Gaby Lewis, Leah Paul headline Scorchers’ third consecutive win

Leah Paul (16) & Gaby Lewis laid a solid foundation for Scorchers. © Getty Images

Left-arm spinner Leah Paul’s superb spell of 4 for 21 and skipper Gaby Lewis’ 95 headlined Scorchers’ 71-run win over Typhoons at the Oak Hill Cricket Club in Wicklow on Sunday (August 23). The victory allowed Lewis’ team to take a 3-1 lead in the eight-match Super 50 series.

Chasing a below par 178, Typhoons’ innings was rocked early when opener Rachel Delaney (3) and skipper Laura Delany (0) were dismissed within the first five overs. The happenings, however, were not without controversy. Having gloved a delivery from Louise McCarthy down the leg side, Delany began to walk, only to realise the umpire had signaled a wide. While she made her ground again, the fielding team continued to appeal vociferously, only for the standing umpire to look towards square leg and suddenly overturn his decision. A flummoxed Delany was forced to make her way back to the pavilion, leaving the Typhoons in disarray.

Following their skipper’s dismissal, Typhoons continued to lose wickets at regular intervals. Only opener Rebecca Stokell managed to keep the bowlers at bay for a while, with a 52-ball 31 that included four boundaries. She shared a 30-run stand with Amy Hunter for the fourth wicket before Paul spun her web. The left-arm spinner picked up the next four wickets to fall, leaving Typhoons reeling at 93 for 7.

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The seam bowling pair of Sophie MacMahon and McCarthy then came together to clean up the tail as Typhoons crashed to 106 all out.

Earlier, Lewis’ 109-ball knock held Scorchers’ innings together. The skipper, who opened the batting, scored a stroke-filled 95 to headline her team’s effort with the bat. The right-hander, played some delightful shots through both the off and leg-side, taking a particular liking to Celeste Raack’s leg-spin.

After losing her opening partner Leah Paul (3) and No.3 MacMahon (7) early, Lewis forged an important partnership with wicketkeeper-batter Shauna Kavanagh. The pair stitched together a 64-run stand for the third wicket in just 13 overs, with Kavanagh contributing a useful 25.

Meanwhile, Lewis, who brought up her half-century in 72 deliveries, took charge of the innings, striking a series of boundaries off the bowling of Raack. The flurry of shots included a fantastic blow over cover – a little step inside the line, nice stride to the ball and beautiful extension of the arms – that could be called the shot of the day. However, with Scorchers sitting pretty at 120 for 2, Delany dismissed Kavanagh with a beautiful delivery that nipped away and disturbed the off stump. It was a wicket that would completely shift the momentum of the match.

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From 163 for 3 in the 34th over – with Lewis closing in on a century – the Scorchers hit the self-destruct button, losing their remaining seven wickets for just 14 runs in the next 31 deliveries to be dismissed for 177 in 39 overs. It was the duo of Raack and Georgina Dempsey who combined to take six wickets, including that of Lewis who missed out on her maiden List A hundred, after edging another attempted slap over cover off Raack.

Dempsey and Raack were Typhoons’ most successful bowlers with three wickets apiece.

Brief scores: Scorchers 177 in 39 overs (Gaby Lewis 95, Shauna Kavanagh 25; Georgina Dempsey 3-21, Celeste Raack 3-29) beat Typhoons 106 in 35.5 overs (Rebecca Stokell 31; Leah Paul 4-21, Sophie MacMahon 2-14) by 71 runs.