Scotland 97-7 (KE Bryce 39*, N Boochatham 3 for 16) beat Thailand 70 (N Koncharoenkai 22, RV Scholes 4 for 10) by 27 runs
A Player of the Match performance from Kathryn Bryce together with four wickets for Rachel Scholes saw Scotland to a fine victory over Thailand in their final group game at the ICC Women’s World T20 Qualifier. In another low-scoring encounter in the Netherlands, Scotland showed all their experience to claim a second win out of three and so progress to the semi-final stage of the tournament.
After a rain-delayed start in Utrecht, Thailand’s bowlers Chanida Sutthiruang and Sornnarin Tippoch made a good start as Scotland’s Sarah Bryce and Lorna Jack struggled to impose themselves in the tricky conditions. Only 13 came from the first five overs as Thailand kept things tight, and with the mounting pressure bringing the wickets of both openers as well as Rachel Scholes (6), Scotland, at 24 for 3 going into the tenth, were wobbling.
Small margins have counted for much in this tournament, however, and so it was to prove again as Kathryn Bryce and Becky Glen’s fourth wicket partnership of 45 provided the turning-point of the match. Glen, batting for the first time in the competition, struck four boundaries in a 22-ball 28, and by the time she departed in the sixteenth Scotland had recovered to 69 for 3.
At the other end Bryce, too, was moving through the gears as with wickets in hand Scotland searched for extra runs in the final overs. Her back-to-back boundaries in the nineteenth were crucial as Scotland reached 97 for 7, the captain remaining unbeaten on 39 as the innings closed.
Faced with more runs than they had managed in either match so far, Thailand were quickly in trouble as a terrific pick-up and throw from Katie McGill saw Naruemol Chaiwai (4) run out midway through the second over, and when Rachel Scholes took two-in-two at the beginning of what became a double wicket maiden, the batting side were reduced to 11 for 3 after four.
Nattakan Chantam (16) looked to regain some initiative with a six then four as the gathering gloom threatened a DLS-decided outcome, but when she departed to an excellent catch by Abbi Aitken at short third man the stuffing had been knocked out of the chase. McGill removed Chanida Sutthiruang (4) to put Thailand further into DLS deficit before Abtaha Maqsood (1 for 7) struck in her first over, snaffling a return catch from Ratanaporn Padunglerd (4) to leave Thailand 50 for 6.
With the required run-rate above six an over for the first time Scotland added the finishing touches as Kathryn Bryce (1 for 14), Rachel Scholes, Priyanaz Chatterji (1 for 16) and Katie McGill (2 for 4) wrapped up the last wickets to confirm Scotland’s place in the final four.
“There’s a big game coming up in the semi-final against Bangladesh but we’ll just look to go back to our basic skills and make sure we do everything right again,” said Rachel Scholes.
“The ball was coming out really nicely for me today. We knew that Thailand were keen on sweeping and paddling so I looked to get it up there, quite full and get it straight, and it reaped its rewards.
“There were a lot of cracks in the wicket and there had obviously been a lot of rain as we were warming up, so it was quite damp to bat on to start with but as it dried out it turned more and more. Having to bowl in a skin and a jumper, too, it was like being at home!”