Scotland win the Braidwood Cup
On a slightly overcast morning, Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer won the toss and elected to bat, with play getting underway bang-on the scheduled 10.45am start. Coetzer would have been happy with his decision after the first over as he picked up three boundaries off opening bowler Tanwir Afzal.
The Scotland captain then assaulted the bowling of Mohammad Aizaz Khan in the sixth, with a glorious straight drive for six. He continued to dominate the visitors early endevours with the ball in the seventh over with a pulled one-bounce four, followed by a huge six to deep mid-wicket.
Fellow opener Matthew Cross got in on the act, opening his boundary account in the eighth over, with the 50 coming in 8.2 overs - Coetzer glancing a boundary to fine leg. Disaster almost followed, as the two previously in-sync batsmen, ended up in the same crease. The visitors were not able to react quickly enough to run-out the in-form Coetzer and his dive was enough to see him home safely.
Two more boundaries from Captain Coetzer, who was deputising for the injured Mommsen, in the ninth was enough for Hong Kong captain Babar Hayat to decide to introduce spin in the tenth over. Nadeem Ahmed’s slow left arm picked up the first Scotland wicket of Matthew Cross - caught behind for 13 off 23.
Fellow opener Coetzer fell shortly after, Tanvir Ahmed taking a sharp catch off his own bowling. The impressive start from Coetzer set-up Scotland well, but saw him unfortunate to fall two runs short of a half century from 42 deliveries.
Afzal was the next Hong Kong bowler to claim a Scottish scalp, trapping Michael Leask LBW for 12 off 23.
A couple of boundaries from Calum MacLeod brought up Scotland’s 100 in 21.2 overs.
Several more boundaries from MacLeod kept the scoreboard ticking over for the hosts, before Richie Berrington survived successive appeals in the 27th over. His luck ran out next over as he was dismissed LBW off the bowling of Ehsan Khan, for a stuttering 10.
Indecisive running saw the departure of Con de Lange for 11, leaving Scotland at a precarious 144 for 5 off 33.
However, Craig Wallace and Calum MacLeod built a record partnership for the sixth wicket of 116; both accruing boundaries and maximums, with Wallace scoring consecutive sixes. Wallace achieved his 50 in 49 balls in the 48th over. MacLeod’s century quickly followed, coming in 105 balls.
Wallace fell next ball, selflessly hitting big and subsequently getting caught at deep square leg from the bowling of M. A. Khan, after scoring 52 at a run-a-ball.
Centurion MacLeod was dismissed in the final over. Scoring 102 from 107 balls, caught at long-off, off the bowling of Khan.
Scotland finished their innings with 266 runs, losing seven wickets in the process.
Hong Kong’s reply got underway in glorious Edinburgh sunshine, with opening pair M. A. Khan and Christopher Carter picking up boundaries, and moving the visitors onto 40, before Carter was caught behind off the bowling of Chris Sole for 15 from 24 deliveries.
The second wicket followed shortly after, Sole finding the leading edge of M. A. Khan, who was caught by Leask, for 25 off 40.
The third wicket stand saw boundaries and sixes at steady intervals, reaching 50 in 67 balls. Captain Hayat progressed to his half century from 63 balls, with a nicely timed pull shot.
It took something special to break Hong Kong’s third highest ever partnership; Hayat out, caught brilliantly at cover by Berrington from the bowling of Watt for 56 - his highest ODI score.
The crowd were treated to more brilliance in the field when Berrington’s diving catch saw the end of danger man Nizakat Khan for 40 off the bowling of Alasdair Evans. The match was poised nicely at 150 for 4 with 16 overs remaining.
Wickets began to tumble however, as first Ehsan Khan was bowled by Con de Lange for 7, then Anshuman Rath was caught well by Safyaan Sharif for 13 from the bowling of Sole. A third followed when de Lange had Shahid Wasif caught for 4. More good fielding from Scotland saw the run-out of Waqas Khan for 8, leaving Hong Kong on 191 for 8.
A resilient ninth wicket partnership was ended when Tanwir Afzal skied to deep midwicket – caught 20 off the bowling of Sole by Sharif. Sole finished with impressive figures of 4-28-9.
The innings was wrapped up when Evans sent Tanveer Ahmed’s bails flying, with Hong Kong all-out for 213, the hosts winning by 53 runs.
Scotland win the two match series 1-0.
By Jack Smart, Photos Donald MacLeod