Scotland lost the second T20 international in the Laser Book Bilateral Series by 102-runs on Friday at The Grange in Edinburgh.
New Zealand won the toss and decided to have a bat, perhaps not surprising given they had put on 225 runs in the ‘first half’ on Wednesday when they won the first clash between the sides.
Scotland made three changes as they looked to bounce back from the opening 68-run defeat with batter Michael Jones making his T20 international debut and bowlers Ali Evans and Gavin Main also coming in. Dropping out were Calum MacLeod, Chris Sole and Safyaan Sharif.
Dane Cleaver and Wednesday’s centurion Finn Allen got New Zealand off to a flyer, 25 runs coming from 2.1 overs before the latter was caught by Mark Watt off the bowling of Main for six.
It was Main’s first ball of the match and continued a fine 2022 for him personally.
Cleaver and number three Mark Chapman then took the score up and over 50 before the former was the next man out. That was midway through the sixth over when he mistimed a ramp shot off Evans and was caught by Oli Hairs for 28.
By the end of the 10th over Chapman and Daryl Mitchell had reset well and were hitting some big shots meaning that New Zealand were very well set on 103-2 with half of their innings left.
Chapman hit one six and Mitchell two in the next over before Hamza Tahir had the latter caught by Evans for 31.
Scotland skipper Richie Berrington then dropped Michael Bracewell in the 12th over and he would go on to make Scotland pay.
Chapman had already reached his 50 by this point and in the 14th over he took 12 off Tahir and Bracewell took seven.
Seventeen runs off the 15th over bowled by Evans put New Zealand on 175-3 with a quarter of their innings left and on course for a big total.
Chapman went early in the 16th over as he was caught by Jones off the bowling of Chris Greaves, but his excellent 83 off 44 balls had included 12 boundaries and was a joy to watch.
Over 17 went for 13 overs, over 18 went for 16 runs, over 19 went for 26 runs and over 20 went for 15 runs as New Zealand made best ever total of 254-5 in this format.
The final wicket had come off the last ball of the innings when Watt took a good catch off Main to remove Jimmy Neesham for 28.
Bracewell was left on 61 not out off 28 balls while Main finished with figures of 2-44 and Greaves 1-23.
Scotland had to get off to a quick start in the reply if they were to have any chance and George Munsey hit 13 off the first over from Jacob Duffy and then a four off the first ball of the second over bowled by Bracewell.
Sadly, he lost opening partner Jones to a two ball duck when he was caught by Mitchell off Bracewell soon after.
That was 18-1 and then in the fourth over Munsey was pinned LBW by Neesham for 19 to leave the home side 28-2.
Three balls later Matthew Cross was then caught by Bracewell for 12 and when Hairs was run out for four thanks to a great bit of work by wicketkeeper Cleaver in the fifth over it was 37-4.
Berrington and Greaves then put on 30 for the fifth wicket before the former was caught by Mitchell off the bowling of Mitchell Santner for 22 off 12 balls in the eighth over.
Greaves and Michael Leask then came together with the score progressing to 96-5, the former really trying to push things on with some nice shots including a big six off Michael Rippon of the penultimate ball of the 10th over.
He had taken his country up and over the 100 run mark and was looking good on 37 off 29 balls before he was caught and bowled by Ish Sodhi, the bowler taking a cracking one handed grab.
At the 15 over mark Scotland were 122-6 and the very next ball Leask was stumped by Cleaver off the bowling of Michael Rippon for 14.
Watt fell to Ben Sears – caught by Neesham – in the 17th over for 13 and in the 18th over Evans went. Main finished on 12 not out, but 152-9 was not enough.
Neesham took 2-9 and Rippon 2-37 for New Zealand while Mark Chapman was the player of the match.
After the match Scotland head coach Shane Burger said: “We’ve got work to do [in this format]. The game doesn’t stop, it keeps rejuvenating itself and getting better, but that is a good test for us to keep learning.”
The two sides will meet next in a one off One Day International at the same venue on Sunday at 11am.
“I’m really excited for that one,” Burger adds.
“We’ve been playing some good 50-over cricket but it’s been in World Cup Cricket World Cup League Two and we know New Zealand are going to throw a really good testing challenge at us.”