A thrilling victory in their final game helped Scotland finish on a high after an ICC U19 Women’s T20 World Cup 2023 campaign that saw them learn plenty of valuable lessons.
Wins - 1
Losses - 3
Finishing position - Knocked out in first group stage
The future of Scottish cricket looks bright if this squad’s gutsy performances are anything to go by.
Captain Katherine Fraser is a real talent with both bat and ball, but there’s plenty of other quality within the squad to suggest that the next generation are ready to make an impact for the senior Scotland Women’s team.
THE BEHIND-THE-SCENES VIEW
Sonali Dhulap is part of the ICC’s team on the ground in South Africa, and had this to say about her experiences working with and alongside the Scotland squad:
"Scotland were a relatively shy group of players, but were clearly determined and ready to put in effort.
"They had focus and were disciplined and, while their hard work did not translate into multiple positive results on the field, they gave us plenty of moments to cheer with some laudable performances, especially with the ball.
"There was a special kind of joy to simply watch them backing each other on the field and looking out for each other."
STAR PERFORMER – Katherine Fraser
The Scotland captain finished as both her side’s top run-scorer and leading wicket-taker.
It’s clear that the all-rounder has a bright future in the game, and she stepped up her level to trouble some of the best players at the tournament.
Fraser got good players out – including the excellent Indian Richa Ghosh – and took nine wickets across her four outings.
And she also showed that she can deliver when it matters, hitting her best score (59) at a crucial point of the final match against USA to set up the win.
NOTABLE MENTION – Nayma Sheikh
The 16-year-old all-rounder delivered consistent returns throughout the tournament.
None of Scotland’s opponents were able to really get after her bowling, and she finished as her side’s second-highest wicket-taker with four to her name – including the prized scalp of Shafali Verma.
WHAT THE MENTOR SAID
Abtaha Maqsood – Scotland international and ICC Mentor
“I’m honoured to have been given the opportunity to mentor Scotland and Bangladesh, we’ve had so much fun and there’s been a lot of learning and growing from the players’ point of view. They have been hungry to soak up what has been shared and it’s been an incredible experience.”
WORLD CUP RESULTS
UAE – Lost by 6 wickets
A disappointing first outing with the bat ultimately proved pivotal in curtailing Scotland’s tournament.
Three wickets fell in the powerplay and, despite decent recovery knocks by Walsingham (37) and Fraser (17), Scotland reached just 99/9 in their 20 overs.
Fraser (1/20), Sheikh (1/22) and especially Maisie Maceira (2/7) all impressed with the ball, but the target score proved insufficient as UAE chased it down with relative ease.
South Africa – Lost by 44 runs
A superb bowling display caused the tournament hosts some real problems, with Sheikh again impressive with her 1/14 from four overs. Fraser took 3/25, while Niamh Robertson-Jack also excelled with 2/12 from four.
Scotland at one stage had the Proteas at 43/6 and in a heap of trouble, only for Kayla Reyneke (53) and Jenna Evans (22*) to put on an innings-saving partnership of 67.
Faced with a target of 113 to win, Scotland’s top-order all got starts but were unable to go on. Wickets began to tumble despite Sheikh holding on at the other end, and the prospect of victory had slipped away long before the Scots were bowled out for 68.
India – Lost by 85 runs
Sheikh’s dismissal of dangerous opener Shafali Verma gave Scotland a great start, and the bowling attack did well to keep India’s powerful top order from going really big.
Richa Ghosh (33) and Gongadi Trisha (57) proved tricky to remove, at least until Fraser bagged both in the space of three balls.
But a target of 152 was again a tough ask against a quality Indian attack. Openers Ailsa Lister and Darcey Carter can hold their heads high after decent contributions up top, but the win never looked on.
USA – Won by 5 wickets
A tidy and combined effort from the bowling attack gave USA some problems, with Sheikh again excellent (1/19) and Orla Montgomery (2/29) impressing.
But Fraser’s returns of 3/23 were the pick of the bunch, and she prevented a late flurry by removing two set batters.
A target of 148 to win gave Scotland one last chance to click with the bat, and they did just that. Lister set the tone with two boundaries early on, and Carter (15 from 15), Walsingham (27 from 26) and Emily Tucker (15 from 17) helped keep the momentum up.
Yet it was the captain whose knock really did the trick, with Fraser’s outstanding 59 coming from just 47 balls.
The game went down to a nail-biting final over, with Molly Paton hitting the winning boundary to seal the win with two balls to spare.