Brilliant Coetzer leads Scotland to the Super Sixes

A magnificent half century from Kyle Coetzer took Scotland to victory over Nepal and confirmed qualification for the Super Sixes at the ICC World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe.

Jake Perry @CricketScotland
March 8, 2018 1 week
Brilliant Coetzer leads Scotland to the Super Sixes
Photos ICC

Scotland 153-6 (K Coetzer 88*, Basant Regimi 2 for 26) beat Nepal 149 (Paras Khadka 63, S Whittingham 3 for 35) by 4 wickets

Scotland confirmed their place in the Super Six stage of the ICC World Cup Qualifier with a hard-fought victory over Nepal at the Queen’s Sports Club in Bulawayo. A magnificent captain’s innings from Kyle Coetzer coupled with another fine bowling display brought Scotland their third win of the competition as Grant Bradburn’s side took advantage of Zimbabwe’s inactivity to move clear at the top of Group B.

Scotland had chased successfully against both Afghanistan and Hong Kong and after Nepal captain Paras Khadka’s decision to ask the Scots to do so again he quickly saw his side slip to 14-4. Safyaan Sharif struck with his first delivery as Gyanendra Malla (1) chopped on before Stuart Whittingham, bowling with real pace and aggression in the Bulawayo heat, took three in five balls to rip apart the Nepalese top-order and crown a superb opening salvo from Scotland’s bowlers.

Khadka offered resistance with three boundaries off Richie Berrington but when Aarif Sheikh (2) was caught behind as he swished at the all-rounder’s final delivery of the over Nepal were further in the mire at 39-5.

The skipper continued to stand firm, however, and with Sompal Kami took the score beyond 50 as Khadka became the first batsman from Nepal to reach the landmark of 1000 List A runs. Alistair Evans and Mark Watt kept a tight check on the scoring, however, and with the batsmen struggling to pierce the field the pressure finally told at the beginning of the 25th as Kami (18) was run out by a terrific pick-up and throw from Berrington.

Khadka (63) completed what had been a crucial half century, his seventh in List A cricket, but when he mistimed a Tom Sole delivery to George Munsey at mid-off the end was in sight. Sharif (2 for 21) claimed his second wicket before Ali Evans (2 for 24) wrapped up the final two to see Nepal bowled out for 149 in the 48th over.

Scotland’s openers began watchfully against the new ball before clicking into gear in the sixth as Matthew Cross and Kyle Coetzer took seven from the over. Scotland’s captain looked in the mood as he hoisted Kami over deep midwicket for the first maximum of the match, and despite Cross (14) edging to slip to give seventeen-year-old Sandeep Lamichhane a wicket in his first over, Scotland were well on track at 35-1 after ten.

Much rested on the shoulders of Nepal’s young leg-spinner, but with new batsman Calum MacLeod settling into his stride experience began to tell. With few runs for the Nepalese bowlers to play with and with Coetzer and MacLeod content to nudge singles as they waited for the loose ball Scotland moved steadily toward the target.

MacLeod (15), Berrington (1) and Munsey (10) were to fall in quick succession, however, as Scotland wobbled. Coetzer continued to anchor the innings, bringing up his fifty with a deft dab to third man, but runs were becoming hard to come by. When Craig Wallace (17) and then Mark Watt (0) were dismissed with 28 still needed, Scotland were six down and Nepal were beginning to sense an opportunity.

Coetzer was to have the final say as he brought the match to a rapid end, however, confirming the victory with his third six of the innings in the 42nd over. Scotland remain at the summit of the table while Nepal have been left with a mountain to climb.

Following the match the ICC confirmed that Scotland’s game against Zimbabwe on Monday had been moved to Queens Cricket Ground Bulawayo for safety concerns,

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