The Netherlands women’s team staged a remarkable comeback on Saturday, after a long and frustrating week in Stirling, to beat both the USA and Scotland and claim the second qualifying spot at next year’s global T20 qualifier.

After losing their opening match against Scotland by seven wickets and then seeing their first encounter with the USA fall victim to the weather, the Dutch knew that if they were unable to play again the Americans would finish ahead of them on superior net run rate.

But improving conditions and hard work by the Williamfield ground staff meant that a double-header was possible on Saturday, with the Netherlands taking on both the USA and the hosts.

Batting first against the USA, the Dutch ran up an imposing total of 184 for four – by a distance the highest total of the week – thanks to a superb knock of 88 from Sterre Kalis, made from 55 deliveries with six fours and four sixes, and an equally crucial innings of 51 from 30 balls by new captain Heather Siegers.

That proved too great a task for the Americans, who nevertheless recovered from 19 for two to post a respectable 148 for five.

Now sure of qualifying, the Dutch women went into their final match, the return against Scotland carried over from the previous day, knowing that they had a chance of overtaking their opponents and winning the tournament if they achieved a large enough margin of victory.

Put in to bat, they managed 129 for six from their 20 overs, with Kalis and Siegers again contributing the lion’s share of the runs; Kalis made a 45-ball 48, while her skipper hit 32 from 21 deliveries.

At 93 for four in the 14th over when Kalis departed a larger total had seemed on the cards, but the Scots fought back well to restrict their target to six and a half an over.

Siegers struck a crucial blow for her side by removing Lorna Jack, whose 60 in the first match had secured the Scottish win, for just 12 this time, and with Robine Rijke conceding just 11 from her four overs and picking up two wickets, the Dutch bowlers turned the screw.

Leonie Bennett, back in the side after a prolonged absence through injury, picked up the key wicket of Kathryn Bryce, finishing with two for 22 from her four overs, and Siegers took three for 29 as Scotland ended on 111 for seven.

This gave the Netherlands a hard-fought 18-run victory, but Scotland’s effort was enough to keep them ahead on run rate and allow them to take the title.

From a Dutch point of view, the comeback showed impressive character, and bodes well for the further development of what is still a very young team.

Its balance was also enhanced by the return not only of Bennett, but also of former captain Helmien Rambaldo, who top-scored with a 24-ball 32 in that opening defeat by Scotland.

Heather Siegers also enjoyed a highly successful first international tournament as captain, and her all-round performance earned her the Player of the Tournament award.