Saltires v Derbyshire
From Cricket Scotland, Ian Potts
Derbyshire won by 6 wickets (with 14 balls remaining)
The Scottish Saltires welcomed Derbyshire to the Grange in Edinburgh for the first of their bank holiday double header in the Yorkshire Bank 40.
For the Saltires, Gordon Goudie was selected after returning to full fitness, whilst Calum MacLeod and Dewald Nel missed out from the initial 13 man squad.
Saltires captain Preston Mommsen won the toss and elected to bat in dry, but slightly overcast conditions at the Grange, with The Scots looking to post a competitive total first up.
The young Scotland pairing of Freddie Coleman and Matthew Cross, who toured together at the under 19 Cricket World Cup in Australia last year, opened the batting for the Saltires.
Both batsmen looked busy early on, with Cross looking to play aggressively as he offered up a chance to slip in the first over.
He followed that with two boundaries in the 2nd over, before being caught by the wicketkeeper Johnson off the bowling of Turner for 11.
Runs came steadily early on, but it was at the expense of another wicket as Coleman tried to play an expansive shot, hitting the ball into the grateful hands of Madsen mid-off.
By this point the Derbyshire bowlers were taking control of the game, with both openers Footit and Turner restricting the runs.
The pressure of the Derbyshire bowling was in the end too much for Ewan Chalmers, as he succumbed to Mark Footit’s bowling.
Berrington joined Preston Mommsen, tasked with rebuilding the innings. Richie Berrington was evidently timing the ball well, as he crashed the ball through the covers to the boundary, although his stay at the crease was to be short-lived, as he was caught behind.
The main priority for the Saltires was to keep wickets in hand, and rebuild after an unsteady start, as Moneeb Iqbal joined Mommsen.
After a watchful start, Mommsen looked in good touch and started to find the boundary regularly. He raced to 40 off 45 balls, playing some classy shots and working the ball around the ground.
The 100 run mark was brought up in the 25th over, and coincided with the 50 run partnership between Iqbal and Mommsen.
Just as Saltires looked to be getting a foothold in the game, Mommsen was dismissed, popping a catch up to Madsen, with the Saltires on 107-5.
New man Michael Leask started to control proceedings as he asserted his authority with two beautifully hit sixes.
He reached a fluent 21, and was striking the ball well, before he looked for another big hit off a full toss from Hughes, but unfortunately found the fielder in the deep at mid-wicket.
Majid Haq joined Iqbal, and the pair rotated the strike well without offering any chances.
Iqbal progressed into the thirties and looked well set going into the final 5 overs.
He looked to push the score on, but offered another chance to glove-man Johnson and departed for a measured 38 off 61 balls – the impressive Footit claiming his 3rd wicket.
This left the Saltires on 159-8 in the 37th over, with Calvin Burnett and Majid Haq looking to push the score above 175.
They pushed the total past that mark and reached 182-9 at the end of the innings, with Haq falling in the last over.
Chesney Hughes and Chanderpaul opened up in reply for Derbyshire, with the Saltires looking to make life difficult for the pair.
Goudie registered the first maiden of the day, however, the world-class Chanderpaul, who averages over 50 in test matches, looked comfortable at the crease.
The Derbyshire batsmen moved the score along to 37-0 after 10 overs without offering any chances; however, the Saltires looked lively in the field and were working hard to manufacture any chances.
Hughes was the more aggressive in the partnership, and registered a quick and assured fifty that included 7 boundaries.
He began to accelerate further, as the Scottish bowlers failed to make a breakthrough.
Captain Mommsen turned to the leg spin of Iqbal for a bit of inspiration, however the Derbyshire batsmen attacked him straight away and did not let him settle into a rhythm.
By this time, the game was slowly getting away from the hosts, and they needed a wicket desperately.
Iqbal conceded 12 runs in his first over, and Mommsen brought himself on from the Nursery End.
It was Mommsen who made the initial breakthrough in his first over, as Hughes was caught by Coleman for 74.
This sparked a period of pressure from the Saltires, with Drummond as economical as ever.
This pressure was soon rewarded as Chanderpaul, who had not long passed his fifty, was removed by Drummond - claiming a sharp one handed catch to keep things interesting in the tie - finishing his spell of 8 overs for the loss of only 21 runs.
The Saltires were dominating the middle period of the innings, with Derbyshire looking rattled with the loss of a few quick wickets.
This was worsened when Madsen attempted a reverse sweep off Haq’s bowling and was clean bowled.
Derbyshire were now sitting on 146-3 with two new men, Borrington and Godleman, at the crease.
Both batsmen mixed rotating the strike well with the odd lusty blow, but the Saltires were still buoyed by their spell of pressure.
Leask claimed his second ever Saltires wicket by having Borrington caught, however at this stage Derbyshire were 172-4 and needed only 11 runs to win.
The visitors eventually crossed the line in the 38th over courtesy of a boundary from Richard Johnson.
The Saltires put up a brave fight in the end. After toiling at 51-4, both Iqbal and Mommsen helped reach a defendable total of 182.
After a 100 partnership between the Derbyshire opening batsmen, the Saltires managed to fight their way back into the match, pinning Derbyshire back to 142-3.
However after struggling through the middle period of the innings, Derbyshire managed to reach the total required in the 38th over, finishing on 186-4.
The Saltires now take on a strong Surrey squad today (27th May).