Scotland defeat Kenya at the Grange
Kenya 141/5 (20 overs) Karim 46, Leask 2/12, lost to Scotland 142/3 (14.5 overs) Cross 45*, Munsey 35, Berrington 34*, by 7 wickets. [Scorecard]
After two World T20 Qualifier defeats over the weekend, Scotland cruised to a seven-wicket victory over Kenya at the Grange, knocking off a modest 142 runs in style.
Matt Cross top scored with an unbeaten 45 from 34 balls and was involved in two half century stands with Man of the Match Richie Berrington (34 not out) and George Munsey (35).
Kenya posted 141-5 after captain Rakep Patel won the toss and chose first use of the wicket. They were flying after five overs thanks to Irfan Karim (46) and Nehemiah Odhiambo (18).
36 runs from Patel and 26 from Maurice Ouma were not enough on a good batting pitch. Michael Leask (2-18) was again the pick of the Scots’ bowlers with nine dot balls in his three overs.
Scotland made one change from Sunday, with Rob Taylor coming in for Mark Watt as De Lange kept his place as the team’s second spinner.
Tight bowling from the Scots saw the Africans go from 70-2 after seven overs to 141-5 in 20; scoring only three boundaries after the fifth over as the runs dried up.
This was a must win game after the defeats to the Netherlands and Afghanistan. Scotland made a change to the batting order; Kyle Coetzer opening with Callum MacLeod in a reshuffle that paid dividends.
Coetzer was bowled for a duck by Elijah Otieno with the third ball of the innings. MacLeod and Cross put on 36 for the second wicket, before the former was bowled by Lucas Ndandason for 21 (11 balls, four fours), the home team on 36-2.
Munsey joined the wicketkeeper, sharing a 55-run third-wicket partnership in five and a half overs (the highest of the match), ensuring that there were no hiccups at the top of the order.
The pair played with freedom, calming any nerves that might have been in the change-room. 30 of the 35 runs Munsey scored were in boundaries (six fours and a six) and came off 21 balls, reverse-sweeping with trade-mark ease.
It was a top edge, attempting a lofted sweep off James Ngoche and caught by Ouma with the score 91-3, bringing Berrington to the crease.
The all-rounder and Cross’ unbeaten half century stand saw their team over the line with 31 balls remaining to get the Scots’ campaign back on track.
The game ended rather tamely when Otieno’s wide ended the match, denying Cross the chance of a half century.
“I’m quite happy to get the win: that’s what matters,” said the 22-year-old.
“It was an important win for us after the two defeats and we had to come back strong and put on a good performance. Not only have we won, we’ve won well and convincingly, which is important.
“They got off to a good start and they deserved to be where they were, but we always knew we would pull it back in the middle overs and we felt they were a bit light on batting and our spinners bowled well.”
He added: “Yes it’s nice to get runs, although they were a bit scratchy, but the lads played really well around me as well; starting with MacLeod, then Munsey got some runs and Richie finished it beautifully.
“They did the bulk of the work and I just fiddled around at the end.”