Scotland U19s delighted with WCQ campaign
The Scotland U19 team return home today following their qualification to the U19 ICC World Cup which will be held in the United Arab Emirates early in 2014.
Cricket Scotland spoke to members of the winning party as they returned with the ICC Europe U19 Division 1 trophy.
Captain Ross McLean played a vital role during their winner takes all match against Ireland yesterday, scoring 32, after restricting their Celtic cousins to 127 in the first innings.
A delighted McLean said, “After winning the toss we decided to field first on what looked a pretty green wicket. We managed to tie them down and create pressure by bowling tight lines and didn’t give anything away and kept at it.
Mark Watt bowled really well after Chayank [Gosain] and the seamers had bowled straight first up and we managed to make sure throughout the innings that they didn’t get away from us.
Myself and Andrew Umeed managed to get us off to a decent start which enabled us to relax a little bit. They came at us hard but as we settled we could see their [Ireland players] body language change as we went on, and apart from a bad over where we lost two quick wickets after lunch, it turned out to be a comfortable win.
McLean himself managed to finish with 5 catches throughout the tournament, and together with Michael English recorded the highest partnership of the tournament – 155 against Jersey. English completed the tournament with 120 runs with an average of 30, while Zander Muir amassed 144 and finished 2nd in the top run aggregates with 144 across the five games.
U19 coach Craig Wright was understandably pleased with his team’s performance throughout the event, “We were ruthless and controlled large portions of every game that we played in. Particularly bowling and fielding-wise we grew as a team as the tournament went on. Batting-wise we knew we had the quality to set a good total and chase well and we were clinical when doing so.
Different players stepped up and performed when we needed them to which was pleasing from my perspective.
Wright is a coach who is often reluctant to focus on individual performances, but on this occasion he did pick out a few special mentions - “Mark Watt has had a meteoric rise and has come a long way over the past year, he was a late addition to the squad and together with Chayank Gossain the two spinners were a massive asset for us to have in the team.
Watt had bowled a remarkable spell against Guernsey to finish with figures of 10 overs taking 2 wickets for only 2 runs – it also included 8 maidens. He again followed it up with a disciplined display against Ireland. Gosain can also be proud of his tournament taking 9 wickets across Scotland’s matches with his best figures of 4/16 also coming against Guernsey.
There was little doubt what the bowling performance of the tournament was though as Nick Farrar claimed the best figures in the history of the tournament against Denmark finishing with 7/13 and finishing with 14 wickets in total. Wright noted, ”Nick deserves credit, not just for his 7 wicket haul but for his performances in all the games. He bowled straight and let the wickets do the work and had a fantastic tournament.
On the conclusion of the tournament Wright was satisfied with what he had witnessed from his squad, ”We came here with the aim to win all five of our matches out here and that’s what we have done. Now we have to prepare for the UAE .
The last tournament was quite a long process from start to finish (qualified in 2010 for 2012 tournament) but there will be a quick turn around this time with the exclusion of the global qualifier this time around. Now it’s time to prepare for another World Cup.”
Overall McLean concluded,” We really peaked at the right time and aided by the good weather we were able to do what we came to and qualify for a World Cup.”