Ireland Team. ©ICC

Leah Paul continued her stellar run of form, smashing an unbeaten 46 to guide Ireland Academy to an easy seven-wicket win in the one-off T20 match against Scotland Academy at Phoenix Cricket Club in Dublin on Friday (July 26). The right-hander struck five boundaries in her 37-ball knock to take the hosts home in 12.4 overs.

In pursuit of 111, Paul and Orla Prendergast, Ireland Academy’s openers, stepped on the accelerator immediately taking Laura Grant’s first over for 21 runs. The latter smashed two boundaries and a six on her way to an 8-ball 16, before she was dismissed by Megan McColl. Caoimhe McCann joined Paul for another quick-fire 38-run stand before she was bowled by Abbi Aitken.

Katherine Fraser, Aitken and Iqra Farooq did well to keep the hosts’ run-rate in check for a few overs, dismissing Naomi Matthews for a 15-ball 10. At that point Ireland Academy still needed 12 runs to win.

Paul polished off the remaining runs in the company of Rebecca Stokell (1 not out) to cap off an easy win with 50 balls to spare.

Earlier in the day, a disciplined effort from the hosts’ bowlers kept Scotland Academy to a below par total of 110 for 7 in their 20 overs. Sarah Bryce was the top scorer for the visitors, with a 22-ball 20. Her knock included two boundaries and a six.

After a 36-run opening stand, Scotland Academy kept losing wickets at regular intervals, as Ireland Academy bowlers dried up the runs effectively. Prendergast, Sophie MacMahon, Cara Murray and Rachel Delany picked up one wicket each, while three Scotland Academy batters were run out.

The visitors struggled to find any rhythm with the bat as they limped to 110 for 7.