First blood to the Blues
A Scotland XI opened their account in the UAE with a close encounter against the Emirates Cricket Boards UAE Blues, at Sharjah cricket ground earlier today, in preparation for the upcoming series against Afghanistan.
The hosts won the toss and elected to bat first on a warm and pleasant day in Dubai.
Josh Davey will join the rest of the squad next week following a stint at the Darren Lehmann Academy in Australia, while Gordon Goudie and Safyaan Sharif also sat out of the first fixture.
Neil Carter and Iain Wardlaw opened the bowling for Scotland, and it was the former who claimed the first wicket of the tour.
The UAE Blues found themselves in a bit of trouble after losing two quick wickets, when Wardlaw had Shimon caught at fine leg by Carter, the former Warwickshire man then proved too quick for Swaprill to leave the hosts on 40/4.
Ali Arshad showed some resistance; scoring 34 before confusion in the middle saw him short of his ground with Drummond and Murphy combining forces. The scoreboard showed the UAE Blues on 71/5 after 19 overs.
Some watchful batting guided the hosts to the drinks break on 126/6 after 35 overs. Scotland remained disciplined though and two further wickets came, both Carter and Wardlaw deceiving the batsmen with slower balls.
A spirited innings from Fayaz scoring 52*, pushed the final innings total to 209/8, with Carter claiming 3 wickets, and Wardlaw (figures?) the pick of the bowling attack.
Calum MacLeod and Carter opened the innings for the Scotland XI, under the lights, but Carter was back in the pavilion after being caught for 9. MacLeod followed him when he found the hands of the point fielder for 7, with the visitors on 24/2.
Kyle Coetzer joined Matt Machan at the crease and the pair built a handy partnership to take Scotland to 66/2 after 20 overs.
Coetzer reached a well deserved half-century before being caught at mid-off. Haq was dismissed; top edging a sweep shot for 16 and was followed by David Murphy, bowled for 0.
Mommsen led the charge with 47 until he was bowled attempting the sweep shot to leave Scotland XI needing 41 runs from the final 36 balls.
Controversy followed when Berrington was given run-out when it looked as though the player might not have had control of the ball, but the umpire’s finger was in the air.
Taylor was then caught behind next ball, and Moneeb Iqbal joined Gordon Drummond in the middle but they looked like they might just reach the target when Iqbal sent the first ball of the final over high over mid-wicket for 6.
However, 11 off the following 5 balls proved to be too much and Scotland Development XI finishing 7 runs short.
After the match Scotland coach, Pete Steindl said, “It proved to be a useful exercise for the team today.
We saw a few solid performances and some good points to take from the game, whilst also highlighting some areas that we need to improve on.”
The team will play their second match against the same opponents on Tuesday.