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    Scotland Women qualify for first T20 World Cup with all-round display from Kathryn Bryce
Scotland Women qualify for first T20 World Cup with all-round display from Kathryn Bryce
Scotland celebrate after qualifying for their maiden T20 World Cup. Source: ICC/Getty Images

Scotland Women qualify for first T20 World Cup with all-round display from Kathryn Bryce

An all-round display from captain Kathryn Bryce helped Scotland Women make history as they qualified for their first T20 World Cup by beating Ireland in the first semi-final of the qualifiers on Sunday. Bryce took 4 for 8 with the ball and then 35* with the bat as Scotland restricted Ireland to 110, chasing down the target with 22 balls to spare.

The win helped Scotland book one of the two remaining places for the World Cup in Bangladesh in October.

Ireland won the toss and elected to bat first in Abu Dhabi. But the day belonged to Bryce. The right-arm medium-pacer struck twice in the first over of the day, removing both Ireland openers for ducks. Ireland never recovered from those early blows as they were reduced to 25 for 5 at the start of the seventh over. By then, Bryce had completed her four-wicket haul.

Leah Paul and Rebecca Stokell added 22 for the sixth wicket, but even that recovery was halted when Abtaha Maqsood had Stokell caught behind for 8. Paul and Arlene Kelly then put on 60 for the second wicket to take Ireland past the century mark. Kelly hit 35 off 27 balls before Paul was dismissed for 45 in the final over.

In the chase, Scotland openers Megan McColl and Saskia Horley began with a 49-run partnership, but McColl was the more dominant partner. Horley had scored just 10 when she fell to Kelly in the eighth over, with McColl on 29.

Then Bryce joined McColl in a stand of 49. The first three overs of their partnership brought 27 runs, including three boundaries from Bryce and a six from McColl. Both batsmen kept Scotland going in the middle overs, with McColl reaching her half-century in the 15th over.

But she fell to Kelly soon after. By then, Scotland needed just 13 from the remaining 33 balls. Bryce helped Scotland finish the job, hitting a boundary to end the proceedings.

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