Delany, Maritz headline Ireland's victory against Netherlands in first T20I

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Delany, Maritz headline Ireland's victory against Netherlands in first T20I

Laura Delany © Cricket Ireland

A magnificent half-century from skipper Laura Delany and a clinical bowling performance helped Ireland complete a comprehensive 28-run win against Netherlands in the first T20I on Monday (July 26).

After being put in to bat by the Netherlands, Ireland lost Gaby Lewis early. The right-hander tried to pull a short delivery off Isabel van der Woning from outside off-stump and was caught by Eva Lynch at mid-on. Skipper Laura Delany joined Rebecca Stokell in the middle.

Delany got off the mark with her trademark square cut off Silver Siegers. She followed it up with an extra-cover drive off van der Woning. Stokell joined the party, smashing the seamer over mid-on for a boundary. Together, they saw through the power play without losing any further wickets. The duo added 25 runs for the second wicket before Stokell got out for 16 from 21 balls. 

Delany, at the other end, launched a counter-attack, hitting three consecutive fours off Annemijn van Beuge; a flick through midwicket, an off-drive and one through the extra-cover region. With Shauna Kavanagh, she kept the scoreboard moving with singles and doubles and some occasional boundaries. Kavanagh then unleashed a flurry of sweep shots - one in front of square and one behind fine-leg. 

Meanwhile, Delany brought up her first international half-century in 36 balls. When it seemed like Ireland were running away with the game, Lynch brought the Netherlands into the contest back with back-to-back wickets. She sent both Delany and Kavanagh back to the pavilion. From 107 for two, Ireland slumped to 117 for five.

Playing her first game for Ireland since the qualifiers in 2019, Eimear Richardson took the attack to Iris Zwilling. She hit consecutive boundaries off Zwilling. Orla Prendergast, at the other end, smashed the first six of the match off van der Woning, following it up with another boundary. She finished with 27 runs from 13 balls, taking Ireland to 160 for six in 20 overs. Lynch was the star performer for the Netherlands with two wickets for 14 runs. 

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Chasing eight runs per over, Frederique Overdijk and Heather Siegers added 17 runs for the first wicket before the latter got out to Prendergast for eight runs from ten balls. Babette de Leede joined Overdijk, smashing a quickfire 15 from 13 balls, including a four and a six. 

However, Raack came to Ireland's rescue, getting rid of both the batters in the same over. Overdijk scored 19 runs from 38 balls. Halfway through the innings, Netherlands were stuttering at 55 for three. Miranda Veringmeier and Robine Rijke tried to build a partnership and revive the innings. 

Veringmeier hit Richardson for a six and a boundary and back-to-back boundaries off Sophie MacMahon. Brought in to break the partnership, Leah Paul delivered with the wicket of Veringmeier, who scored 33 from 15 balls. Rijke remained not out till the end, making a fighting 28-ball 30. Netherlands eventually fell short by 28 runs. Lara Maritz was the pick of the bowler for Ireland, taking three wickets for 13 runs.

Brief scores: Ireland 160/6 in 20 overs (Laura Delany 61; Eva Lynch 2/14) beat Netherlands 132/7 in 20 overs (Miranda Veringmeier 33; Lara Maritz 3/13) by 28 runs