Scotland beat Kenya in WCL thriller
Scotland 242/4 (50 ov) Machan 114, Mommsen 63, Odhiambo 3-48) beat Kenya 230 (49.1 overs) Mishra 61, Ouma 57, Wardlaw 4-45, Machan 3-31) by 12 runs [Scorecard]
Scotland entertained Kenya on a blustery but sunny day at Mannofield for the first of two World Cricket League matches, with the home side looking to keep their hopes of automatic qualification for the 2015 World Cup alive.
Kenya won the toss and elected to field first. Kyle Coetzer and Freddie Coleman opened the batting for Scotland with the home team knowing the importance of a confident start.
Coleman was the first Scotland batsman to depart, caught by a diving Alex Obanda in the covers, from Nelson Odhiambo’s first ball of the day after scoring 7.
Scotland had reached 35 after the first 10 overs, against a speedy Kenyan attack on a lively pitch.
Coetzer in particular looked in excellent touch, as the home-coming batsman stoked 37 from 52 deliveries. He was then undone by an Odhiambo delivery that stayed low and crashed into his off-stump to leave the Scots on 58 for 2.
Calum MacLeod came to the crease but departed shortly after when he edged the ball to slip, giving Odhiambo his second wicket of the day to leave the home side in a precarious situation.
Scotland’s partnership of the match then ensued as Preston Mommsen joined Matt Machan and the Kenyans opted for spin from both ends. The pair were then made to work hard for their runs, being contained for a 9 over period where the boundary rope had failed to be breached.
The Scots brought up the Scotland 100 in the 30th over as they attempted to establish a foundation for a batting assault towards the end of the innings.
At this stage for Scotland to achieve a competitive total meant that an attacking approach was required. It was just after the drinks break that Scotland sparked into life taking full advantage of the batting power-play. Machan struck two boundaries in the 35th over, including an imperious straight-drive down the ground.
A scampered single to mid-wicket ensured Machan would reach his half century from 70 balls that included 4x4s. Mommsen ensured he wasn’t going to miss out, as he looked to hit out with intent down the ground.
Machan then produced some much needed fireworks as he took control launching James Ngoche for two big sixes at the start of the 40th over.
The runs continued to flow for the Scots, taking 14 runs from the 45th over.
The following over saw Machan knock the ball into the leg-side for 2 runs, to complete a wonderful maiden century for Scotland, understandably, to the delight of the batsmen and his teammates.
More boundaries came quickly, with 10 runs coming from the 47th over, as the end of the innings drew closer. Machan was eventually dismissed, clean bowled for 114 Mishra, and was welcomed back to the pavilion by an appreciative home crowd.
Scotland kept going to the end as the Scotland innings closed on 242/4, with Mommsen unbeaten on 63. It was perhaps the home side who would have been more satisfied from their first innings endeavours, although it was clear that with the pitch flattening out it was an achievable score.
In reply the Kenyans found themselves on 4/1 in the second over when Iain Wardlaw trapped Obanda LBW.
Ifran Karim and Morris Ouma then set about the target. Ouma in particular was looking assured taking advantage of the bad ball. Both batsmen were given a life during their innings with Scotland hoping the spilled chances wouldn’t cost them.
It was a big relief for the home side when both departed as Machan had Karim (31) caught behind and Rob Taylor took the scalp of Ouma (57) clipping the ball to Mommsen at mid-wicket.
The captain Obuya was dimissed after facing 10 balls by Machan, Mommsen again the catcher, the fielding side’s spirits were high.
It was a game that ebbed and flowed, and it was now the Kenyans who then seized the initiative, as Rakep Patel and Tamnay Mishra guided the Kenyans closer with some good hitting.
But Patel went for 50, again with Machan and Murphy working in tandem, to break an 84 run partnership and leave the Kenyans on 187/5 with nearly 9 overs remaining.
Aga then holed out to Taylor in the deep off the bowling of Calum MacLeod to swing the game back in Scotland’s favour. Although, with the total on 211/6, it meant that only 32 runs were required from the final 24 balls and 4 wickets in hand, to make it clear the match was going to the wire.
13 runs then came from the 48th over to leave Kenya now requiring 12 runs from the last 2 overs and Mishra still at the crease.
Wardlaw then stepped up to the plate to claim two LBW’s only 3 runs during the 48th over, to mean 13 was required from the final over of the match and only 1 wicket remaining.
Neil Carter was left to the final over with Mishra on strike. Thankfully for Scotland, it only lasted one delivery as the danger-man looked to hit a maximum, only to find Freddie Coleman in the deep who completed an excellent catch under pressure to give Scotland the win by 12 runs.
A pleased Matt Machan said after the match,” I’m really delighted after coming into the side for the UAE [tour], and obviously having lost those games it was really nice for us to get that first win as a group. I thought everyone played really well and I was delighted to get a few runs in a tricky situation during the middle overs and towards the end to get us to a competitive total.
When asked about the conditions Machan added, “I thought the conditions were tricky and they suited their bowlers a little more, with it being up and down and it was quite hard to score but I had to say to myself ‘just stay in there and it will only become easier towards the end and Preston Mommsen ran really well along -side me and we managed to get to 240 when I thought 220 was par.”
Scotland now take on Kenya in their second World Cricket League match on Tuesday at 10:45pm at Mannofield with free entry.