PNG have booked their place in the semi-final. © ICC

While consistency is often hard to achieve in T20 cricket, the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019 in Scotland has shown great consistency in one area— the weather! The afternoon session of Day 3 of the tournament was once again hampered by rain as Scotland and Papua New Guinea looked to seal a spot in the semi-final with wins over their respective opponents in Group A.

 

An outstanding allround performance from Sibona Jimmy headlined Papua New Guinea’s commanding win over United States of America in their final league encounter at Lochlands in Arbroath on Tuesday (September 3). Jimmy scored an unbeaten half-century to guide PNG to a total of 133 for 3, before coming back to take three big wicket to seal a comfortable 23-run win.

The left-hander anchored PNG’s innings with a responsible knock after the early loss of her fellow opener, Naoni Vare in the third over. She shared a 56-run stand with Brenda Tau for the second wicket to lay the foundation for a late onslaught. When Tau was dismissed by Samantha Ramataur for 24, PNG found themselves comfortably placed at 72 for 2 in 12.2 overs.

The arrival of Tanya Ruma helped PNG lift the run rate as the pair collected 57 runs over the course of the next seven overs. Along the way, Jimmy brought up her maiden T20I half-century off just 42 deliveries.

Ruma was eventually dismissed for an enterprising knock of 29, caught and bowled by Lisa Ramjit. By then though, PNG had gotten themselves to a total of 133 for 3, with Jimmy unbeaten on 58 off 53 deliveries.

With USA’s batting having been exposed in their previous two encounters, in all truth they were never really in the contest. However, with their target having been reduced to 117 in 17 overs, Erica Rendler played an exciting cameo at the top of the order.

Despite the early departures of Nadia Gruny (3) and Sindhu Sriharsha (2)— both lbw to the off-spin of Jimmy—the 39-year-old remained unfazed. She smacked three fours and two sixes on her way to a 26-ball 35.

That, sadly, was the only innings of note in the USA line up. Shebani Bhaskar attempted to bat through the innings, collecting 17 runs along the way, but it was hardly enough to challenge PNG. Jimmy returned to dismiss the right-hander, and soon enough USA’s fight fell away.

In the end, they crawled to 94 for 7 in 17 overs. Jimmy, the wrecker-in-chief, took 3 for 15, while Konio Oala picked up two wickets.

 

Over at Forfashire Cricket Club in Dundee, Bangladesh handed Scotland a 13-run defeat, thereby knocking the hosts out of contention for a place in the semi-final.

Following a slightly delayed start, Scotland opted to bowl in overcast conditions. As was her habit through the Women’s Cricket Super League and at the start of this tournament as well, Kathryn Bryce provided her team with the early breakthrough dismissing Sanjida Islam for four.

While Bangladesh attempted to rebuild through Murshida Khatun and Nigar Sultana, Scotland kept a tight leash on the run rate. They maintained great discipline with the ball, building dot ball pressure— enough to buy two wickets in the space of two overs. Murshida (26) and Ritu Moni (four) departed to leave Bangladesh precariously placed at 63 for 3 in 11 overs.

Fargana Hoque and Sultana kept the scoreboard ticking with a 39-run stand, before the former was dismissed for 23. When the rain came, Bangladesh were poised for a big finish—104 for 4 in 17 overs, with Sultana unbeaten on 35.

An extended break meant Scotland were chasing a Duckworth-Lewis Stern revised target— 63 in 8 overs.

Desperate for a win to stay in contention in the tournament, the Bryce sisters, Kathryn and Sarah, walked out to the middle. Their partnership didn’t last very long, as Sarah was dismissed by Nahida Akter for three.

What then followed was a slow procession of wickets. With Kathryn stuck at one end and the other batters searching for the boundaries, Bangladesh chipped away, never allowing the hosts into the game. Eventually, they ended on 49 for 6 in 8 overs— well short of the intended target. Kathryn had top scored with a 20-ball 21.

Bangladesh’s win meant PNG booked their place in the semi-final, where they will face Thailand on Thursday (September 5), while the defending champions will come up against Ireland.

 

Brief Scores:

Papua New Guinea 133/3 in 20 overs (Sibona Jimmy 58*, Tanya Ruma 29) beat United States of America 94/7 in 17 overs (Erica Rendler 35; S Jimmy 3-15, Konio Oala 2-15) by 23 runs. (DLS method). PoM: Sibona Jimmy.

Bangladesh 104/4 in 17 overs (Nigar Sultana 35*, Murshida Khatun 26; Kathryn Bryce 2-13, Abtaha Maqsood 2-20) beat Scotland 49/6 in 8 overs (Kathryn Bryce 21) by 13 runs. (DLS method).