Ireland celebrate a wicket. © Cricket Ireland

Ireland, Scotland and United States of America secured third, fifth and seventh place respectively, registering wins in their playoff matches in the ICC Women’s T20 Qualifier 2019. While Ireland thumped Papua New Guinea by eight wickets with 53 balls to spare, and Scotland trounced Netherlands by 70 runs, USA, quite contrastingly, crawled their way to a six wicket win over Namibia.

 

3rd-place playoff

On a bright and sunny morning at the Forfashire Club, in Dundee, chasing a modest 86, Ireland got off to a steady start. Gaby Lewis’ poor tournament ended on 10 when she was dismissed by Mairi Tom. That, however, was the only wicket PNG could get in the power play as they failed to attack stumps more often.

Lewis’ wicket did not hamper the run-scoring of Ireland as Rebecca Stokell and Kim Garth ticked along at a decent pace bringing up Ireland’s 50 in the seventh over. However, Garth’s search for quick runs ended when she was dismissed for 29 by Isabel Toua who struck in the ninth over. The wicket did little damage as Ireland needed only 18 runs in 60 balls at that point.

Stokell completed the formalities in the 12th over as Ireland chased the eventual target in 11.1 overs. Stokell remained unbeaten on 26.

Earlier in the day Ireland won the toss and elected to field. PNG didn’t have the greatest of starts as they lost Naoani Vare in the second over – Eimear Richardson the bowler responsible. The off-spinner struck for a second time, when she dismissed the in-form Sibona Jimmy for six in the fourth over to put Ireland ahead in the game. Soon two became three when Orla Prendergast removed Brenda Tau for six.

PNG’s two main batters Jimmy and Tau were inside the hut in the power play as they finished on 15 runs. Kaia Arua and Tanya Ruma were left with the repair job.

Ireland refused to take their foot of the throat, stringing together some tight overs, as a result of which PNG self-destructed. As the dot ball pressure continued to build, the middle order batters threw their wickets away. Arua was the first to succumb, caught by Garth of the bowling of Leah Paul for eight. At the halfway stage PNG crawled their way to 27.

Konio Oala came out with intent at the fall of the fourth wicket and hit the first six of the innings in the 12th over. Oala continued to score runs as she brought up the team’s 50 in the 15th over in which she scored 11 runs. The burly right-hander took matters into her own hands, clubbing Prendergast for 13 runs in the seventeenth over.

Meanwhile, PNG kept losing wickets at the other end. Garth struck twice in the 18th over to reduce PNG to 74 for 7. In the following over, Oala was dismissed by Sophie MacMahon for a 31-ball 35. In the end, PNG finished with 85 for 8; Richardson the wrecker-in-chief with figures of 3-9.

 

5th-place playoff

The fifth-place playoff was all about the Bryce sisters. Kathryn and Sarah’s rapid half-centuries headlined the hosts’ thrashing of Netherlands at Lochlands in Arbroath on Saturday. The pair shared a massive 119-run stand for the second wicket to lay the platform their team’s fifth place finish.

Having come together in the third over with the score at 13, the pair proceeded to smash the Netherlands bowlers around the ground. While Sarah started slowly, Kathryn hit her straps immediately, crashing a boundary off her very first delivery. The Scotland captain continued on her merry way, finding the boundary almost every over.

The pair made sure the rate hovered around the six-run-an over mark before they cranked up their pace in the eighth over, crunching Eva Lynch for 13 runs to bring up the team’s fifty. It was around that period that Sarah too, got into the act. The right-hander took three consecutive boundaries of Caroline de Lange to race from 29 off 28 balls to 45 off 34.

Through the course of the next couple of overs, both Bryces brought up their half centuries – Sarah first in 37 balls, and Kathryn next, in 35 deliveries. Their 13.2 over association saw as many as 14 boundaries as the hosts raced to 132 in 16 overs.

Set to press for a big finish, Sarah was dismissed for 65 by Heather Siegers to allow Netherlands back in to the game. The visitors took the chance to pull back the scoring rate. While Kathryn continued to find the boundary, the other batters were dismissed trying to do the same.

Eventually, Scotland finished with a mammoth total of 167 for 4 – the highest in the tournament – skipper Kathryn unbeaten on a 50-ball 73.

Netherlands’ chase was derailed at the very start when they were reduced to 9 for 3 within the power play. They continued to lose wickets through the course of the chase, with only two of their batters registering double digit scores.

Miranda Veringmeier’s 48-run partnership with Robine Rijke (19) was the only one of note for the Dutch team. Veringmeier scored a quick fire 45 which included three fours and a six before perishing to Rachel Hawkins.

Among Scotland’s bowlers, only Hannah Rainey finished wicketless, while Abtaha Maqsood was the most successful with figures of 3 for 27. Katherine Fraser, the young off-spinner, too finished the tournament on a high with a two-for.

 

7th-place playoff

Earlier in the day, Arbroath in the seventh-place playoff, USA put on a much better performance with the bat. Nadia Gruny continued from where she left off in the last game, compiling a patient 54-ball 33 to anchor her team’s chase of 85.

Following the early dismissal of Erica Rendler (4), Sindhu Sriharsha and Gruny set a perfect platform for USA, crawling their way to 50 at the halfway stage.

Sriharsha, who had by then played herself in, fell for another low score when she was dismissed in the 11th over by Diertser Foerster. However, Gruny continued to keep the scoreboard ticking alongside Shebani Bhaskar. She took USA within touching distance of the total before falling with 17 runs still required.

Just when it looked like Bhaskar and Sugetha Chandhrasekar would tick off the remaining runs, a mix up saw the back of the former for 15. That was the only drama left in the match as Geetika Kodali and Chandhrasekar ensured the target was tracked down with seven balls to spare – their first win of the tournament.

USA’s day started impressively when, having chosen to field, they reduced Namibia to 6 for 2 in the first three overs. Yasmeen Khan and Arrastra Diergaardt, arrested their side’s slide, seeing out the power play without any further loss.

Diergaardt took on the role of the aggressor, quickly progressing to 20, while Yasmeen simply fed her the strike. Soon enough their partnership had swelled to 44, and USA were desperately searching for a wicket.

Answering her captain’s call, as she has all tournament, Akshata Rao cleaned up Yasmeen for 16. It was the opening USA needed, following which they continued to chip away at the wickets.

When Diergaardt was run out by the Bhaskar and Sriharsha combine for 33, Namibia had their backs to the wall, and were quite easily restricted to a below par total of 84 for 7. Samantha Ramautar was the pick of the bowlers as she finished with figures 2 for 10.

 

Brief Scores:

3rd-place playoff: Papua New Guinea 85/8 in 20 overs (Konio Oala 35; Eimear Richardson 3-9, Kim Garth 2-15) lost to Ireland 86/2 in 11.1 overs (K Garth 29, Rebecca Stokell 26*) by eight wickets. PoM: Kim Garth.

5th-place playoff: Scotland 167/4 in 20 overs (Kathryn Bryce 73*, Sarah Bryce 65; Heather Siegers 2-22) beat Netherlands 97 in 19.4 overs (Miranda Veringmeier 45; Abtaha Maqsood 3-27, Rachel Hawkins 2-16) by 70 runs. PoM: Sarah Bryce.

7th-place playoff: Namibia 84/7 in 20 overs (Arrasta Diergaardt 33; Samantha Ramautar 2-10) lost to United States of America 85/4 in 18.5 overs (Nadia Gruny 33; Dietlind Foerster 2-9) by six wickets. PoM: Samantha Ramautar.