Unbeaten Lewis trumps valiant efforts from Veringmeier as Ireland clinch the series
Gaby Lewis © Getty Images
“Clear skies, clean hitting, can’t lose” was the motto for Ireland at the Malahide Cricket Club Ground in Dublin as the third T20I between Ireland and Netherlands saw the hosts chasing down the target of 109 in just 11.3 overs. Miranda Veringmeier's 60 went in vain as Gaby Lewis hit an unbeaten 52 off just 29 balls - which included 11 fours - to take her side to an unassailable 2-0 lead in the series.
Netherlands captain Heather Siegers won the toss yet again but decided to bat first, and it took Orla Prendergast just two balls to castle Frederique Overdijk’s leg stump as the late inswinger got better of the Dutch opener. In the fifth over, Prendergast broke the sedate partnership between Siegers and Babette de Leede. Irish wicket-keeper Mary Waldron took the catch - on her return to international cricket since World Cup Qualifier in 2019 - to see the back of de Leede as the Netherlands were struggling at 16 for two in the fifth over.
Waldron took another catch behind the stumps, this time a faint edge off Sophie MacMahon to remove Heather on the very last ball of the powerplay. The new pair of Robine Rijke and Veringmeier hit some quick runs to take Netherlands past 50 runs in the 12th over with Veringmeier as an attacker-in-chief. Rijke tried to emulate the batter at the other end, but that led to her wicket as she completely missed a slog sweep and was bowled by Eimear Richardson.
With the score at 51 for four in the 12th over, Veringmeier needed someone to stick by her side as she advanced the Dutch innings and she found a perfect partner in Juliët Post. She ran between the wickets quickly to give Veringmeier the strike, who found her rhythm against Richardson. She hit the off-spinner for back-to-back sixes by Veringmeier on her way to the second T20I fifty off just 42 balls.
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Veringmeier was eventually caught by Richardson off the top edge at backward point and Post supported her well with an unbeaten 20 off 22 balls as Netherlands finished 109 for five by the end of the 20 overs.
The Irish reply to this moderate total put up by the Dutch was ruthless. Opener Rebecca Stokell wasted no time to unleash against the opening bowler Iris Zwilling as she amassed 13 runs off the first over. Isabel van der Woning’s first over was no different as Ireland hit 14 runs off her over. Ireland’s strong opening onslaught led to Heather giving the ball to her sister Silver Siegers and she clean bowled Stokell with her first delivery of the match.
It did not stop the Irish juggernaut as Lewis and captain Laura Delany put on a partnership of 36 runs in just 25 balls. Such was their ferocity that, when the powerplay ended Ireland were scoring at 10.66 runs per over. Delany was run out trying to steal a run that wasn’t there as the direct hit from Veringmeier made sure the half-centurion from the previous match had to go back to the pavilion.
Shauna Kavanagh, who replaced her captain at the crease lasted only for three balls and became the second wicket of Silver. But Lewis stood tall between Netherlands and their first victory of the tour. She hit Silver for three boundaries in an over to announce her intentions even as wickets fell at other end. Heather also had to face the heat from the pair of Lewis and Lara Maritz. The fifth-wicket partnership of 40 runs off just 24 balls helped Ireland take the T20I series 2-0 with one match to go.
The final match of the series will be played on Friday (July 30)
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Brief Scores: Netherland 109/5 in 20 Overs (Miranda Veringmeier 60, Juliët Post 20; Orla Prendergast 2/14) lost to Ireland 110/4 in 11.3 Overs Gaby Lewis 52*, Rebecca Stokell 17, Silver Siegers 2/24) by six wickets. POTM: Gaby Lewis