England Academy beat Ireland by five wickets in the first of three T20s at Millfield School in Somerset on Tuesday (July 16). Emma Lamb and Maia Bouchier guided the hosts to their target of 137 in just 16.4 overs.
Having won the toss and elected to bat first, Ireland lost Gaby Lewis early for 10. Orla Prendergast and Una Raymond-Hoey stitched together a useful partnership to take Ireland past the fifty-run mark, after which they hit a bit of a speed bump losing four wickets for 27 runs. Charlie Dean and Alice Davidson-Richards were the wreckers-in-chief taking two wickets each.
At 78 for 5 Laura Delaney, Ireland captain, joined hands with Mary Waldron, their wicket-keeper, and the pair compiled an important 51-run stand for the sixth wicket. Delaney, who top scored with 33, hit four boundaries, while Waldron managed one. The pair were dismissed with the score on 129 before Sophie MacMahon and Lara Maritz carried the visitors to a total of 136 for 7 in 20 overs.
England Academy got off to a rollicking start in their chase with Lamb and Hollie Armitage smashing five boundaries in their opening partnership. Prendergast struck off back to back deliveries removing Armitage (12) and Georgie Boyce with the score on 29. Davidson-Richards didn’t last long either as she was dismissed for five by MacMohan.
Meanwhile, with wickets tumbling around her, Lamb continued on her merry way. She scored a brisk 42, including five boundaries, and shared a rapid 41-run partnership with Bouchier for the fourth wicket. Once again, it was Prendergast who ended the threatening partnership, to give Ireland some hope of staying in the game.
That hope however was short-lived as Alice Capsey (23) joined Bouchier for an important 45-run stand. Capsey was dismissed by Celeste Raack, the leg-spinner, with the scores having been leveled. Dean, didn’t waste any time, striking her first ball for a boundary to take England Academy over the line with 20 balls to spare. Bouchier was unbeaten on 37.
Prendergast was Ireland’s most successful bowler, finishing with figures of 3 for 25. Raack and MacMahon picked up one wicket each.
Brief Scores: Ireland 136/7 in 20 overs (Laura Delaney 33, Mary Waldron 22; Charlie Dean 2-25, Alice Davidson-Richards 2-31) lost to England Academy 140/5 in 16.4 overs (Emma Lamb 42, Maia Bouchier 37*; Orla Prendergast 3-25) by five wickets.