Scotland XI v NWD - 2 Day Fixture
A Scotland XI continued their tour of South Africa with the start of another 3-day fixture against the North West Dragons.
It was another opportunity for coach Pete Steindl to ensure his players got some time in the middle, with both teams utilising their squad of 15 during the match. New additions joining up with the squad, David Murphy and Rob Taylor would therefore have their first oppertunity to impress.
The visitors won the toss and elected to bat first, and made a solid start with the score on 118-3 after 35 overs. Josh Davey celebrated his new contract with Middlesex, contributing 48 runs at the top of the order.
It was Sussex batsman, Matt Machan who made a real impact after lunch, as he stroked 91 runs, while captain, Preston Mommsen blasted 67 to leave Scotland on 265-5 after 80 overs.
Several rain breaks slowed down Majid Haq’s innings, however the Scotland all-rounder had managed to score an unbeaten 93, before a storm struck to end the first day's play with the side on 387-9.
A Scotland XI was made to work hard for wickets on the second day, as the North West batsmen made use of their time in the middle.
The Dragons took advantage of a flat pitch and toiling conditions for the fielders and bowlers to eventually declare 41 runs short of Scotland’s first innings score.
Gordon Goudie continued his impressive tour claiming another two scalps, while coach Steindl praised David Murphy’s tidy keeping behind the stumps.
The Scots successfully negotiated a tricky little session before stumps with openers, Ryan Flannigan and Richard Coughtrie unbeaten with the overnight score on 5-0.
With conditions currently good for batting the match looks to be heading for a draw, although Steindl believes they could still snatch victory, “Guys need to score big tomorrow morning, and quickly – if we can do that, then we can apply a bit of pressure on them and we’ll see what happens.”
The final day in Potchfestroom saw the Scotland XI press for victory against the Dragons.
The previous evening Steindl had told his team to look for the win by scoring quick runs to apply pressure on their opposition, and Richard Berrington and Moneeb Iqbal did exactly that.
It took the pair a bit of time to get going and after the first 42 overs into the morning session - Berrington was poised on 37* and with Iqbal on 39*, there was a good foundation to build from.
Berrington then unleashed a foray of blows on the Dragons bowling attack, and ably supported by Iqbal at the other end, the Greenock-man was able to reach his third century wearing a Scotland shirt in 2012.
Calum MacLeod came to the wicket after Iqbal had been dismissed for 77, to hit a quick-fire 33*, before captain, Preston Mommsen declared with Scotland XI on 274-3 and a lead of 320 runs.
In reply, Josh Davey caused the South African’s some problems and claimed two early wickets to reduce the Dragons to 18-2 with 34 overs left in the match.
Majid Haq (2-16) and Iqbal (3-33) then worked in tandem to take the Scotland XI to the brink of victory, as the Scotland XI took 9 wickets on the final days play, only to see controversy rein after a last ball appeal for caught behind was turned down by the umpire from the final delivery of the match.