Netherlands defeated Scotland on the final day of the European Women’s World Cup Qualifier Championship to seal their place in the Global Women’s World Cup Qualifier next year in Bangladesh. They now join Ireland in travelling to the sub-continent in November 2011, with hopes of reaching the ICC Women’s World Cup 2013 in India.
It was another excellent batting display as The Netherlands returned to winning ways against Scotland. Batting first after they were put in to bat, the Dutch amassed the highest total of the week, 250, for the loss of just four wickets. Two superb innings, from Helmien Rambaldo (unbeaten on 90) and Marijn Nijman (78), were the backbone of an impressive batting display in which they completely dominated all of the Scottish bowlers.
Scotland's reply began slowly and they were always well behind the required rate despite a solid opening partnership of 49 between Charlotte Bascombe and Catherine Smaill. Smaill's dismissal, bowled by Laura Brouwers for 38, started a sequence of middle order dismissals at regular intervals which reduced Scotland to 122 for six and the game was effectively over. The main destroyer was Esther De Lange with three wickets. Caroline Sweetman swung the bat to good effect to score an unbeaten 35 from 37 balls, but when the overs ran out Scotland were still 59 runs adrift.
Earlier the Dutch innings began badly with the loss of Esther Lanser before a run had been put on the board. When Monday's centurion, Caroline Salomons, was dismissed for a duck the innings was tottering at 45 for three. However, Rambaldo and Nijman had other ideas as they compiled a stand of 124 at a fast rate before Nijman was run out by Sweetman. Her innings included ten boundaries. Denise Hannema then came in to join Rambaldo and they stayed together to the end of the 50 overs. Unfortunately, Rambaldo was unable quite to reach the century that her effort deserved, while Hannema was unbeaten on 28.
So the large margin of victory enabled The Netherlands to jump over Ireland and claim second spot in the Championship table, while Scotland were left without a win for their efforts throughout the week.
For Dutch captain Helmien Rambaldo there was the added honour of claiming the tournament's Most Valuable Player award ahead of ECB's Fran Wilson and Kathryn Doherty.
In the day’s other match Ireland needed to defeat the ECB Development XI to clinch the European title, Ireland's hopes disappeared with a disastrous batting middle and lower order batting collapse. Having been put in to bat, Ireland staggered to a total of just 105 before they were dismissed in the 45th over. Only Laura Delany, with 36, offered any real resistance to an English bowling attack which kept to the basic principles of line and length.
The ECB side then knocked off the runs before the end of the 27th over, for the loss of just 3 wickets, with opener Alice MacLeod leading them home with an unbeaten 42. She was well supported by Fran Wilson, who once again batted most impressively before being bowled by Eimear Richardson for 35.
Ireland began confidently and had reached 56 for the loss of just Richardson and Emma Beamish. However, with the dismissal of Beamish, Laura Delany was given no support by any of the subsequent batters as wickets fell quickly. Delany was seventh out, at 90, having made 36 from 110 balls in her attempt to stem the demise of her team. None of the last eight reached double figures as Alex Hartley captured three late wickets to back up the earlier efforts of Kathryn Doherty and Lucy Maxwell, who each claimed two victims.
Although the ECB side went in to this match with a win less than Ireland, they had started with a superior net run rate, and so the crushing manner of the victory win ensured them top place.
Score summaries (day four):
New Williamfield, Stirling (Pitch 1): Ireland 105, 44.4 overs (L Delany 36, A Hartley 3-8)
ECB Development XI 106-3, 26.1 overs (A MacLeod 42, F Wilson 35, E Richardson 2-24)
ECB Development XI won by 7 wickets
New Williamfield, Stirling (Pitch 2): Netherlands 250-4, 50 overs (H Rambaldo 90*, M Nijman 78)
Scotland 191-8, 50 overs (C Smaill 38, C Sweetman 35*, E De Lange 3-39)
Netherlands won by 59 runs
Final Standings: ECB Development XI, Netherlands, Ireland 4 points, Scotland 0 points