Aitken dominates the Dutch as Scotland take series opener at ICC Women's Qualifier

Don McDermott
Tue, Jul 12, 2016 9:29 PM

Aitken dominates the Dutch as Scotland take series opener at ICC Women's Qualifier
Scotland's captain Abbi Aitken tallied three wickets, a catch and a run out as Scotland held off the Netherlands and the weather for a 27-run D/L win at Garon Park in the first game of the ICC Women's European Qualifiers.

Scotland were put in to bat and posted 218-5, and then the game was delayed as the rain came down on and off throughout the afternoon.

But thanks to Aitken's brilliant, the Scottish limited the Dutch to 133-7 in 26 overs to win the first game of the three-match series.

Aitken said after the match, "We had a bit of a slow start, but getting up to 218 with those last 15 overs was crucial. We felt we could definitely defend that."
She added about the weather-influenced Dutch reply, "It's always frustrating, coming on and off, but we were prepared. It is what it is."

Sarah Bryce and Olivia Rae opened the innings for Scotland and got off to a slow start as Rae was caught behind for one off the bowling of Liesbeth Klokgieters and the Scottish were just 10-1 after five overs.

Scotland continued to plod along at two runs an over and then began to slowly increase the run rate as Bryce and new partner Kari Anderson got set in.
But Bryce was stumped for 37 runs to end the 27th over and seven balls later Anderson was narrowly run out by Cher Van Slobbe for 26 to put Scotland at 72-3.

The Scottish were not daunted as Kathryn Bryce and Rachel Scholes began to play aggressively. Bryce brought up the hundred with two fours in the 34th over but it was Scholes who really revitalized the Scotland innings, scoring 43 runs from 40 deliveries with seven fours.

After Scholes was caught out at long off, Kirstie Gordon came in and kept up the onslaught as Scotland pushed past 200.
Gordon was caught with three balls remaining, departing for a brilliant 36 from 29 and Scotland finished their innings 218-5.

After an hour-long rain delay, Netherlands came in to chase a revised target of 202 runs in 41 overs. Openers Veringmeier and De Leede put up a quick 20 runs in 3.2 overs before the players were off again for rain.

The Dutch target was changed to 183 from 34 and then Aitken suddenly took over the game.

Aitken ran out De Leede for three, trapped Van Slobbe LBW for duck and bowled Veringmeier for 25 before another rain delay.

When play resumed with the Dutch needing 161 from 26 overs, Aitken reduced the Netherlands to 37-4 in 9.1 overs as Sterre Kalis was caught by Scholes off the captain's bowling.

Sarah Bryce ran out Heather Siegers for two runs and the Netherlands had lost half their wickets and still required 118 runs from 96 balls.

Gordon took two wickets and Aitken got in the action again with one of them, catching Helmien Rambaldo.

Now seven wickets down, the Netherlands were unable to control a rising run rate and fell well short, finishing on 133-7.
Aitken's was modest about her personal performance but said she was "delighted to contribute."

"It's my role as the opening bowler, but I think the team showed a fantastic performance all round," she added. "We'll be looking to go out tomorrow with the foot on the gas and hopefully get over the line."

The second game will be at 11 am on Wednesday and the third match will be on Friday at the same time. The winner of the series will advance to the ICC Women's World Cup Qualifier which will take place in February.

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