Ireland. © ICC

Leah Paul’s unbeaten century headlined Ireland Academy’s 148-run win over Scotland Academy in the second one-day match of the series at North County Cricket Club in Dublin on Thursday (July 25). Paul’s 135-ball 110 guided the hosts to a commanding total of 281 for 8, before Orla Prendergast’s spell of 3 for 15 culled any hopes of a Scotland Academy win quite early in the chase.

Having won the toss and elected to bat, Paul set the tone for Ireland with a well paced innings. Although she failed to get much support from the rest of the top order, the opener held one end up and Scotland Academy chipped away at the wickets at the other end.

At 85 for 4, the hosts were in a spot of bother and desperate for a partnership to revive the innings. Amy Hunter, Ireland Academy wicket-keeper, joined forced with Paul, and the pair stitched together a 99-run partnership. Hunter was the more enterprising of the two, finding the boundary five times on her way to a 54-ball 49. She was run out by Aisla Lister with Scotland on 184.

Sophie MacMahon picked up where Hunter left off, taking the Scotland Academy bowlers to task. Although she struck only two boundaries in her knock of 32, she kept the scoreboard ticking, picking up singles and twos. Her 34-ball knock gave Ireland Academy a much needed boost at the back end of the innings.

When MacMahon was dismissed by Abbi Aitken, the hosts had batted themselves into a comfortable position at 266 for 6, but continued to try and push the score ahead. They finished with a total of 281 for 8 with Paul unbeaten on 110— a knock that included eight boundaries.

For the visitors, Aitken finished with figures of 3 for 48, While Hannah Rainey and Abtaha Maqsood picked up two wickets each.

Scotland Academy’s chase of 282 never really got going as they kept losing wickets at regular intervals. Only four batters managed double digit scores through the innings. Sarah Bryce, Scotland Academy’s hero in the previous match, failed to kick on after a promising start. She was dismissed by Prendergast for a rapid 35-ball 30 that included four fours and one six.

The visitors’ opening partnership, worth 39 runs, was their best of the innings— enough to sum up the sorry tale. Once Lister was dismissed for eight, wickets tumbled. Aitken (22 not out) was the only other batter to show any resistance as Scotland Academy were dismissed for 133 in 28 overs.

Prendergast was the wrecker-in-chief with figures of 3 for 15, Cara Murray, Alana Dalzell and Rachel Delaney picked up two wickets each.