Women’s T20 World Cup qualifiers 2024: Scotland earns maiden berth; Sri Lanka through after nervy semifinal

Scotland captain Kathryn Bryce starred with bat and ball as Scotland upset Ireland to make the T20 World Cup for the first time.

Published : May 05, 2024 20:15 IST - 5 MINS READ

This will be Scotland’s first appearance at the Women’s T20 World Cup. It will be joined by the winners of the other semi-final clash between Sri Lanka and UAE.
This will be Scotland’s first appearance at the Women’s T20 World Cup. It will be joined by the winners of the other semi-final clash between Sri Lanka and UAE. | Photo Credit: ICC

This will be Scotland’s first appearance at the Women’s T20 World Cup. It will be joined by the winners of the other semi-final clash between Sri Lanka and UAE. | Photo Credit: ICC

Skipper Kathryn Bryce starred with an all-round performance as Scotland punched tickets to its first Women’s T20 World Cup later this year. 

Opting to bat first to set the tone in the semfinal clash, Ireland was in early trouble with captain Bryce on fire with the new ball.

The Scotland skipper sent back the dangerous opening pair in the very first over to peg Ireland back. Amy Hunter was castled by an inswinger off the second ball of the game and Gaby Lewis smashed a pull straight to short mid-wicket off the fifth ball of the over.

Ireland’s woes compounded when Orla Prendergast was run out in the third over for 11. 

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Bryce struck another blow in her third over, bowling Laura Delany for two as Ireland slipped to 21/4 in the big knockout clash.

Completing her fourth over on the trot, Bryce struck with another wicket, that of Eimear Richardson, who skied a big shot to be dismissed for just one. 

Scotland was right on top in the big game with the Ireland scorecard reading 25/5, but Arlene Kelly and Leah Paul resurrected the innings in the second half. 

Abtaha Maqsood’s clever ploy to bowl one down the leg-side had seen the back of Rebecca Stokell, out stumped by the wicketkeeper, in the 11th over, but Paul and Kelly rebuilt with purpose for Ireland.

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The duo stitched together a vital 60-run partnership that was only broken in the final over of the innings. Ireland reached a respectable 110/9 in 20 overs with Paul (45) and Kelly (35) making crucial contributions.

Despite the strong bowling performance, Scotland needed to keep a good Irish bowling attack at bay to make it to its first ICC Women’s T20 World Cup.

Megan McColl began with a bang for Scotland in the run-chase, racing away to 25 off 23 balls in the Powerplay. Scotland was firmly in the driving seat with 41 runs in the first six overs and all ten wickets intact.

McColl unfurled a flurry of impressive shots, including a brilliant scoop, as Scotland raced towards the target in style. 

Kelly found a wicket for Ireland when Saskia Horley’s attempted scoop went wrong, the inside edge seeing the ball crash onto the stumps. 

But Bryce stepped in at No.3 to join McColl and the duo continued to punish Ireland’s bowling with frequent boundaries. 

McColl completed a terrific fifty off 46 balls in the 15th over as Scotland edged closer to the target. Kelly, though, cleaned her up off the very next ball as she missed a heave towards the leg side.

The Bryce sisters, though, carried the team home and to the Women’s T20 World Cup in Bangladesh later this year without further hiccups. Kathryn hit the winning runs as Scotland celebrated a massive triumph.

Sri Lanka edges UAE in nervy semifinal

Sri Lanka joined Scotland as the two teams to head to the ICC Women’s T20 World Cup 2024 from the Qualifier tournament in Abu Dhabi – the duo will now contest in the final on Tuesday.

Put in to bat, Chamari Athapaththu and Vishmi Gunaratne began well for Sri Lanka – while Gunaratne got into the swing of things with two fours in the second over, Athapaththu cracked back-to-back sixes in the next over.

By the end of the Powerplay, they had put 48 runs on the board as Sri Lanka made a rousing start in the semi-final. 

UAE soon turned to their X factor with the ball – Vaishnave Mahesh – and the leg-spinner struck in her very first over with the big scalp of Athapaththu, stumped after some good work by wicketkeeper Theertha Satish.

Vishmi and Harshita Madavi continued to keep the scoreboard ticking as UAE looked to slow the scoring rate down with spin.

Vaishnave struck again in the 16th over, sending back Harshitha for a 27-ball 24. Esha Oza then snared two in an over to give UAE a boost in the next over. 

She had Vishmi stumped by teasing her with a delivery well outside off-stump before trapping Hasini Perera in front off the fifth ball of the over.

A few late blows from Kavisha Dilhari and Nilakshika Silva took Sri Lanka to 149/6.

In response, Oza was in the mood to swing hard and the UAE skipper raced to 25 off 18 balls in the first six overs, despite losing her opening partner early. 

Oza played some sublime strokes to put pressure on Sri Lanka despite the daunting target, and Khushi Sharma joined hands with her as UAE’s run-rate picked up.

Sugandika Kumari got rid of Khushi in the 10th over, but Oza continued to plunder runs, completing her half-century off just 34 balls.

Athapaththu sent back Kavisha Egodage and Prabodhani eventually bowled Oza after a brilliant 44-ball 66 – the wickets put the breaks on UAE’s charge. 

Sri Lanka eventually completed a convincing 15-run win to book a spot in the Women’s T20 World Cup 2024 later this year in Bangladesh.

They will meet Scotland, who beat Ireland in the other semi-final, in the final of the Qualifier on Tuesday.

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