Prendergast, Lewis dust off ODI series loss to register win in T20I opener
Orla Prendergast (L) and Gaby Lewis (R) © PCB
All round performance from Orla Prendergast and a half-century from Gaby Lewis boosted Ireland to take the first T20I in Lahore on Saturday (November 12). Nida Dar scored a fighting half-century for the hosts, but the visitors won the match by six wickets.
Dusting off the series loss in the ODIs, Ireland's opener Lewis started the chase with two boundaries in Fatima Sana’s opening over. She lost her opening partner Amy Hunter, courtesy of an excellent diving catch by Aliya Riaz. Batting at three, Prendergast started her innings with a beautiful cut shot that ran away for four. The right-hander Prendergast gathered 31 runs off 18 balls as Ireland cruised to 52 for one at the end of the powerplay.
Bismah Maroof tried everything to keep the scoring rate under control, but Nashra Sandhu’s delivery deceived Prendergast with a low bounce. Her whirlwind innings of 39 off 25 came to end with a sharp stumping from wicketkeeper Muneeba Ali. A miscommunication between Lewis and Laura Delaney led to an easy run out at the striker’s end as the captain departed for three.
Eimear Richardson held the one end as Lewis smashed her first half-century of the tour off 40 balls. Ghulam Fatima removed Richardson for 16, but it was too little too late as Ireland needed only 21 runs off 27 balls. Lewis made sure there were no hiccups in the chase, and Ireland bagged their first win of the tour by six wickets.
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Earlier, Pakistan's captain Maroof won the toss and opted to bat first, with Javeria Khan making it to the playing XI in T20Is after 496 days. Prendergast provided an early breakthrough with the wicket of left-hander Ali. Wicketkeeper Mary Waldron took an easy catch to send her counterpart back for a three-ball duck. Maroof joined Khan early in the innings and got her innings going with a lovely boundary off Jane Maguire.
Khan, playing international cricket for the first time in ten months, struggled with the bat, but the captain smashed two back-to-back boundaries in Maguire's second over. Prendergast ended Maroof’s promising knock as Louise Little took an easy catch in the covers. Pakistan faced 24 dot balls in the powerplay and managed to score 32 runs.
Prendergast dislodged Khan’s off stump to register her best figures in the T20Is immediately after the powerplay. At 32 for three after the seventh over, Pakistan needed someone to steady the ship, and they found one in Dar. Along with Omaima Sohail, she added 24 runs for the fourth wicket partnership. Dar crossed the mark of 1500 runs in T20Is and kept going to smash her seventh T20I half-century off 36 balls.
The partnership of 57 runs between Dar and Riaz helped Pakistan go past the 100 runs mark. Ireland’s captain Laura Delaney trapped Dar in front for 61 to end her knock. Riaz and Ayesha Naseem collected 21 runs in the final two overs to take Pakistan to 135 for five in the first innings.
Brief Scores: Pakistan 135/5 in 20 overs (Nida Dar 61; Orla Prendergast 3/10) lost to Ireland 139/4 in 18.4 overs (Gaby Lewis 69*, Orla Prendergast 39) by six wickets POTM: Orla Prendergast