Scotland cruise past UAE in WT20Q opener
From By Kaylaan Geekie, Images ICC/Donald MacLeod, Ian Potts
UAE 109 (18.1 overs) Naveed 19*, Leask 3/20, Watt 3/20, Sharif 1/24, Scotland 110/1 (10 overs) Munsey 62*, Coetzer 39*. [Scorecard]
Scotland kicked off their World T20 Qualifier campaign with an emphatic nine-wicket victory in 10 overs over the United Arab Emirates at the Grange, on another glorious day in the capital.
Man of the Match George Munsey continued where he left off against Jersey on Tuesday, scoring 62 not out in a 96-run opening stand with Kyle Coetzer (39 from 16 balls) as the Scots cantered to victory.
Michael Leask (3-20) and Mark Watt (3-28) starred with the ball, which included 25 dot balls between themselves, strangling the Emirates’ batsmen, who earlier had got off to a fast start.
“The way Watty has come in and performed he has really taken the pressure off myself,” said Leask when probed on his young spin partner.
“The way we’ve bowled in tandem has been key in the last three games and been quite miserly while taking wickets, which takes pressure off the team.”
And his thoughts on the opening batsmen?: “Absolutely outstanding,” he said.
“Him [Munsey] and Kyle blew them away. They took an over or two to see how the wicket played then flew into action.
“It shows how much freedom the boys are playing with and with the batting to come, it shows how much talent there is in the group.”
Scotland captain Preston Mommsen won the toss and decided to bowl on a good batting wicket and his bowlers backed him up.
Alasdair Evans and Safyaan Sharif took a wicket apiece, accounting for the dangerous Faizan Asif (17) and Mohammad Shahzad (14) during the powerplay.
However, after they had made early inroads, the spinners “miserly” bowling - which Munsey had described as “the squeeze” after the win over Jersey - won the match for the Saltires.
Once again, the fielding was first-rate; Munsey taking three catches; Callum MacLeod, two and an sharp run out. Matthew Cross’ smart catches of Watt to dismiss Amjad Javed and Mohammad Naveed cemented an all-round excellent performance.
Leask added: “We’ve got an all-round [fielding] unit. If we have a bad day with the ball we can make it up with the bat, but also in the field - we’ve got a dynamic group.”
The UAE’s innings came to a tame end when Richie Berrington ran out Manjula Guruge, leaving the home side a modest 110 to win. This was in no way sufficient and Scotland made light work of the target inside in only 10 overs.
Scotland’s batting was brutal and despite a circumspect start from the openers, Munsey and Coetzer ended the powerplay on 76 with out loss.
Munsey hit 11 fours and a six from his 36 balls at a strike rate of 172 and Coetzer’s 39 included nine boundaries at an incredible strike rate of 244 runs per 100 balls.
Both were strong square of the wicket, dispatching the ball to all corners. However, it was the lofted cover drives and on drives that were particularly easy on the eye.
When Coetzer was bowled by Naveed, MacLeod knocked off the winning runs with half the innings remaining.
Asked about his role in the team Leask praised the coaching staff: “I’ve been working a lot on my bowling with the coaching staff. Grant’s [Bradburn] been brilliant, Craig Wright as well.