Photo credit: Peter Della Penna
Scotland captain Kathryn Bryce drives through the off side during her unbeaten 29, which helped the tournament hosts cruise past USA by 30 runs in a rain shortened affair at Forfarshire Cricket Club in Dundee, Scotland on the opening day of the 2019 Women's T20 World Cup Qualifier.
By Peter Della Penna in Dundee, Scotland (Twitter @PeterDellaPenna)
Do-everything captain Kathryn Bryce put in a fabulous all-round show on Saturday afternoon at Forfarshire Cricket Club, scoring an unbeaten 29 off 20 balls before claiming 2 for 6 in her two overs of medium pace as Scotland Women defeated USA Women by 30 runs in a match reduced to seven overs by rain on the opening day of the 2019 Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier in Dundee, Scotland.
The elder of the Bryce sisters showed why she’s in demand with the Loughborough Lightning in the Kia Super League by almost singlehandedly toppling USA, finishing one run short of equaling USA’s entire total of 30 for 5 as Scotland doubled up the Americans. After winning the toss and batting first, Bryce opened with younger sister Sarah and struck four of Scotland’s seven boundaries in her unbeaten knock.
USA had gotten off to a very promising start behind the new ball pair of Sara Farooq and Lisa Ramjit, conceding just nine runs off the reduced two-over Powerplay. But 51 came off the last five when the field was pushed back thanks in large part due to a very sloppy effort from USA’s fielders. A portent of things to come came when Samatha Ramautar entered to bowl her offspin in the third over and promptly began with two wides, releasing some of the pressure on the Bryce sisters. When Ramautar’s first legal delivery was registered, Kathryn cut her crisply behind point for her first boundary and never looked back.
Claudine Beckford was introduced in the fourth over struck with her fifth ball, beating Sarah Bryce’s flick across the line to be bowled for 12 making it 29 for 1. But it came after back-to-back boundaries including a miscue at midwicket in the ring that turned a dot ball into four before a full toss was hammered to the deep midwicket rope.
Another misfield at backward point in the ring turned a possible dot into four as USA’s fielding turned increasingly porous. Beckford in particular was victimized despite taking two more wickets in the final over – Becky Glen expertly stumped by Sindhu Sriharsha off a wide to start the seventh before bowling Ruth Willis who exposed her stumps trying to back away for a cut to make it 50 for 3 with four legal balls remaining.
But after a single by Lorna Jack to put Kathryn Bryce back on strike, USA’s fielding problems continued. A firm drive to extra cover in the ring went through the fielder’s legs for four before a lofted drive to long-on turned into another boundary when a weak attempt to try to kick the ball back into play failed rather than putting in a slide on the damp outfield. It spoiled Beckford’s figures to leave her with 3 for 26 in two overs while Ramjit ended as USA’s most economical on the day with a disciplined 0 for 9 in her two overs.
USA failed to score a single boundary in their reply and their scoreline could have been even worse had Scotland not dropped five chances, struggling to hold onto the ball in the wet conditions. After a two and a single by Erica Rendler put Shebani Bhaskar on strike, USA’s batting star fell for a golden duck when her attempted flick over the leg side off Rachel Hawkins produced a skied leading edge which was brilliantly caught by Sarah Bryce who bolted out from behind the stumps before holding onto a diving one-handed effort at silly-mid-off.
Rendler became Kathryn’s first scalp two balls into the second over given lbw after a waft across the line for 3 as USA ended their two-over Powerplay at 7 for 2. Onika Wallerson fell in the fourth beaten in flight charging Abtaha Maqsood to be stumped for 2 before the impressive 14-year-old offspinner Katherine Fraser induced a skied flick from Sriharsha to Becky Glen running in from deep midwicket for USA’s top score of 10 to make it 18 for 4 in the fifth. The last wicket to fall was Sugetha Chandhrasekar in the seventh, lbw after another swipe across the line went awry for USA for Kathryn’s second wicket. Nadia Gruny ended unbeaten on 8 off 10 balls for USA while Ramautar finished on 3 off 3 balls.
USA takes on Bangladesh at 2 p.m. local time on day two of the tournament on Sunday at Arbroath CC. Defending champion Bangladesh had their first match against Papua New Guinea washed out by rain, necessitating a replay on Monday’s reserve day.