Amy Hunter, Orla Prendergast star in Typhoons’ comfortable win

Orla Prendergast. © Getty Images

Amy Hunter’s gritty half-century at the top of the order and Orla Prendergast’s inspired opening spell handed Typhoons a comfortable 53-run win over Scorchers in the fifth match of the Super 50 series at Oak Hill Cricket Club in Wicklow on Sunday (September 6).

Having won the toss and chosen to bat Hunter’s knock at the top of the order propped up Typhoons’ innings after they lost Rachel Delaney quite early in the day. Following the right-hander’s dismissal to Louise McCarthy, who bowled a nagging opening spell, Hunter and skipper Laura Delany stitched together an important 47-run stand.

The pair milked the ones and twos, only finding the boundary on the odd occasion. But they took one too many risks with their running, resulting in Delany being run out for 23.

As Hunter stoically held one end up – she faced a total of 110 balls – Typhoons attempted to collect a few runs from the other end. Playing her first match of the series, Robyn Lewis contributed an enterprising 20 off just 25 balls before mistiming a lofted stroke off the bowling of Sophie MacMahon.

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Lewis’ wicket was soon followed by that of Hunter – dismissed by Cara Murray for a patient 54 – leaving Typhoons precariously placed at 127 for 5. Unsurprisingly, the opener’s wicket caused a collapse, with Typhoons’ lower order imploding. Only Louise Little offered some resistance, with a useful 19, but after she was run out, Typhoons were bundled out for 177 in 47 overs.

For Scorchers, the trio of McCarthy, Murray and Anna Kerrison picked up two wickets each.

Buoyed by the confidence of receiving her maiden Cricket Ireland contract, seamer Prendergast rocked Scorchers’ chase early dismissing the in-form Gaby Lewis with a full, swinging delivery. Lewis was trapped on the crease and caught plumb in front, to be dismissed for her first low score of the tournament. Prendergast made it two in two when she disturbed the woodwork of MacMahon with another searing inswinger. Her hat-trick delivery, however, was a no-ball, carefully navigated by Shauna Kavanagh.

The wicketkeeper-batter attempted to guide her team through unknown territory alongside opener Leah Paul. Both Ireland internationals saw out an eventful spell from Prendergast and tried to keep the scoreboard ticking by picking the gaps and gliding the ball fine.

As the partnership continued to build and the two batters looked settled, Delany turned to leg-spinner Celeste Raack. After having a disappointing few games in which she was unable to pick up too many wickets, Raack produced what was quite easily, her best spell of the tournament.

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The 26-year-old first bowled the perfect leg-spinner to remove Kavanagh before getting Caoimhe McCann to lob a catch to Delany at extra cover. A little over an over later, when Georgina Dempsey castled Murray for a duck, Scorchers appeared to be up staring down the barrel at 61 for 5, with over 100 runs to get and only one recognised batter at the crease.

With Tess Maritz for company, Paul tried to be regaining control of the chase. The pair shared a 31-run stand, finding the boundary on three occasions to rattle Typhoons ever so slightly.

However, once again, with the pressure on, Delany turned to experience, taking the ball herself and providing her team with the much needed breakthrough. She bowled Maritz for eight, after which Kerrison was run out without scoring.

Once again, the onus fell on Paul.

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The opener looked calm, collecting the singles, and keeping the opposition bowlers at bay for a considerable while. She was strong on the sweep and pull, and useful when using her feet to the spinners. It took a brilliant piece of fielding from Jane Maguire at mid-off to send her back. Paul hit a firm drive to Maguire’s left and took off for a tight single, but a swift move, clean pick up and strong round arm throw caught Paul well short of her crease. She had to walk back for an 85-ball 48. With her, Scorchers’ resistance too ended.

Prendergast and Maguire returned to clean up the tail, bundling out Scorchers for 124 in 35.4 overs.

Prendergast was the team’s most successful bowler with figures of 3 for 36, while Raack took 2 for 20 in her 10 overs.

Brief Scores: Typhoons 177 in 47 overs (Amy Hunter 54, Laura Delany 23; Louise McCarthy 2-21, Amy Kerrison 2-35) beat Scorchers 124 in 35.4 overs (Leah Paul 48; Orla Prendergast 3-36, Celeste Raack 2-20) by 53 runs.