Afghanistan defeat Scotland in Dubai

08 Jan
Current and former Scotland coaches, Grant Bradburn and Andy Moles Scotland 237/8 (45/45 ov) Gardiner 96, Cross 28, Zadran 9-1-41-3 lost to Afghanistan 240/2 (38.0/45 ov) Ahmadi 74, Zazai 48*, Jamal 52*, by 8 wickets [Scorecard] 

The players arrived at the ICC Academy in Dubai for their first encounter of the Triangular series against Afghanistan, only to be greeted by mist.

Mohammed Nabi won the toss and swiftly asked Scotland to bat first, after the wet start meant the match was reduced to 45 overs per side.

With a bit of dew still about the Afghans looked to exploit the seaming conditions, with the dangerous Dalwat Zadran spearheading their attack. 

The Scotland innings started badly, as Calum MacLeod edged behind to wicket-keeper Zazai only three balls into the innings.  

It was Hamish Gardiner who starred with the bat to get things back on track for Scotland with a patient and well-paced innings. After seeing out the testing conditions at the start of play, he reached his half century from 50 balls, which included 8x4s.

Coetzer (22) and Machan (24) both made solid starts, but couldn’t go on, while Mommsen and Berrington were both dismissed cheaply, to leave Scotland on 120/5 in the 30th over.

Gardiner was dismissed just four runs short of his maiden ODI century for Scotland, as he chopped the ball onto his stumps from a well disguised slower ball by Zadran – as the big bowler picked up his third wicket of the day.

The lower-order added a useful contribution, as Leask (19), Cross (28) and Davey (22*) helped push the score past 200, to conclude the Scotland innings on 237/8.

Afghanistan came out of the traps flying when the teams returned after lunch. Batsmen Javed Ahmadi and Usman Ghani launched into the Scotland bowlers to put their side into pole position with an opening stand worth 121 in just 17 overs.  

Ahmadi’s 74 from 81 deliveries included nine 4s and a six, while Ghani made 48. Berrington tried in vain to get Scotland back into the match - dismissing both openers -but a solid enough foundation had already been set to cause little alarm in the Afghan ranks.

Wicket-keeper Zazai and Jamal guided their team home with an unbeaten 104 run partnership, giving Afghanistan the first win of the tournament by 8 wickets. 

After the match Coach Grant Bradburn said, "Today was disapointing. We were rusty and looked like a team who hadn't played a game for seven weeks, which is the case, but we prepared well, but need to get some grass time into our legs and wern't quite accurate as in execution - particularly with the ball today.

Hamish played very well, and i was proud with him today, to get his highest score for Scotland, it's just a shame it wasn't a 100."

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