NZ XI Defeat Scotland By 1 Run
New Zealand XI 263ao (50 overs), Anderson 53, B McCullum 52, Berrington 3/66, Wardlaw 2/43, Haq 2/44 beat Scotland 262ao (50 overs) Machan 83, Gardiner 54, Coleman 56, by 1 run [Scorecard]
Scotland’s HPP tour continued at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval against a star- studded Blackcaps XI on Wednesday.
Preston Mommsen won the toss and elected to field first in the hope of taking advantage of the overcast conditions, on a wicket that produced both seam movement and bounce for the opening bowlers.
Iain Wardlaw and Rob Taylor were both rewarded with the early wickets of Martin Guptill and Dean Brownlie, after a strong start ensured New Zealand XI were restricted to 20/2 in the tenth over.
Former Scottish Saltire Tom Latham was joined by Brendon McCullum in the middle, with McCullum displaying his class by hitting the third delivery he faced for a maximum.
The Blackcaps star would continue his innings in an aggressive manner striking 52 from 62 deliveries, which included 5 fours and 3 sixes, until he was caught on the leg-side boundary by Hamish Gardiner off Majid Haq, just as his team had reached three figures.
Latham, who had been quietly playing second fiddle to McCullum, had accumulated 39 runs before being beaten by a yorker from Richie Berrington to claim the fourth wicket of the innings.
The Scots clearly had the bit between their teeth with two new batsmen at the crease, and soon earned another breakthrough – Berrigton removing Colin Munro LBW 8 runs later.
Luke Ronchi produced an entertaining innings, stroking three consecutive fours, until a straight drive picked out the waiting hands of Mommsen and mid-on.
Cory Anderson looked hungry for a big score, striking 4 fours and 2 huge sixes, to record a brisk 50 to steady the host’s innings.
The tail all contributed to the NZ score after Anderson had departed the scene, with the final wicket producing a stand of 55 runs between Kyle Mills (33) and Matt Henry (21*) to post 263, as Berrington bowled the former from the final ball of the innings.
Scotland would have been disappointed that they didn’t restrict their opponents to 50 runs less after a couple of opportunities were missed in the field later in the innings, but they must take credit for bowling and fielding to an impressive standard.
In reply the Scots lost Kyle Coezer in the first over of the innings, thanks to a brilliant catch by Henry at short mid-wicket.
MacLeod found the boundary from consecutive deliveries as his innings started in an imposing manner. He made his way to 22 before succumbing to a pull-shot which was held by Mills on the fence.
Mommsen soon followed - edging Mills to Latham in the slips - with Scotland sitting on 43/3 in the 9th over of the Scotland innings.
Gardiner looked strong through the off-side finding the boundary on several occasions, while Matt Machan took the attack to Daniel Vettori, reverse-sweeping the former New Zealand captain to the boundary in the 12th over.
The pair produced a solid 50 run partnership, with Machan hoisting McCullum for a sweetly struck six over mid-wicket. It wasn’t long before Machan reached his half century from 51 deliveries, which included 6 fours and a six.
Gardiner then reached 50 as the third wicket partnership was now worth over 100. Gardiner was unfortunate to be run out when Mills deflected a return catch opportunity onto the stumps at the non-strikers end with the score on 152 in the 31st over.
Machan kept Scotland in the hunt until his swashbuckling innings came to an end, plundering a fine 83. Freddie Coleman ensured the momentum of the innings wasn’t lost going into the final 10 overs, with 74 runs required.
The loss of Berrington and Cross didn’t perturb Coleman. The 22 year-old struck Vettori down the ground for consecutive boundaries, before reaching his half century.
Coleman was then caught from a leading edge to McCullum in the covers with 21 runs from 18 balls needed for victory, with final pairing Evans and Haq at the crease.
The two Scots managed to take the game into the final over with 7 runs required for victory. An excellent over by McClenaghan ensured a thrilling conclusion with 2 runs needed from the final delivery of the match.
A despairing dive by Evans couln’t prevent the bowler being run out by McCullum, running with the ball in hand to the non-strikers end, to ensure New Zealand XI would win by 1 run.