The summer of 2017 saw Scotland continue what had been an impressive run of form against the Netherlands. The previous year, Abbi Aitken-Drummond’s team had completed a clean sweep over its old rivals in the ICC Europe Women’s World Cup Qualifier in Essex, and now, on home soil for the World T20 Europe-Americas Qualifier in Stirling, the Scots were ready to put on a show.
The weather, though, would do its best to put a dampener on proceedings. The opening day of the tournament was washed out, and so it was one day behind schedule that Scotland and the Netherlands walked out onto New Williamfield to get the competition underway.
Bowling first, Scotland was quickly on top as the Netherlands batters struggled against accurate bowling and committed fielding. While Kathryn Bryce swung the ball prodigiously from one end, Sterre Kalis departed to a sharp stumping by Sarah Bryce off Katie McGill at the other, and when Samantha Haggo claimed the wicket of Babette de Leede off the final ball of the tenth, caught at point by Lois Wilkinson, the Dutch were struggling at 39 for 2. Heather Siegers and Helmain Rambaldo upped the tempo significantly, but the slow progress of the early overs was reflected in the Netherlands’ final total of 112 for 5.
Plenty of teams have fallen foul of such a target, of course, but for one of Scotland’s most consistent performers over the years, the chase that followed would mark a new beginning. Lorna Jack had kept wicket for much of her Scotland career, but the time had come to shine with the bat.
“I had been moved up to opener for the first time,” she remembered, “and Kathryn Bryce and I put on more than 70 [to start the reply]. You could say that our roles changed [in that innings] in that I seeing the ball really nicely while Brycie was looking to give me more of the strike.”
Helped by some generous bowling – “they bowled exactly where I like to sweep”, said Lorna – the pair took Scotland’s total on to 72 before Kathryn (21) was caught off the penultimate ball of the ninth. Sarah Bryce replaced her sister at the crease.
“There were fresh legs on that youngster and she made my not-so-young legs run a three or four!” said Lorna. “But soon after that I reached my first ever fifty for Scotland. Home crowd, home club at that time, in front of my family and team mates old and new, what a memory!”
Lorna got to the landmark off her fortieth ball, and although slow left-armer Leonie Bennett finally got through her defences in the fifteenth, the inevitable was by then only five runs away. It was left to Becky Glen four balls later to seal what had been a comprehensive seven-wicket win.
Player of the Match Lorna followed up her maiden international fifty with an unbeaten 46 against the USA, and although Scotland slipped to defeat as the rain finally relented to allow the return match against the Dutch to be played, the team had done enough to book its place at the 2018 Women’s World T20 Qualifier as tournament winners. The weather had been unkind, but the cricket unforgettable.
15 August 2017 at New Williamfield: Scotland 113 for 3 (L Jack 60, R Rijke 1 for 15) beat Netherlands 112 for 5 (HW Rambaldo 32*, LI Wilkinson 2 for 18) by 7 wickets