NZA show their class in the capital
New Zealand A 369/6 (50 overs) M Bracewell 106, Elliott 103*, Taylor 3/69, beat Scotland 272ao (47.5 overs) Gardiner 82, Haq 54*, Berrington 50, D Bracewell 4/50, by 97 runs
Scotland entertained New Zealand A at the Grange in Edinburgh in the rescheduled fixture after Sunday’s original match in Ayr was washed out.
Blackcaps captain BJ Watling won the toss and elected to bat first at a sunny, but rather cold, Raeburn place.
The NZA opening pair had a Scottish flavour to it; former Saltire, Tom Latham, joined Ayr CC's former professional, Hamish Rutherford in the middle.
Latham managed 36 before he succumbed to a fuller delivery by Rob Taylor and was clean bowled. Rutherford then took the attack to the Scots striking a composed 98 from 100 deliveries, although he did benefit from a touch of fortune on the way. He departed looking to reach three figures with a six, but only succeeded in finding the hands of Gardiner, fielding at long-off, with 195 on the board.
Michael Bracewell was also striking the ball nicely, after a solid platform had been laid by his colleges. Centurion from Friday’s encounter, Grant Elliott, partnered Bracewell to put on the highest partnership of the match -124 runs from an entertaining 11.4 overs.
Bracewell’s 100 came from 86 deliveries with 6 fours and 3 sixes, including a huge hit out of the ground and into the tennis courts. Elliott continued to plunder boundaries with licence to hit out during the final 10 overs.
A brilliant bit of teamwork accounted for the wicket of de Grandhomme – Gardiner caught the ball mid-air as he headed over the rope, as he did so, he succeded in spooning the ball back in-field to Leask, who was lying in wait, to complete the catch.
A bit of confusion resulted in Elliott finishing the innings on 99*, although a re-calculation during lunch confirmed that he had, in fact, reached three figures, with New Zealand finishing on 369/6.
Scotland got off to a disappointing start when George Munsey was given out LBW in the first over of the reply. The innings was then thrown further into disarray after captain MacLeod was beaten by a Doug Bracewell delivery to be clean bowled for 0.
Craig Wallace found the boundary on three occasions as he made it to 19 from 21 balls, helping Scotland past 50, before he was comprehensively yorked by Bracewell.
Hamish Gardiner and Richie Berrington then got going with some elegant strokeplay, and scampered running between the wickets, to form an aesthetically pleasing 99 run partnership to apply some pressure to the New Zealand fielders.
Berrington reached his 50 but was then dismissed when he looked to go big down the ground, as Rutherford completed a catch on the boundary.
Gardiner was looking well-set for his first century for the national side, until he became Bracewell’s fourth scalp of the day, having made 82, with the score on 170/6 in the 31st over.
Haq and Murphy ground out some more runs, as the former reached his 50, but the end result by now never in doubt.
Finally, Haq was run out with two overs remaining, giving New Zealand the win by 97 runs.
The two teams will now contest the final match of the series tomorrow at the Grange.