Ireland beat the Netherlands by 29 runs on Thursday to get off the mark at the 2021 Women’s Cricket World Cup qualifier, bouncing back from a six-wicket defeat to the West Indies in their first match.
Openers Leah Paul and Gaby Lewis have recently made a habit out of providing Ireland with great starts and they didn’t disappoint after being asked to bat first in their Group A match.
The duo put on a 61-run stand, before Caroline de Lange put the brakes on scoring by scalping both the openers.
Ireland lost wickets in a heap soon after and found themselves at 85 for five, with Eva Lynch dismissing Shauna Kavanagh and Orla Prendergast off consecutive deliveries.
Skipper Laura Delany and Eimear Richardson had to pull off the rescue act and drag Ireland out of trouble, adding 85 runs for the sixth wicket.
Heather Siegers ran through the rest of the batting order with a four-wicket haul, including the wicket of Delany and Richardson as Ireland folded for 199.
Prendergast made up for her poor batting innings by dismissing Juliët Post for nought in the third over.
However, Babette de Leede and Sterre Kalis weathered the early storm with a 59-run partnership.
Once de Leede was dismissed for 34, Robine Rijke joined Kalis at the crease. Their 73-run partnership took the Netherlands close to victory, though Kalis fell short of a well-deserved half-century by just three runs.
Needing to go run-a-ball in the last 10 overs with seven wickets in hand, it seemed a simple chase for the Dutch.
Two run-outs, including that of skipper Siegers, changed the dynamic of the game before Prendergast struck to dismiss the well-set Rijke for 56.
Needing 35 from the last four overs, the pressure of the asking rate got to the Netherlands as they succumbed to a 29-run defeat. The Dutch, who were cruising at 158/3, were skittled out for 170.
The win has given Ireland a big chance to qualify for the Super Six stage, with the Dutch yet to win a game in the tournament’s group of four – the top three in both groups qualify.
Ed Joyce’s side will have a few days of rest before they play their third game of the qualifier on Monday – a matchup with Sri Lanka at 7:30 am GMT.