlands at home.

Ireland out-performed Netherlands in all three departments to secure a comprehensive 28-run win on Monday (local time).

The hosts had posted a target of 161 thanks to crucial contributions from captain Laura Delany (61) and Orla Prendergast (13-ball 27*) flare at the finish. The total proved more than sufficient as the bowlers didn’t allow the runs to flow and restricted the visitors to 132/7 in their 20 overs.

Earlier, Netherlands opted to bowl at the toss and allowed Ireland to set the target. The visitors did get an early breakthrough with the wicket of Gaby Lewis who went for 6 off Isabel van der Woning’s bowling.

In the powerplay, Ireland maintained a steady run-rate of almost a run a ball. From there, Delany smashed her maiden T20I fifty and partnered with Shauna Kavanagh (21) for a 69-run stand for the third wicket.

But it was Eva Lynch who brought a shift in the momentum towards the Netherlands with two back-to-back wickets of Delany – caught by Annemijn van Beuge – and Kavanagh, trapped leg-before.

Prendergast and Eimear Richardson fought back with fire to end Ireland’s innings on a high. Prendergast remained unbeaten on 27 off 13 balls to propel the hosts to a total of 160/6.

In response, Netherlands had a rather conservative start to the chase as they amassed 20 runs in the first six overs but rushed to fifty in 9.3 overs.

The match-defining partnership between Robine Rijke and Miranda Veringmeier was about to reach the 50-run mark but fell short with three runs as Leah Paul snared the prized scalp of Veringmeier (33) who was striking the ball at 220.
Delany introduced Lara Maritz last but she paid the most dividends. Maritz removed the Netherlands’ middle-order that meant the Dutch had slid to 112/7 in the 18th over.

With 49 needed off the last 16 deliveries, Netherlands fell short by 28 runs and Ireland successfully took the lead 1-0 in the series with three matches to go.

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