A remarkable, all-round performance by Scotland captain, Katherine Fraser, guided her side to a tense, five-wicket win over the United States of America (USA) in the ICC Under19 Women’s T20 World Cup fourth place playoff in Benoni.
This was their first win, in what was their last match of the tournament.
Fraser, who had initially picked up 3/23 as the USA posted a competitive total of 147/7 in their innings, took matters into her own hands when she came in to bat, despite visibly suffering with the intense heat at Willowmoore Park.
Fraser, who rode her luck (she was dropped three times) in a 59-run knock (47 balls) featuring eight fours and a six, left Scotland needing eight off the final over when she was finally caught by a USA side which put down several catches on the day.
Another dropped catch and two wide balls by death bowler Isani Vaghela gave the Scots – who passed 100 for the first time in the competition – the leg up they needed before Molly Paton hit the winning runs with a boundary, two balls from the end.
The USA’s decision to bat first when they won the toss was vindicated by openers Laasaya Mullapudi and Disha Dhingra, who were watchful to begin with but accelerated nicely to set up a first wicket platform of 75 off 63 balls.
Left-hander, Mullapudi, regularly found gaps in her 33-ball 43 (eight fours) while Dhingra was more circumspect, her 30 coming from the same number of balls as Mullapudi’s runs and featuring six fours.
Dhingra’s dismissal in the 11th over ushered in a period where Scotland wrested the momentum as fast bowler Orla Montgomery struck quickly for her two wickets in the match.
A brisk partnership of 25 (15 balls) by skipper Geetika Kodali (22) and Ritu Singh (13) gave the USA just the impetus they needed in the closing stages to get their highest score in the tournament and post a challenging total.
The Scots kept taking their wickets and catches as the USA tried to accelerate, with Fraser picking up all three of her wickets during that time while Darcey Carter’s catching at cow corner was sensational to the tune of three grabs.
Scotland’s reply had a similar, nothing-to-lose narrative about it, and despite losing the dangerous Ailsa Lister with 15 runs on the board to a great recovery catch by Tya Gonsalves, they would recover to keep pace with the USA’s batting for the rest of the innings.
Scores in brief:
Toss: USA, who elected to bat.
USA 147 for 7 in 20 overs (Laasaya Mullapudi 43, Disha Dhingra 30, Katherine Fraser three for 23, Orla Montgomery two for 29)
Scotland 148 for five in 19.4 overs (Katherine Fraser 59, Emma Walsingham 27, Aditiba Chudasama two for 20, Geetika Kodali one for 19)
Scotland won by 5 wickets with two balls remaining.