Coetzer prepares to take on Hong Kong

07 Sep

Scotland Vice-Captain Kyle Coetzer wants the side to finish the summer on a high and carry on their good ODI form from last month when they take on Hong Kong in the next few days. 

The two sides meet in this year’s edition of the Braidwood Cup at the Grange in Edinburgh on Thursday and Saturday.   

This will be the first time they have met since the 2016 ICC World T20 in India, where Scotland secured their first win at a global event in Nagpur.  

Last month at the Grange, Scotland defeated the UAE in two World Cricket League ODIs - and Coetzer believes Grant Bradburn's side have to go into these encounters with the same intent. 

The 32-year-old said:  “I was really pleased with the way that we took the game to the UAE last month and tried to dominate with ball, ball and in the field. 

“We were the home team and we had to come out and set our stall out. 

“Since then all of the guys have gone back to their clubs and played in some important end of season matches, but now we have to be switched on from ball one of the first Hong Kong clash on Thursday if we are to get the desired result that we want as a group. 

“We know that Hong Kong have been on tour for a couple of weeks and defeated Ireland in a T20 the other day, so they will be ‘match ready’ and we have to make sure we are too. 

“The guys are all focused and looking forward to the challenges ahead.”

As Coetzer mentioned, Hong Kong have been in Ireland of late prior to their trip to the Scottish capital. 

Ireland defeated them in a four-day Intercontinental Cup match, but then the visitors won the first T20 at Bready on Monday. 

In that one Hong Kong scored 169-5 batting first and then bowled the hosts out for 129. 

With the bat Nizakat Khan hit 62 and skipper Babar Hayat 49 off just 31 balls and with the ball Aizaz Khan led the way with 3-10. 

The second T20 between the sides was rained off on Tuesday, meaning Hong Kong arrive on these shores on a high. 

Meanwhile, this summer has seen Scotland ‘A’ put in number of positive showings down south while the likes of Chris Sole have come in and made an impact in the full national side. 

Coetzer has been around the Scotland camp for a number of years now and he feels that the strength-in-depth is now as good as it has ever been. 

“Every place in the Scotland team is under threat with guys pushing us hard and that is exciting,” he enthused. 

“We know that we have ‘A’ team guys and young guys waiting in the wings for their chance and that raises all our standards because we cannot afford sloppy performances.” 

This season Coetzer, who is originally from Aberdeen and has previously played a lot of county cricket, has been playing his club cricket for Benwell Hill in England’s North East Premier League. 

“I have enjoyed it there and I know quite a bit about the league because I played there when I was a member of the Durham Academy years ago,” he explained. 

“The standard of cricket is pretty high there and I think it has kept me ticking over well in between Scotland matches.” 

And finally before his thoughts totally switch to the two Hong King meetings, Coetzer took time out to pay tribute to his former Scotland colleague Gordon Drummond. 

Drummond retired after last Saturday’s Grand Final win with Carlton and Coetzer said:  “I don’t think enough can be said about Gordon’s character. 

“He was Scotland captain during a transitional period, but he got his head down and really got on with the job well. He is a leader and when he talks you listen to him. The team spirit around that time was great and that was all down to him. I wish him all the best for the future.” 

Scotland squad: Preston Mommsen (Capt), Kyle Coetzer (Vice-Captain), Matthew Cross w/k, Richie Berrington, Calum MacLeod, Michael Leask, Mark Watt, Alasdair Evans, Safyaan Sharif, Con de Lange, Craig Wallace, Chris Sole, Gavin Main* 

*Second ODI only

By Gary Heatly 

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