Sarah Bryce half-century breaks Thailand's winning streak

Sarah Bryce half-century breaks Thailand's winning streak

Sarah Bryce (R) of Scotland with Sornnarin Tippoch of Thailand. © Cricket Scotland/ Twitter

Scotland rode on an unbeaten 63 from Sarah Bryce to overhaul Thailand’s total of 123, thus ending their 17-match winning streak in T20Is. Bryce’s 50-run stand for the fifth-wicket with Ellen Watson laid the foundation for Scotland’s five-wicket win at Sportpark Het Schootsveld in Deventer on Monday (August 12).

Scotland got off to a slow start in pursuit of 124, with Lorna Jack struggling to rotate the strike. She stumbled to a 13-ball six before falling to Sornnarin Tippoch in the fifth over. With her team falling behind the run rate, Bryce attempted to go after the bowling. In the company of Rebecca Glen, she added 33 runs in the next six overs. Although Glen failed to go at a run-a-ball she found the boundary on three occasions, allowing her team to keep the chase under control. The right-hander, eventually fell for a 21-ball 19 to Ratanaporn Padunglerd to leave Scotland at 45 for 2 in 10.1 overs. 

With 79 runs required off 59 balls, Thailand had the upper hand. They gained further control of the match dismissing Priyanaz Chatterji (10) and Ruth Willis (4) in the space of four deliveries to reduce Scotland to 68 for 4 in 13 overs.

The arrival of Watson turned the tide in Scotland’s favour. Bryce, who at that point had only scored 27 off 31 deliveries, chose to up the ante. Without taking much of a risk, the Scotland captain ensured that her team kept up with the rate, managing to collect eight runs off each over between the 15th to 17th over.

Nattaya Boochatham’s 18th over was when Scotland seized the upper hand. After scoring five runs off the first four balls, Bryce made full use of the free hit, smashing a powerful slog sweep for six to bring up her fifty. It was a shot that completely changed the momentum of the game, with Scotland suddenly only requiring 17 runs off the final two overs.

The penultimate over was Watson’s time to shine. The wicket-keeper batter struck consecutive boundaries off Padunglerd, before she was bowled going for a third off the final ball of the over. Scotland were left needing six runs off the last over.

Chanida Sutthiruang, who had conceded only 13 runs off her previous three overs, took the ball in the 20th over. Her plan was simple— full and straight. Bryce and Katie McGill scampered four runs off the first three deliveries and it seemed the match had slipped from Thailand’s grasp. However, Sutthiruang kept her calm and bowled two dot balls to Bryce— one full and straight and one outside the off stump that Bryce missed altogether.

With two needed off the final ball, Sutthiruang stuck to the same plan but missed her mark. The result, a full toss that allowed Bryce to unleash a pull that dissected the gap between deep mid-wicket and deep-square leg and raced away for a boundary. Scotland thus clinched a thrilling five-wicket win off the final delivery, and quite fittingly it was Bryce— unbeaten on a 57-ball 63, including six fours and one six— who got them over the line.

Earlier in the day, Thailand’s batters continued with their cautious approach that has served them well through the tournament. Nattakan Chantham, the team’s— and tournament’s— most successful batter fell in the second over to Katherine Fraser. It was a blow that set Thailand back severely.

Through the course of the innings, none of the Thailand batters were able to break free. Fraser, the 14-year-old, bowled a fantastic spell, taking three wickets to dismantle the top order. However, Naruemol Chaiwai (24) and Sutthiruang (35) fought hard through the middle to get them past the 120-run mark— a total they would have generally backed their bowlers to defend.

Brief Scores: Thailand 123/7 in 20 overs (Chanida Sutthiruang 35, Naruemol Chaiwai 24; Katherine Fraser 3-14) lost to Scotland 126/5 in 20 overs (Sarah Bryce 63*; Nattaya Boochatham 2-22, Ratanaporn Padunglerd 2-29) by five wickets.