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Ireland Women too strong all round for Netherlands in one-day opener

AN all-round team performance helped Ireland Women take the opening game of the three-match one-day international series against the Netherlands at the VRA Cricket Ground near Amsterdam.

Gaby Lewis (25) and Orla Prendergast (24*) contributed well with the bat, while Arlene Kelly (3-9) and Rachel Delaney (3-20) were the best of the Irish bowlers in a five-wicket win.

It was a historic day for The Netherlands as they were making their ODI debut following the ICC's decision to grant them ODI status in May. Ireland won the toss and elected to bowl first. Georgina Dempsey caused early problems for The Netherlands batters with tight line and length bowling. The pressure she built up paid dividends in the third over when Babette de Leede (3) was bowled after playing late to a ball zeroing in on the stumps.

Arlene Kelly too was finding her stride, and she sent Juliet Post's stumps flying for a duck in the fourth over then removed Robine Rijke for one - a leading edge flying to Prendergast's safe hands.

Things went from bad to worse for the hosts when two spectacular catches were claimed by Shauna Kavanagh – a diving catch at cover - and Cara Murray - a one-hander catch from her own bowling - taking care of Jolien van Vliet (2) and Annemijn van Beuge (4).

The home side did manage to settle down after that, with Frédérique Overdijk and Iris Zwilling forming a solid partnership. Overdijk scored the first boundary of the day in the 18th over, despatching a full toss from Cara Murray for four. A change of bowling in the 19th over saw Ireland captain Laura Delany come in, and she accounted for Zwilling bowled for nine, and the Netherlands found themselves in trouble at 37-6.

Overdijk put on late runs as the only batter standing with 38*, but the remaining wickets fell, and the Dutch side was all out for 84.

In Ireland's reply, openers Lewis and Leah Paul put on 39 for the first wicket, before Paul (9) feathered one behind to Babette de Leede in the 9th over. Lewis (25) was moving along quite nicely until she top-edged one to Bloeman at square leg.

Despite losing Delany (0), Amy Hunter (12) and Shauna Kavanagh (0), Ireland had the run chase comfortably in hand, with Prendergast (24*) comfortably guided the visiting side home.

The sides will meet again on Wednesday (11am Irish time) for the second game of this three-match series.

Netherlands v Ireland, 1st One Day International, VRA Cricket Ground, Amstelveen:

Netherlands 84 (32.5 overs; F Overdijke 38, I Zwilling 9; A Kelly 3-9); Ireland 87-5 (19.3 overs; G Lewis 25, O Prendergast 24*; S Siegers 2-10); Ireland won by five wickets.

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