Ireland Women’s five-match Series in Spain ended as it began with defeat to Scotland, by eight wickets, as the auld enemy levelled the T20 Series.
Laura Delany’s side won the ‘Celtic Challenge’ 3-2, as they had taken the one-day internationals 2-1, but they will be disappointed to sign off the year with a below-par performance with both bat and ball.
Amy Hunter dominated the first innings after Delany had won the toss, batting for all but five balls of the innings to score 68, but the next top score was 12 as she watched all her partners, except Georgina Dempsey, give up their wickets, with Ireland struggling to finish on 117 for seven.
After Ava Canning had made the breakthrough in the third over, Alana Dalzell followed up by dismissing Monday’s top scorer Darcy Carter, caught by Cara Murray, to reduce Scotland to 10 for two, but that was their last success.
The crucial ball in the unbeaten partnership between the Bryce sisters, Kathryn and Sarah, was the third ball of the 17th over, when Sarah was caught at backward point off Lou Little.
But umpire Roly Black called a no-ball on height, and therefore, instead of 95 for three and a new batter in the middle, the 100 came up from the free-hit which sped to the boundary and the siblings eased their side to the victory.
Hunter’s lone act of defiance included 10 fours, many from her favourite sweep shot, but even she enjoyed a life, giving a straightforward chance on 16 to mid-on.
Only four boundaries came at the other end, and the highest partnership in the innings was just 35, with Delany contributing 12 of them; the second-highest score, off 22 balls, highlighting Ireland’s struggles when it mattered.
They did manage 36 off the last four overs, but it wasn’t enough.
The Women’s next action is in January when they travel to Zimbabwe.