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Captain Laura Delany‘s interview

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IRELAND’S cricketers faced a gruelling ordeal in the desert heat of Abu Dhabi, beaten by a strong ECB XI by 276 runs in the first of three warm-up games.

In temperatures touching 40 degrees, Laura Delany’s young side acquitted themselves well in the early stages of the England innings, and at 229 for 4 in the 34th over, would have had ambitions of restricting their opponents to below 300.

However Jenny Gunn crashed 15 fours and 2 sixes in a powerful 94 not out from 52 balls, adding 150 in just 16 overs with Alison Davidson-Richards (77*) as England posted 379-4.

There were also half centuries for Georgia Elwiss (81) and Georgia Adams (65).

16 year-old debutant Lara Maritz was the pick of the Irish attack, taking 1 for 51 in a nine-over spell, while the other wicket takers were Laura Boylan (1-39) and Rachel Delaney (1-49).

In reply, Ireland struggled against an experienced and penetrative England attack, with Anya Shrubsole (3-11) and Alex Hartley (3-24) taking three wickets apiece.

Gaby Lewis – also just 16-years old – top scored with a well made 28, which included four boundaries.

Jenny Gray (14), Lucy O’Reilly (13), Laura Delany (11) and Lara Maritz (10) all got starts to reach double figures, but the ‘Girls in Green’ were eventually dismissed for 103 in the 44th over.

The teams meet again on Wednesday at The Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi.

At Sheikh Zayed Nursery Ground Two, Abu Dhabi

ECB Women’s XI 379-4 (50 overs; J Gunn 94*, G Elwiss 81, A Davidson-Richards 77*, G Adams 65, L Winfield 38)

Ireland Women 103-10 (44 overs; G Lewis 28; A Shrubsole 3-10, A Hartley 3-22, L Smith 2-18)

ECB Women’s XI beat Ireland Women by 276 runs.

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