Scotland defeat Holland in Dubai
Scotland 165/4 (20 overs) Machan 67*, Taylor 41*, beat Netherlands 150/6 (20 overs) Barresi 70*, Haq 4-0-20-3, by 15 runs. [Scorecard]
Scotland continued their good run of form to edge past the Netherlands at the ICC Global Cricket Academy Oval 1 on Friday.
The Netherlands won the toss and elected to field first on a bright morning after a heavy thunderstorm overnight left the ground slightly damp, however, some excellent work by the groundstaff ensured the match would start on time.
The usual opening partnership of Calum MacLeod and Richie Berrington made their way to the crease to start the Scottish innings.
MacLeod was the first Scottish wicket to fall after he looked to drive a delivery from Mudassar Bukhari, only to edge the ball through to wicket keeper Wesley Barresi for 3.
Berrington and Matt Machan looked assured at the crease as they spearheaded the Scotland charge with a fluent 44 run partnership. Berrington looked in fine form striking 38 runs from 31 balls before he picked Ben Cooper on the leg side boundary with the score on 61.
Machan continued his impressive tournament and took his T20 average above 50. The Sussex batsman stayed strong after Michael Leask and Kyle Coetzer both departed for single figures.
Rob Taylor then came to the crease with the score on 98/4 and five overs remaining, as it seemed Scotland would set a score that could have potentially been difficult to defend.
However a late blitz by Rob Taylor, and some sensible stroke play by Machan, gave Scotland the momentum in the final few overs.
Scotland finished their innings on 165/4 after Taylor hammered 41 runs from only 19 balls, and Machan continued to strike the ball well after reaching his half century to finish on 67.
In reply Holland got off to a steady start with Stephen Myburgh looking particularly dangerous. Neil Carter, playing his 399th game of cricket in all formats, bowled Myburgh with the score on 24 in the third over.
Michael Swart played the anchor role for Holland until Majid Haq produced a wonderful spell of bowling to dismiss Swart and Eric Szwarczynski in quick succession. Rob Taylor trapped Ben Cooper LBW with a well-directed yorker two balls later, and Scotland were right back in the game.
Wesley Barrasi ensured that the match would not be a foregone conclusion as he continued to find the boundary, while Michael Rippon gave good support to take it down to the last over – which resulted in the Netherlands requiring 24 from the last six deliveries.
A good tight final over by Neil Carter took the Scots home, as Holland could only manage 8 runs from it, to give Scotland the victory by 15 runs, in what was an excellent advert for Associate cricket.
Robert Taylor, who picked up his second consecutive Man of the Match award, said after the match, “We were clinical and ruthless today, just like yesterday, in what were two must win games.
I felt good out there, it was nice to come in with Matt Machan being well set on 40 odd - he batted brilliantly and allowed me to play with a bit of a free reign, which we followed up with a solid bowling display. “
Majid Haq concluded, “It was an unbelievable win today, we had to win, and we did. All eleven players contributed and it was a good team performance.
The last four overs of our innings by Machan and Taylor gave us the momentum and the first six overs we bowled well and kept taking wickets at the right time."
Scotland now play Denmark on Sunday in game that will see them qualify for the next stages of the event should they win.