Cricket is a great leveler.
Ireland learned it the hard way against Scotland, while Germany had a mixed day at the T20 World Cup Europe Qualifier on Friday (August 27) in Cartagena, Spain. Germany won their first match against France with flying colors but failed to repeat the form against the Dutch. Meanwhile, Kathryn Bryce showed her class in the chase as she scored an unbeaten 46 to lead Scotland to a memorable victory in the low-scoring thriller.
In the first match of the day at La Manga Club Bottom Ground, France won the toss and opted to bat first against Germany. The German side, who couldn’t take a wicket till the 9th over in their previous match against Ireland, stuck three times in the power play to reduce the French side to 18 for three, which included a wicket-maiden from off-spinner Milena Beresford.
Right-hander Thea Graham batted for 25 balls, the most faced by the French batter in the match, but only managed to score 12 runs. Bianca Loch removed her and the French captain Emmanuelle Brelivet in her third over of the match as France were struggling at 36 for six by the end of the 12th over. The-25-year-old Anna Healey and German captain Anuradha Doddaballapur stuck twice in their respective overs as France were bowled out for 45 runs in the 15th over.
In reply, Germany lost Healey in the very first over with only two runs on the scoreboard as wicketkeeper Graham took a sharp catch behind the stumps. It looked like Germany would have a difficult time chasing the below-par total, but it proved to be the only hiccup in the chase. Christina Gough (14) and Doddaballapur (22) took charge of the chase to lead Germany to their first victory of the T20 World Cup Europe Qualifier in the 10th over.
Playing at the La Manga Club Top Ground, after entering the record books against Germany on Thursday, Ireland chose to bat first against Scotland. The opening pair of Rebecca Stokell and the centurion from the previous match, Gaby Lewis, started slowly against the quality Scottish bowling unit. The pair scored 20 runs in the power play without losing a wicket. Immediately after the powerplay, 22-year-old leg-spinner Abtaha Maqsood struck with her fourth ball of the match.
Irish captain Laura Delany could only survive three balls as she was dismissed by Priyanaz Chatterji. Stokell then tried to rebuild the innings with allrounder Eimear Richardson as the pair put a run-a-ball partnership of 20 runs. Off-spinner Katherine Fraser struck with back-to-back deliveries to break the back of the Irish batting lineup as they were reduced to 49 for four by the end of the 12th over. None of the lower order batters could form a meaningful partnership as they lost four wickets for just 21 runs and ended their innings with 89 for 8 in 20 overs.
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Scotland were in trouble early as Lorna Jack missed a straight ball from the 17-year-old fast bowler Ava Canning in the first over of the chase. Canning came back in the fifth over to remove the Scottish wicketkeeper, Sarah Bryce for just five runs. Frustrated by the dot balls and continuously rising required rate Katie McGill holed out as Cara Murray took a simple catch at mid-wicket off Richardson. A ball later Megan McColl became the second victim of Richardson as halfway through the innings, Scotland were struggling with only 23 runs on the board.
Captain Kathryn Bryce, who was silent throughout the first 10 overs, took advantage of some wayward bowling from the Irish bowlers to accelerate the scoring rate for her side. She hit the first six of the match off Leah Paul in the 13th over. She found a reliable partner in Becky Glen as she took the pressure off the skipper. Needing 28 runs from the final four overs, Kathryn launched two sixes against to seal the victory for the Scotland side and remained unbeaten on 46.
The last match of the day saw the Netherlands fielding first against Germany. After losing Healey to Iris Zwilling in the power play, Germany went into a shell. They could only score 24 runs by the end of the 10th over, which did not include a single boundary from the pair of Doddaballapur and Gough. Doddaballapur struggled throughout her innings and her long stay at the crease was ended by Caroline de Lange.
Gough showed some fightback as she hit two fours against the Dutch captain Heather Siegers, but it was too little too late for the German revival. By the end of the innings, Germany scored 71 for six in their 20 overs.
In reply, Gough found herself in the wickets column early as she removed Heather with her first ball of the innings. By the end of the power play, the Dutch were 22 for two as Babette de Leede (32) and Juliët Post (12) batted together to post the partnership of 41 runs to build the solid foundation for Netherlands. When de Leede got out in the 11th over the Dutch only needed 24 runs in 11 overs and they chased it in the next four overs as the 13 extras given by the German side didn’t help them.
Ireland: 89/9 in 20 overs (Rebecca Stokell 21, Eimear Richardson 17; Katherine Fraser 3/14) lost to Scotland 92/5 in 19 overs (Kathryn Bryce 46*, Becky Glen 22*; Ava Canning 2/5) by 5 wickets. POTM: Kathryn Bryce
France: 45 all out in 15 overs (Thea Graham 12; Bianca Loch 3/12) lost to Germany 46/1 in 9.3 overs (Anuradha Doddaballapur 22*, Christina Gough 14*; Thea Graham 1/12) by 9 wickets. POTM: Bianca Loch
Germany: 71/6 in 20 overs (Christina Gough 34; Eva Lynch 2/7) lost to Netherlands 72/3 in 15 overs (Babette de Leede 32) by 7 wickets. POTM: Babette de Leede