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Delany and Stokell

Global Game: Ireland edge Netherlands to clinch T20I series ahead of Europe Qualifier

By Emerging Cricket

Ireland beat the Netherlands 2-1 in their home women's T20I series at Malahide last week, as the two sides got some crucial match practice ahead of the ICC T20 World Cup Europe Qualifier, scheduled for the end of the month.

With Dutch women’s coach Shane Dietz sidelined by a positive COVID-19 test, Ryan Campbell and James Hilditch stepped in from the men’s side. Hilditch took on the head coach role with Campbell mentoring in what was the first international cricket match for the Netherlands in over 600 days.

The first match was a comfortable win to Ireland, set up by captain Laura Delaney’s 61 (43). Sent in to bat at the toss, Ireland made steady progress after opener Gaby Lewis became Isabel van der Woning’s first scalp in international cricket, top-edging a pull shot to mid-wicket. Delaney formed the backbone of the innings as she timed boundaries all around the ground, flicking through mid-wicket, driving through off, and nudging past fine-leg. After she fell to Eva Lynch, caught on the boundary attempting a pull shot, it was Orla Prendergast who took up the attack. Prendergast blasted 27* (13), going down the ground repeatedly – including the first six of the day – as she carried Ireland to a challenging 160/6 in 20 overs.

Game two, in what was originally planned as a four-match series, fell victim to the Dublin rain as both Tuesday and Wednesday were washed out with no play possible. 

The third matchday on Thursday was another comfortable win to the Irish, with Netherlands restricted to just 109/9 in their 20 overs after choosing to bat first. Seamer Orla Prendergast led the way for the Irish through a sharp opening spell, bowling Overdijk with a fast one that jagged in off the pitch and then getting de Leede to feather an edge through to keeper Mary Waldron as she fished outside off. Brought to the crease at 22/3 after 6 overs, Miranda Veringmeier carried the rest of the Dutch innings with a composed half-century (60 off 50). Lacking much support from her colleagues, it fell to Veringmeier to both hold things together and move the score along, which she did with power against the spinners, including consecutive sixes walloped over midwicket off Eimear Richardson.

The target was not enough to defend though, and Irish opener Gaby Lewis made short work of it as she thrashed 52* (29). Laced with 11 boundaries, Lewis mixed timing and placement through gaps with high bat speed down the ground and over the covers. Silver Siegers was the best of the Dutch bowlers with 2/24 in three overs of leg-spin, but the Lewis masterclass saw Ireland home to clinch the series with six wickets and 51 balls to spare.

The last day of the series, the Friday, saw an upset victory for the Netherlands, as they claimed their first T20I win over a Full Member side in women’s cricket. After opting to field, a more disciplined effort from the Dutch bowlers and the disruption of multiple rain breaks kept a check on Irish momentum with the bat. Opener Rebecca Stokell’s 48 (43) provided most of the impetus, but despite skipping down the pitch to launch a powerful six over long-on in the 11th over, she couldn’t cut loose in the back end of the Irish innings, only just getting Ireland past 100 in their rain-affected 15 overs.

The Dutch response, adjusted to a target of 118 from 15 overs, got off to a wobbly start with openers Iris Zwillig and Heather Siegers both sent packing early. Zwillig chipped seamer Sophie MacMahon for a regulation chance to Leah Paul at mid-wicket, and Siegers sliced leg-spinner Celeste Raack to point to leave the Dutch at 2/11. After that though, it was the Babette de Leede show, as the Dutch keeper smashed 62* (35) to get the tourists home. 

Veringmeier was solid again, this time playing a support role (29 off 33) in feeding the strike to de Leede who was running hot with eight boundaries and a brace of sixes over midwicket. It was fitting that she hit the winning runs after carrying the chase, chopping through the offside with nine deliveries and seven wickets in hand.

Global Game is a collaboration between the ICC and Emerging Cricket.

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