U19s narrowly lose to Afghanistan
Scotland U19s 158 (46.1 overs) A Umeed 38, R McLean 23, M English 35, K Stirling 34 lost to Afghanistan U19s 161-7 (41.1 overs) Hashmatullah Shaidi 63, Nasir Ahmadzai 33*, G Gosain 3-50 by 3 wickets.[Scorecard]
Scotland and Afghanistan U19s played out an entertaining encounter at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium Nursery ground on Wednesday in their final warm up fixture before the group stages of the U19 World Cup.
Ross McLean won the toss and elected to bat first, and together with Andrew Umeed, opened the batting under blue skies, on what was a slow tricky pitch in Abu Dhabi.
Both made handy contributions putting on 59 runs for the first wicket, before McLean departed for 23. Umeed followed twelve balls later, as Zia-ur-Rehman picked up his second wicket of the game, when he was caught by Muslim Muza for 38.
The Scots innings then fell away slightly after failing to kick on from their encouraging start. Michael English and Kyle Striling both occupied the crease to get Scotland to 158, before the final wicket fell in the 47th over.
Afghanistan, who raised a few eyebrows after their recent victory over Pakistan, didn’t get off to the most fluent of starts. Spinner Chayank Gosain claimed two early wickets, and a run out by Farrar, reduced the opposition to 30/3.
The wickets kept falling, and it was left to Hashmatullah Shaidi to produce the best individual innings of the match, with 63 runs from 87 balls, to hold things together.
Nasir Ahmadzai’s unbeaten score of 33 ensured Afghanistan would get over the line with 3 wickets remaining.
“We’ve given them a good game, but it’s just frustrating because it was a match we could have won. There were certainly some encouraging signs for us in terms of one or two areas that we wanted to improve on from the last game” Scotland U19 Coach Craig Wright said after the match.
“It’s about guys getting into a bit of a rhythm, which a few of our players did today, so that was pleasing.“
Scotland will start their World Cup campaign against Papa New Guinea on Saturday, Wright added, “We played PNG in the last U19 cycle and they gave us some tough matches so we expect it to be a difficult game. We know we are going to have to perform well to get a win.”