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Scotland defeat Sri Lanka in first encounter

Scotland eased to a seven wicket win thanks to centuries from Coetzer and Cross to defeat Sri Lanka in Beckenham

Cricket Scotland Media @CricketScotland
May 21, 2017 6 months
Scotland defeat Sri Lanka in first encounter
Donald MacLeod

The scene was set in Beckenham as Scotland met Sri Lanka at Kent’s second ground on Sunday 21st May.

Sri Lanka, ahead of their preparation for the ICC Champions Trophy, won the toss and elected to bat first on what looked like a fantastic batting wicket.

Scotland had two debutants in their ranks as Dylan Budge and Stuart Whittingham both collected their caps from Mark Watt and Matthew Cross respectively.

It was an old head, Ali Evans, who made the first breakthrough when Upal Tharanga chopped on to his stumps with the score on 35.

Whittingham wasn’t far behind Evans in claiming a scalp when he had Kusal Mendis caught behind by Matthew Cross for 1.

Kusal Perera batted sensibly to make the first half-century of the match before looking to go big but only finding the hands of Dylan Budge on the leg-side boundary.

Scotland ensured they kept their heads in the field and were smart in their restriction of the batsmen’s scoring options, despite 79 from Denish Chandimal and 71 by Chamara Kapugedera. Both batsman fell to Whittingham who bowled with pace and accuracy on his debut.

Only Asela Gunaratne made any sort of headway following the departure of the big hitters as they slid away towards the end of the innings to finish all out for 287 after 49.5 overs.

Scotland’s reply was as emphatic as they come. Kyle Coetzer led the way with Matthew Cross to the middle and neither returned until 201 runs were added.

Coetzer, who looked in brilliant touch particularly off the back-foot, played anything the Sri Lankan bowlers could throw at him with ease.

Cross who found the first boundary of the innings with a superb cut through point, also looked in aggressive form taking the attack to the Sri Lankans, who looked slightly stunned by the professionalism of the opening partnership.

Coetzer reached his century with 15 fours and 4 sixes before driving into the hands of Matthews for 118.

Calum MacLeod was unfortunate to depart after middling a reverse-sweep only to see it caught at first slip to an outstretched hand of the Sri Lankan captain, Matthews.

Richie Berrington and Cross worked away, adding 41 runs, until Berrington was caught for 19. Stand-in captain Con de Lange then came to the wicket and he used all his experience to spread the field.

Cross was able to reach his first hundred in Scotland colours as Scotland closed in on victory. The centurion had the opportunity to finish the match shortly after reaching three figures with a pull shot as Scotland cruised to a 7 wicket win.

After the game Coetzer added, “It’s been a great day, firstly the sun was shining and we played a great game of cricket, particularly to restrict them to less than 300 which was an outstanding performance.

Watty [Mark Watt] bowled outstandingly and the seamers did a fine job, so well done them.”

It was one of those days if it goes your way, you’ve just got to keep riding that wave. Quite often in the past we would have gone into our shell and not felt that we were up to the task, but out there trying to put them on the back-foot most certainly showed we were up for the task.

I’m pleased for the guys out there to get that historic win.”

Scotland will play their second 50 over match against Sri Lanka on Tuesday at the same ground.

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