Gaby Lewis shines for Scorchers in double wins on Super Sunday

Gaby Lewis was the star for Scorchers ©Matthew Smith

Ireland star Gaby Lewis was the top performer as Scorchers dominated both their matches on the doubleheader matchday in the Super 20 Trophy in Dublin on Sunday

Lewis (46) and Sophie MacMahon (33*) were the chief architects of a closely fought win in the first match of the day against the Typhoons. Lewis, who opened along with leg-spinning all-rounder Bhavi Dechand (14), batted in typically dominating fashion during her 46 off 32 balls, which included seven fours, as the Scorchers chased 155 against a tenacious Typhoons side.

After a rapid start in the run chase, seeking 155 for the win, the Scorchers were pegged back in the middle overs, thanks largely to Robyn Searle’s 2-9 from two overs. With the run rate required climbing, it was MacMahon – supported by cameos from Lara Maritz (16) and Jane Maguire (8*) – who helped score 50 runs from the final 40 balls to complete a successful run-chase with five balls to spare.

Earlier in the day, after the Scorchers had won the toss and opted to bowl, the Typhoons batted fearlessly to reach 58-3 from the powerplay, with Mary Waldron hitting five fours and a six in a bruising 14-ball stay at the crease before she was bowled by the impressive Devchand (1-24) for 27.

Devchand ran out Little (11) – who hit two lovely drives through the mid-off and cover region – by intentionally parrying a straight drive from Delany onto the stumps at the non-strikers end, where the all-rounder from Pembroke was short of her ground, which stymied the Typhoons efforts to maintain their early momentum.

That the Typhoons finished their innings on 154-6 was down to their captain Laura Delany, whose fine form since returning from injury continued. Delany’s unbeaten 68 from 48 balls included ten boundaries, striking the ball cleanly along the floor and over the top through the cover and mid-off regions and cutting through point when given a smidgeon of width. Celeste Raack (10) and Delany put on 49 runs together, but Delany was the only Typhoon to find real fluency in the second half of the innings, with the accuracy and variations of Jane Maguire (1-27), Jenny Sparrow (1-12) and Ellie McGee (1-30) making run-scoring tough for new-comers.

Leah Paul’s Dragons side came to Anglesea Road for the afternoon match with a spring in their step and a confidence to match. Paul had no hesitation in choosing to bat after the winning the toss, and along with Amy Hunter, sought to dominate the Scorchers bowling attack from the get-go.

Hunter was particularly brutal, dismissing a Jane Maguire away swinger high and handsome over long on for six in the second over and using her feet confidently against the spinners as the Dragons scored 39 from the powerplay. At the other end, Paul rotated the strike and punished anything slightly full and on her pads.

It was in the middle overs that the Dragons really began to command the game, scoring 82 runs in eight overs to reach 132-0 with five overs left. Hunter, who had earlier brought up her half-century off 39 balls and raced along to 71, never looked like getting out. Such was the Scorchers’ search for answers that nine bowlers were used, with only wicketkeeper Shauna Kavanagh and captain Lewis not getting a bowl.

And it would take a run out to end Hunter’s innings, as she attempted an audacious second run from which she would have gotten home safely if not for a bullet throw from MacMahon that Ellie McGee collected before whipping off the bails. It was at this moment that the game flipped on its head.

Despite Paul’s unbeaten 65, the Dragons scored just 25 runs from the last five overs, with the medium pace of Ellie McGee claiming four wickets. The 15-year-old Rush bowler belied her years in a disciplined and skilled performance, which the Dragons had no answer to as they closed out on 157-7.

Nobody could have foreseen the Lewis onslaught that was to follow – her 104* off just 49 balls was an exhibition in batting that included 20 fours and a huge six into the Merrion clubhouse. The Irish international took no time at all to get going – if the ball was remotely full it was hit straight and hard. One shot early on off the bowling of Kate McEvoy was dropped at mid-off on it’s way to the boundary, but other than that difficult chance, Lewis batted flawlessly.

At the other end, Devchand accumulated 23 off 26 balls in an opening partnership of 94, before Lewis was joined by Rachel Delany whose 26* off 20 helped steer the Scorchers home. Lewis quite rightly took home the plaudits for a powerful display that highlights both her own form and focus on run-scoring, on the same day that Ireland announced their 14-player squad for the series at Bready from 16-24 July.

Brief scores:

Typhoons 154/6 in 20 overs (Laura Delany 68*; Bhavi Devchand 1/24) lost to Scorchers 155/6 in 19.1 overs (Gaby Lewis 46; Robyn Searle 2/9) by four wickets

Dragons 157/7 in 20 overs (Amy Hunter 71, Leah Paul 65*; Ellie McGee 4/14) lost to Scorchers 161/1 in 15.5 overs (Gaby Lewis 104*, Rachel Delany 26*) by nine wickets