Scotland 60-3 (KE Bryce 29*, C Beckford 3 for 26) beat United States of America 30-5 (S Sriharsha 10, KE Bryce 2 for 6) by 30 runs (seven overs)
Scotland began their campaign at the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier with an emphatic 30-run win over USA in a rain-shortened encounter at Forthill. After the morning fixture between Bangladesh and Papua New Guinea had fallen victim to the weather, an innings of 29 not out from Player of the Match Kathryn Bryce, backed by a tight all-round display in the field, saw Steve Knox’s side emerge on top after the match was reduced to seven overs per side.
For much of the afternoon persistent rain had looked like claiming Group A’s second fixture, too, but with the sun finally breaking through play began just before the cut-off point for the day came into force. The situation presented Scotland with a potentially tricky scenario. The reduction in overs gave USA perhaps their best opportunity to cause an upset, and after being asked to bowl first Sara Farooq and Lisa Ramjit began well in restricting Kathryn and Sarah Bryce to just 9 off the first two overs.
Scotland began to ramp things up in the third as Kathryn cut Samantha Ramautar’s first ball for four before advancing down the pitch to hit over the top three balls later, a certain boundary being stopped by a good piece of fielding on the long-on rope by Nadia Gruny. Back-to-back fours from Sarah at the start of the fourth took the total on to 29, but Claudine Beckford had her revenge next ball as the wicketkeeper-batter was bowled for 12.
The returning Farooq and Ramjit helped keep the total to 46 for 1 after six, and with Glen (8) stumped and Ruth Willis (4) bowled by the mid-point of the seventh, Scotland’s last-over advance was checked. Back-to-back fours from Kathryn (29*) settled nerves, however, and with 60 on the board they took to the field looking to press home their advantage.
Opening the bowling, Rachel Hawkins (1 for 5) struck with her fourth ball as Shebani Bhaskar (0) fell to a brilliant diving catch by Sarah Bryce, and when Erica Rendler (3) was trapped lbw by Kathryn Bryce (2 for 6) in the second, USA had been reduced to 5 for 2. Pace off the ball continued to bring dividends as Katherine Fraser (1 for 8) conceded just 3 in the third, and USA’s visible frustration was compounded by the dismissal of Akshatha Rao (2), smartly stumped by Sarah off the bowling of Abtaha Maqsood (1 for 5). At 15 for 3 after four, the USA’s chance had long since gone.
Captain Sindhu Sriharsha (10) and Sugetha Chandhrasekar (3) departed as Scotland turned the screw, underlining their dominance by conceding no boundaries in USA’s final total of 30 for 5.
“It was a really good start,” said Kathryn Bryce. “It was difficult knowing that there was going to be weather around and we were hoping that it was going to clear a little bit earlier to get more of a game in. You don’t play many seven over games so it’s difficult to know what a par score is, and we didn’t really know how the pitch was going to play after all the weather. The ground staff did a fantastic job, though, it was just as good as it was the other day, and we were able to get out there, put runs on the board and put them under pressure.
“All the bowlers did really well. Katherine Fraser bowled fantastically well through the middle overs. It was difficult hitting back into the wind and she kept consistent lines and lengths and made it really difficult for their batters to score runs.”
Scotland play their second match against PNG in Arbroath tomorrow (Sunday), beginning at 10am. Entry is free.