Laura Delany has described the Ireland women’s side as fearless and full of energy after their historic T20 series victory in Pakistan yesterday, the first Ireland team to visit the country.
A century opening partnership between player of the match Gaby Lewis and Amy Hunter propelled Ireland to a total of 167 for four — 28 more than Pakistan had ever successfully chased before — and a superb all-round bowling display gave them a 34-run victory and a 2-1 series win.
“We have built on our performance in each game (of the tour). Today, our batting was outstanding, we took the powerplay apart, had a record-breaking partnership and kept the momentum going through the innings,” said Delany.
“Gaby, Amy and Orla (Prendergast) have been outstanding with the bat and it gives us a really good platform and today we followed up with the ball.
“We didn’t adjust to the conditions quickly enough in the ODI series but there is so much energy in this young side, the girls are fearless and it is great to end the year on a high ahead of the T20 World Cup in February.”
Pakistan are one of Ireland’s four opponents in the group stages in South Africa, in a group which also includes England, India and West Indies, but the way Delany’s side have improved will send them into the tournament with great confidence.
“It was a case of going out and being as positive as we can,” said Lewis, who was also named player of the series after scoring 144 runs. “Having me and Amy up top and Orla at three and with the rest of the batting top heavy we can take on the game. When it comes off it comes off and we are just trusting the process and we really came good in this series.”
The first positive intention of the day was Delany’s decision to bat first, despite the first two games being won by the side batting second. Lewis, with 11 fours and a six in her 71 from 46 balls and Hunter, happy to play second fiddle, quickly showed why, adding 110, the highest against a Full Member, in 13 overs.
Prendergast then carried on her excellent form with 37 from 23 balls with three fours and a six, only run out off the last ball.
While Javeria Khan, top scorer in Pakistan’s victory on Monday, was in the middle, the hosts were up with the required run rate but, immediately after bringing up her 50, she played on and Delany and Arlene Kelly finished off the innings, the last four wickets falling for just five runs.
Scores: Ireland Women 167-4 (G Lewis 71, A Hunter 40, O Prendergast 37, R Stokell 17 not out) Pakistan Women 133 (18.5 overs, Javeria Khan 50; A Kelly 3-19, L Delany 3-20, J Maguire 2-26, E Richardson 1-25). Ireland won by 34 runs.