New Zealand Survive Scotland Scare
New Zealand 146 for 7 (Williamson 38, Davey 3-40, Wardlaw 3-57) beat Scotland 142 (Machan 56, Berrington 50, Anderson 3-18, Vettori 3-24) by three wickets [Scorecard]
Scotland’s first World Cup outing was against joint-hosts New Zealand at the University Oval in Dunedin in a sold out match with 4,684 spectators packing into the ground.
New Zealand captain Brendon McCullum took little time in deciding to bowl first with the sun burning off any remaining cloud.
Alasdair Evans was unfortunate to miss out on selection after he had claimed seven wickets in the two official warm up games.
The conditions in the early part of the innings were conducive of swing, which Trent Boult fully exploited. The fast bowler struck with the first ball of the second over to remove Calum MacLeod LBW.
Things got worse for the visitors when Hamish Gardiner succumbed to the same fate as MacLeod, as Boult sent a swinging delivery crashing into the batsmans pads and the umpire raised the finger.
Scotland’s vice-captain and captain, Kyle Coetzer and Preston Mommsen, were both heading towards the pavilion in consecutive deliveries – Tim Southee claiming both wickets - to leave Scotland in all sorts of trouble on 12/4 in the 5th over.
Matthew Machan and Richie Berrington then produced Scotland’s best partnership of the innings, worth 93. Both looked comfortable at the crease and entertained the crowd with some impressive shots.
Machan was the first of the two to reach his half century with a single before Berrington struck Vettori back over his head for a huge six to bring up his 50.
The introduction of Cory Anderson immediately paid dividends for the Blackcaps, as he quickly dismissed the pair in quick succession with the use of the short ball - coaxing the well set batsmen into playing hook shots, only for both to be caught by the New Zealand fielders.
Vettori returned to clean up the tale, as the final six wickets fell for 33 runs, with Scotland posting 142 runs.
The New Zealand top-order came hard at the visitors, but Iain Wardlaw was rewarded for a good opening spell with the wickets of Martin Guptill and Brendon McCullum.
With New Zealand still seemingly cruising, Majid Haq picked up the wicket of Ross Taylor after the batsman looked to his him out of the attack, only to find the hands of Rob Taylor on the leg-side boundary.
Haq's wicket meant he moved level with the most Scotland capped wickets with Craig Wright. Matthew Cross also surpassed Colin Smith's record with the most ODI catches by a Scotland wicket-keeper.
Kane Williamson entertained the crowd with some beautiful strokes, top scoring with 38, but when he was caught behind by Cross New Zealand were 117/5, and the Scots grew in confidence.
Cory Anderson survived when he was put down on the fine-leg boundary by Wardlaw, but he was able to make amends grasping his second opportunity, quite literally, with both hands.
Things were to get even more intriguing when Luke Ronchi looked to finish the game quickly with a boundary, and picked out Gardiner in the deep, with New Zealand quickly running out of batsmen.
The winning runs would come from the edge of Vetorri’s bat over the slips, but it was an exciting finish to the game, which had previously looked like a foregone conclusion.
Scotland now travel to Christchurch tomorrow as preparations begin for their next match against England on Monday.