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Team Preview: Scotland

With some well-known stars in their line-up, Scotland have often under-performed at global events. No.13 in the ICC T20I rankings, the Kathryn Bryce-led side should be one of the main contenders in the regional qualifier.

With a new head coach, Mark Coles, at the helm they will be hoping to use his experience and tactical nous to turn their recent form around, and put together string of good performances to finish at the top of the table.

Team speak: Much like Ireland, Scotland too had to wait for an eternity to finally return to the international fold in May this year. After a tremendous against-the-odds win against Ireland in their first game back, they faltered, and conceded the series 3-1. Since then, however, they have continued to play matches – club and regional – and be involved in training camps to fine-tune their skills ahead of what is a hugely important tournament.

Skipper Bryce, who turned out for Trent Rockets in The Hundred competition, believes the players – who were largely “rusty” in May, are in much better shape now. “There’s been quite a lot of club cricket going on in Scotland – like the premier league that’s been going on,” she told Associate Women in Cricket. “Most of the girls have been playing in that, so the standard of that is definitely getting stronger. And there’s been six weekends of regional cricket with two teams, so kind of about 25 of the girls split into two equal teams. They’ve had a series, which I think they tied in the end. So, that was really competitive cricket amongst themselves, which hopefully stands us in good stead.”

Key player: Recently crowned the ICC Associate Player of the Decade and one of the top allrounders in T20Is, it’s hard to look past Kathryn Bryce as being Scotland’s key performer. A genuine threat with the new ball – as she has proven over the years across various international series and domestic leagues – Bryce has taken 20 wickets in 18 T20Is. She gets the ball to hoop in to right handers, and bowls a nagging length that often has the batters stuck on the crease.

With the bat, too, she is a handful. A powerful striker with a calm head on her shoulders, Bryce can move quickly through the gears when called upon. A strong front foot player, she also owns a vicious cut shot with which she almost always finds the boundary.

Late last year, Bryce became a full-time professional cricketer having earned a contract with the East Midlands region in England. She continues to train and develop her game alongside sister Sarah under the keen eye of Lightning head coach Rob Taylor.

One to watch: 16-year-old off-spinner Katherine Fraser is one of Scotland’s superstars. Roped into the squad at only 14, she has since become a key cog in the side’s bowling attack, picking up 19 wickets in 16 T20Is.

“She’s been around for a bit now, but she’s still a young off-spinner,” skipper Bryce said of Fraser. “I think her batting’s really come on as well over the last year or so. She’s just got a fantastic cricket brain on her – just constantly stays composed under pressure and things like that. It will be a big tournament for her with the off-spin and probably a little more responsibility on her now.”

Squad: Kathryn Bryce (c), Sarah Bryce (wk / vc), Abbi Aitken-Drummond, Priyanaz Chatterji, Katherine Fraser, Becky Glen, Samantha Haggo, Lorna Jack, Ailsa Lister, Abtaha Maqsood, Katie McGill, Hannah Rainey, Charis Scott

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