Laura Delany put in an allround performance to guide Ireland home. ©ICC

In the afternoon session of Day 2 of the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup Qualifier 2019 in Scotland, the games went as per script as Bangladesh thumped United States of America by eight wickets, and Ireland nudged past Netherlands by 19 runs.

 

The Group A encounter between Bangladesh and USA at the Arbroath Sports Club on Sunday (September 1), saw  the defending champions canter home in pursuit of 47. Sanjida Islam and Ayasha Rahman, the openers, went about their business in clinical fashion racing to 23 off just 20 balls. They pummeled USA’s bowlers around the park and looked set to take their side home inside the power play, but Akshata Rao, the off-spinner set the cat amongst the pigeons with a double strike. She dismissed Rahman for an 11-ball 8, and followed it up with the wicket of Islam for 30 off 34 balls.

Bangladesh eventually got to their target in the ninth over with 70 balls to spare when Nigar Sultana struck a boundary to give her side a dominant eight-wicket victory.

Opting to bat first, USA got off to a sedate start. Bangladesh’s opening bowlers Jahanara Alam and Nahida Akter tied the batters down with some disciplined bowling. Alam was rewarded with the wickets of Erica Rendler and Nadia Gruny in the third over. Khadija Tul Kubra then dismissed Sindhu Sriharsha and Shebani Bhaskar – both of whom had batted themselves into a bit of a hole – to rip the heart out of USA’s batting line-up.

At the halfway stage, USA had crawled to 28 for 5 and had little to cheer about. Bangladesh spinners applied the choke to perfection – drying out the runs completely. Sugetha Chandhrasekar (15) was the only batter to reach double figures as USA crumbled on the big stage.

Akter came back into the attack in the 18th over and bowled a double-wicket maiden over to clean up the tail. She finished with figures of 3 for 12 to help bowl USA out for 46 in 19.5 overs.

 

Over at the Forfashire Cricket Club in Dundee, Ireland downed Netherlands by 19 runs in their Group B encounter on Sunday.

Chasing 121, Netherlands got off to a good start as Sterre Kalis and Heather Siegers batted with wonderful intent, taking on the bowlers from the very start. Ireland though, came back in the fourth over, courtesy Eimear Richardson, the off-spinner, who picked up the wicket of Siegers in her very first over.

Kalis, who got off to a rapid start, cracking consecutive boundaries off the bowling of Orla Prendergast, was pulled back by some smart bowling from Ireland. Laura Delany and Sophie MacMahon strung together a few tight overs in the middle, keeping the Dutch batters quiet.

At the halfway mark, Netherlands were slightly ahead at 52 for 1, but their joy was short-lived as Denise van Deventer perished to Leah Paul for six – another caught and bowled.

At that point, Kalis became the centrepiece of Netherlands’ chase. She batted with great control, reigning in her aggressive instincts in an attempt to take the chase as deep as possible. The 20-year-old was well supported by Miranda Veringmeier, who took the aggressive route and raced to 20 off just 13 deliveries.

With a win in sights, Netherlands needed to keep their head and continue on their way. However, Eimear Richardson, who has enjoyed a wonderful time with the ball since her return from injury, entered the fray to give Ireland the upper hand again. From around the wicket, the off-spinner got a back of a length delivery to skid on to Kalis, who missed the ball attempting a pull shot. It was a wicket that would turn the game heavily in Ireland’s favour.

With Netherlands needing 36 runs off 24 balls, Ireland turned to their experienced pair of Delany and Kim Garth to close out the innings. While Delany kept the ball full and attacked the stumps, Garth chose to take hit a good length while taking the pace off the ball. Netherlands found it hard to get after either bowler, and were eventually restricted to 101 for 5. Delany and Richardson took two wickets apiece.

Earlier in the day, keeping with the trend of day 2, Netherlands got off to a wonderful start with the ball, pushing the more fancied Ireland on to the back foot with two quick wickets at the top.

Having joined forces in the seventh over, with the score reading 31 for 3, Garth and Delany strung together an important 53-run partnership for the fourth wicket. It was a partnership that helped lay a solid foundation for Ireland from which their lower order could launch. Both batters rotated the strike, playing low-risk cricket, while making sure to punish the loose deliveries.

Just when the pair looked set the press the accelerator they perished in quick succession. First Delany was dismissed by Iris Zwilling for 28, after which Garth departed – trying to thump another boundary off the bowling of Silver Siegers – for 38.

While the pair’s dismissals did blow a bit of wind out of Ireland’s sails, Richardson’s cameo (18 off 13 balls) more than made up for it. Her last over onslaught, which included a towering six over deep square leg, made sure Ireland reached a competitive 120 for 6 in 20 overs.

Caroline de Lange was the pick of the bowlers for Netherlands finishing with figures 2 for 28.

 

Brief Scores:

United States of America 45 in 19.5 overs (Nahida Akter 3-12, Jahanara Alam 2-7) lost to Bangladesh 48/2 in 8.2 overs (Sanjida Islam 30; Akshata Rao 2-2) by eight wickets. PoM: Nahida Akter.

Ireland 120/6 in 20 overs (Kim Garth 38, Laura Delany 28; Caroline de Lange 2-28) beat Netherlands 101/5 in 20 overs (Sterre Kalis 46, Miranda Veringmeire 28; L Delany 2-17, Eimear Richardson 2-18) by 19 runs. PoM: Laura Delany.