Gaby Lewis, Leah Paul lead Ireland’s stunning comeback in second T20I

Gaby Lewis (R) and Leah Paul (L) starred for Ireland © Oisin Keniry/Cricket Ireland

If you haven’t heard Dinah Washington’s rendition of ‘What a Difference a Day Makes’, you might want to do it now in honour of the Ireland side. They have gone from getting all out for 76 in the first T20I to winning the second match by 61 runs, all in a day’s time. Leah Paul’s career-best figures and Gaby Lewis’ 47-run knock helped Ireland go 1-1 in the four match series against Scotland with a comfortable win at the Civil Service Cricket Club, Stormont in Belfast on Tuesday (May 25).

Winning the toss on the day she became Ireland’s most capped T20I player, captain Laura Delany opted to bat. The Irish batters showed their intent from the very first ball as Rebecca Stokell hit a tossed up delivery from Katherine Fraser for four. But Stokell didn’t last long with Kathryn Bryce’s inswinger castling her in the second over and Delany soon joined her without troubling the scorers. Ireland were 20 for two at the end of three overs.

However, Lewis, in the company of wicket-keeper, Shauna Kavanagh played some aggressive cricket to bring Ireland back on track with a 68-run partnership. Lewis fell short of her fifth half-century when she was dismissed in the 13th over by Katie McGill. Kavanagh followed her in the next over with the score reading 94 for four.

From there, Orla Prendergast and Lara Maritz went big in the last six overs as Ireland amassed 43 runs without any further loss of wickets. Maritz hit the first six of the series off McGill during her unbeaten knock of 16 from 15 balls while Prendergast scored 24 not out. Ireland finished on 137 for four from their 20 overs.

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For Scotland, McGill was the pick of the bowler once again with two wickets while Kathryn and leg-spinner Abtaha Maqsood took one wicket apiece.

In the Scotland’s chase, Prendergast bowled Becky Glen for a golden duck in the first over. Sarah Bryce failed once again as she became Ava Canning’s first victim of the match with the visitors finding themselves at 11 for two in 3.1 overs.

Paul, who did not bowl in the first T20I, was introduced into the attack in the seventh over and was rewarded immediately with the prized scalp of Kathryn to leave Scotland reeling at 28 for three in 6.5 overs.

Although McGill and Priyanaz Chatterji took the score to 48 in the 11th over, once Chatterji was dismissed wickets fell in regular intervals as Scotland lost four wickets for just nine runs. Paul in her third over removed Ailsa Lister and Megan McColl in the space of three balls leaving the visitors in complete disarray. Abbi Aitken-Drummond did hit a six off Delany but it was too little too late for Scotland.

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In the 17th over, Prendergast removed the last batter Samantha Haggo to complete Ireland’s stunning comeback in the series as Scotland were bowled out for 76. For the hosts, Paul finished with career-best T20I figures of 4 for 16 while Prendergast and Delany took two wickets each.

Brief scores: Ireland 137/4 in 20 overs (Gaby Lewis 47, Shauna Kavanagh 31; Katie McGill 2/26) beat Scotland 76 all out in 16.3 overs (Katie McGill 19; Leah Paul 4/16, Laura Delany 2/11) by 61 runs. POTM: Gaby Lewis