Suzie Bates and 20-year-old Jess Watkin put on a batting exhibition as New Zealand crushed Ireland by 10 wickets in a mismatch of a T20I contest at the YMCA Cricket Club in Dublin. Opening the batting, the duo slammed unbeaten half-centuries as the visitors chased down Ireland’s score of 136 with nine overs to spare.
The surprise, if there was any in this game, was the sight of young Watkin matching her captain stroke for stroke to wipe out any outlandish dreams of Ireland’s inexperienced bowlers making a match of it. Bates scored 63 off 29 at a strike-rate of 217.24 while Watking struck a shade lower, her 77 off 38 coming at 202.63. In all, the two New Zealand openers hit 26 boundaries between themselves (21 fours and five sixes). The last scoring shot of the game, struck by Bates, was fittingly a six.
If the bowling performance is somehow blinkered temporarily, Ireland will find encouraging signs from the first half of the match. Laura Delany looked up at the surprisingly blue Dublin skies at the toss and elected to bat. Despite New Zealand’s Lea Tahuhu and Leigh Kasperek striking early, the hosts wrestled back the momentum through Cecelia Joyce and Gaby Lewis.
Cecelia struck three fours and a six in a breezy 29-ball 30 before top-edging a pull. Gaby Lewis then took charge of the innings, scoring 10 fours in her innings of 45-ball 61. She was the last one to fall, in the 20th over, pushing the total past the 130 mark. Unfortunately, it wasn’t Bates-Watking proof.
Brief Scores: Ireland Women 136/8 in 20 overs (Gaby Lewis 61, Cecelia Joyce 30; Leigh Kasperek 3-25) lost to New Zealand Women 142/0 in 11 overs (Jess Watkin 77*, Suzie Bates 63*) by 10 wickets
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