Papua New Guniea 147ao (44.2 overs) Vala 30, Doriga 34, Sharif 4/38, Evans 3/23, lost to Scotland 148/4 (38.1 overs), MacLeod 60*, Coetzer 29, by 6 wickets [Scorecard]
Scotland got their tour underway in Dubai with a win against Papua New Guinea in the first of two One Day Internationals at the International Stadium.
The two teams were well-versed on each other’s strengths after the previous round of World Cricket League matches had taken place in Port Moresby.
Papua New Guinea quickly found themselves on the back foot after being asked to bat first by captain Kyle Coetzer. Ali Evans and Safyaan Sharif made the most of the new ball opening up by reducing PNG to 10/5 in the 6th over – each bowler picking up two early scalps.
Asad Vala (40) and Kilpin Doriga (34) dug their heels in but the bowlers would keep the pressure on to bowl their opponents out for 147 in the 45th over.
Sharif collected another two wickets, while Evans picked up another while wicket-keeper Matthew Cross held onto four catches. There was also success for spinners Watt (2/17) and Leask (1/27).
Coetzer and Cross opened the batting for Scots and made their way to 33 before Cross in the 6th over. The Scottish captain struck 4 fours and maximum as he went to 29 before being bowled by Nao.
Calum MacLeod played the pivotal innings for his side as he batted sensibly to record the first half century of the tour. Con de Lange and George Munsey both scored 17 to support MacLeod and give Scotland a convincing 6 wicket win.
After the game Head Coach Grant Bradburn said, “An important and pleasing win for the team today, which gets the tour off on the right note. The opening 10 overs was outstanding, with Alasdair Evans and Safyaan Sharif bowling hostile lengths with swing and seam, ripping the PNG top order apart to be 30/5 after 10.
The precision with the ball was matched in the field with excellent catches taken by Matthew Cross and Richie Berrington. The spinners did their job in creating pressure through the mid overs, creating wickets and restricting PNG to a gettable target. Calum MacLeod adapted brilliantly to guide the innings to victory and the whole squad are really satisfied to go one up today.
After a 5 week break since our last outing the team are becoming more skilled at preparing in the right way to win, sometimes without regular game time. However, we are not yet consistent at backing up victory and this is something the team are determined to improve on.
Winning today gives us no right to win tomorrow, so the players are simply keeping focused on doing the basics right to earn another winning performance.
Richie Berrington plays his 200th game for Scotland tomorrow and that will be added motivation for all the squad to put a winning performance together and mark an outstanding achievement from a hugely respected member of this team”.
The two teams will play their second ODI at the same venue tomorrow before the Scots meet Ireland in the Intercontinental Cup.