Scotland 111-1 (L Jack 46*, S Ramautar 1 for 18) beat USA 110-2 (S Bhaskar 51*, KE Bryce 1 for 10) by 9 wickets
Jake Perry reports
Scotland’s women made it two wins out of two with a comfortable victory over USA in the second match of the ICC Women’s World T20 Europe/Americas Qualifier. In overcast conditions in Stirling another excellent performance with both bat and ball sealed a nine-wicket win for the tournament hosts with sixteen balls to spare.
After Scotland’s top order had made light work of their chase against the Netherlands the previous afternoon USA captain Sindhu Sriharsha’s decision to bat was a bold one, but openers Nadia Gruny and Shebani Bhaskar found it difficult to get their side’s innings off the ground in the face of accurate bowling from Katie McGill and Kathryn Bryce. The fourth over was add further problems, too, as the dangerous Gruny (7), having survived a confident shout for LBW in Bryce’s first over, was trapped in front by the final ball of her second.
Bryce was finding conditions much to her liking, swinging the ball prodigiously as both batsmen struggled to time the ball, and with USA at 19-1 at the end of the Powerplay scoreboard pressure started to tell in a series of swipes and misses as Bhaskar and Onika Wallerson attempted to break the shackles. Too few boundaries, however, were taking their toll.
The introduction of spin tightened things still further and the leg-spin of Abatha Maqood soon brought the second wicket as Wallerson (11) skied the ball to Priyanaz Chatterji at mid-on. New batsman Sriharsha (31*) made her intention plain with a confident pull for four, however, and with Bhaskar finding the rope with more consistency, too, the scoring began to pick up at last as the two added fifty together in rapid time.
Bhaskar (51*) brought up a good half-century as the visitors posted 110-2 at the end of their twenty overs. The third wicket pair’s careful placement and sharp running had shown what might have been, but USA’s slow progress at the top of the innings had left Scotland very much in control of the game.
Having played the supporting role to Lorna Jack’s half century against the Dutch, Kathryn Bryce immediately looked in fine touch as Scotland made a confident start to the chase. Light rain at the back end of the USA innings had continued into the beginning of the next, and the twenty year-old all-rounder unfurled a series of good-looking shots as Scotland quickly got ahead of the Duckworth-Lewis requirement. Jack was soon into her stride again, too, cutting Samantha Ramautar’s first ball for four as Scotland posted 40 in the Powerplay.
Both openers looked untroubled as they manoeuvred the ball to rotate the strike, and with inconsistent bowling finding its way to the boundary, too, USA’s total was put further into context. Despite Kathryn Bryce (37) falling within sight of the line, Jack (46*) and Sarah Bryce (7*) saw Scotland home at the beginning of the 18th over.
“The team is feeling really good,” said Kathryn Bryce. “Obviously it is tough having to sit around for a couple of days in the rain but it’s good to get out and play some good cricket.”
“The pitch is playing pretty well, it’s coming on quite nicely. If the bowler gets it into a good area it’s tough to get away, though, so [with the ball] I was looking to get as many balls into that area as I could.”
“We’re hoping to continue [our form] on into the next couple of games,” added Bryce. “To win [both games] with just a few wickets down is really good.”
It was another clinical victory for a Scotland side who have yet to be tested in the tournament, and with two spots at the ICC World Qualifier now up for grabs after the revamp of the regional event Steve Knox’s side will be confident that they have already gone a long way toward securing their berth in the next stage of the competition.
Jake Perry writes on Scottish cricket for Cricket Scotland and CricketEurope and is a regular contributor to HoldingWilley.