Ireland international Amy Hunter hit a dominant 69 from 50 as the Dragons comfortably chased the Typhoons total in the Arachas Super T20 Trophy at Leinster Cricket Club.
The 16-year-old wicketkeeper-batter from Belfast looked in commanding form as she hit six boundaries and two sixes in her 65-minute knock. Hunter had missed recent caps against South Africa due to trials but was called up to the Ireland women’s squad earlier in the week to face Australia and Pakistan later in the month. Their form will be encouraging for head coach Ed Joyce ahead of a tough series.
The Typhoons‘ opening games got off to a swinging start under a leaden sky when Rebecca Stokell (22) sliced the first ball to the limit, one of three fours hit by Arlene Kelly’s first over. Both Stokell and partner Robyn Searle (13) looked solid against the Seamen but when Dragons captain Leah Paul (3-23) decided to throw spin in the 5thth over, over her own bowling, the momentum of the game in red swung back to the side. Paul held Searle in front with her third ball and then lured Mary Waldron out of her crease with a slower, flying ball that the batsman missed, and goalkeeper Amy Hunter quickly whipped balls away.
Paul then claimed a third wicket in their next over by breaking through Stokell’s defense and hitting back her middle stump.
As the spin increased, leg spinner Cara Murray was introduced and slipped a one-on-one against Georgina Dempsey to hit the batter’s in-form backpad. After an oddly muted appeal, Dempsey was dealt by umpire Paul Reynolds, and the Typhoons had collapsed from 29-0 to 41-4 in 18 balls.
Needing a stabilizing inning, Typhoon captain Laura Delany stepped forward and began a counterattack. She brought up her half-century from just 37 balls with seven boundaries. The Irish skipper showed no signs of her recent injury as she commanded the middle overs, alongside fellow Leinster CC pal Ava Canning (26*) in an 84-run five-wicket streak.
Despite losing late wickets, including Delany for 53 (from 42 balls), the Typhoons went into the innings break somewhat happier, having recovered from losing those four quick wickets to go 137-6 by the end of 20 overs.
In response, the Dragons opening pair Paul and Hunter drove from the start. 28 runs came from the first three overs as the batters dominated a bowling attack that missed their target early. Waldron was a surprise pick to roll over the opening, but after 10 runs, Typhoon skipper Delany returned to her frontliners of Canning and Dempsey. The team in red put up a 50-run opening streak on the power play, but just as they looked like total control, Paul pulled a pull shot straight down the middle, where a running Celeste Raack made a deliberate catch.
Sarah Forbes then entered the fight and immediately found the limit. Hunter hit her second six a few balls later and then brought up her half-century from 31 balls. The pairing of the second wicket was relentless, punishing anything full or wide.
At 131-1, the Dragons then lost four wickets on two runs in eight balls before correcting course and passing the target of 138 with 10 balls to go.
Hunter was named Player of the Game.
Typhoons v Dragons, Arachas Super 20 Trophy, Observatory Lane, July 6, 2022
typhoons 137-6 (20 overs; L. Delany 53; L. Paul 3-23)
dragon: 138-5 (18.2 overs; A Hunter 69, S Forbes 35; C Raack 3-22)