USA's hopes of advancing to the 2018 Women's World T20 Qualifier were ended by the Netherlands as Sterre Kalis top-scored with 88 off 55 balls in a 36-run Dutch win
By Peter Della Penna in Stirling, Scotland
Opener Sterre Kalis capitalized on a series of missed chances put down by USA in the field, top-scoring with 88 as Netherlands Women defeated USA Women by 36 runs on the final day of the 2017 ICC Europe/Americas Women’s World T20 Qualifier in Scotland. The win for Netherlands clinched a spot in the global qualifier ahead of the 2018 Women’s World T20 in the West Indies while USA finished in last place. The Dutch ended in second place behind Scotland despite another win later in the day over the hosts as both teams ended on equal points but the Scots fractionally ahead on the tournament’s net run rate tiebreaker.
USA won the toss and elected to send Netherlands in to bat. Four balls in, USA had their first chance to strike when Babette de Leede cut a short ball from Neha Anand straight to Sugetha Chandrasekar at backward point. But the chance burst through at head height. De Leede offered another more difficult chance in the third over again off Anand but Samantha Ramautar couldn’t hold on at third man and the Dutch eventually reached 38 for 0 by the end of the Powerplay.
Triholder Marshall broke the opening stand in the seventh over with a good length ball that nipped back to beat de Leede’s drive for 17. Cher van Slobbe made 14 before she fell to Ramautar off a leading edge sent to Anand at midwicket to make it 71 for 2 in 11.
But USA wouldn’t strike again until the final over and in the process dropped Kalis three times: on 23, 50 and 60, not to mention another misjudged chance at long-off on 70 that went for 4. The Dutch wound up adding 113 off the final nine overs, including a 99-run stand between Kalis and captain Heather Siegers to finish on 184 for 4.
The surge began against USA’s medium pacers, with 12 runs taken off each over from the 12th to the 15th following offspinner Ramautar’s removal from the attack at the end of the 11th, and the Dutch momentum never slowed down. Another 19 runs came off Anand in the 16th as Siegers pulled three straight balls behind square leg for boundaries before the over ended with Gruny misjudging Kalis’ fourth chance.
Spin finally returned in the 17th and over the next three overs between Ramautar and Beckford, USA contained the Dutch to 24 runs. However, the pressure was released with a 22-run 20th over as Beckford overstepped three times for no balls to allow a series of free hits which gave the Dutch even greater license to attack. Kalis was eventually runout 12 short of a century on a failed attempt to come back for a second run to keep strike for the first free hit. Meanwhile Siegers clobbered the following ball for six and two more singles brought up her half-century. She eventually finished unbeaten on 51 off 30 balls.
USA showed positive intent at the start of the chase as Shebani Bhaskar creamed her first ball for six over long-on but the contrast in fielding between the two sides was starkly evident in the next over when Bhaskar fell to a spectacular catch by Helmien Rambaldo. Bhaskar top edged a pull off medium pace Lisa Klokgieters over midwicket and when it came off the bat it appeared as though it would fall safely into no man’s land but Rambaldo sprinted back from her position in the circle and took an over the shoulder diving catch. USA captain Sindhu Sriharsha then fell in the third when she was given runout on a tight decision calling through Nadia Gruny from the non-striker’s end for a run to backward point as Robine Rijke’s relay to Miranda Veringmeier behind the stumps was judged to be in time, making it 18 for 2.
Erica Rendler was promoted to four and kept USA’s hopes alive, driving Esther Corder’s medium pace for a pair of boundaries through the off side in the fourth. Gruny and Rendler each picked off boundaries in the following two overs as USA outscored Netherlands in the Powerplay, reaching 51 for 2 after six. Another pair of Rendler boundaries through the leg side in the eighth and ninth kept the run rate in check with USA 68 for 2 in 9.
USA’s progress stalled thereafter as they went five straight overs without a boundary while dot balls piled up. The pressure in the field finally resulted in the runout of Rendler, who couldn’t beat a relay from the cover boundary coming back for a second and had to go for 40 off 32 balls. Gruny fell in the next over, top-edging a pull that came down into the hands of Veringmeier behind the stumps to make it 91 for 4 and left USA needing 94 off the last 6.1 overs.
Onika Wallerson produced an unbeaten 41 off 23 balls to top-score in the innings as USA eventually finished on a very respectable score of 148 for 5. It could also have been a winning one if USA had held onto their chances in the field but the six missed chances and four no balls allowed the Netherlands all the breathing room necessary for a comfortable victory margin.
In the afternoon match, Kalis top-scored again with 48 off 45 balls for the Dutch as they made 129 for 6 after being sent in by Scotland. In reply, Scotland made 111 for 7 as extras finished joint-top score in the chase with 23 in an 18-run Netherlands win. However, Scotland’s quick chases in their first two wins ensured they finished in first place on the tournament’s net run rate tiebreaker.