Scotland 189 for 3 (Berrington 60*, MacLeod 60) beat Hong Kong 165 for 6 (Ehsan 42*, Wasif 40) by 24 runs.
Scotland’s Desert T20 campaign got off to a solid start after skipper Kyle Coetzer won the toss and elected to bat first in blustry conditions at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium, Abu Dhabi.
Making good use of the first powerplay, Scotland’s openers George Munsey and Coetzer contributed nicely to an opening 50-run partnership before both fell in the same over to Eshan Khan – with Munsey out LBW and Coetzer well-held in the covers.
This brought both Calum MacLeod and Richie Berrington to the crease, who kept ticking over the strike whilst maximising on any loose deliveries with some impressive hitting.
As the two batsmen started to find their groove and the shots began to flow, as Berrington (60*) and MacLeod’s stand, which was eventually worth 127 runs for the third wicket, proved to be a T20I record for the Scots.
Both batsman reached their respective half-centuries with maximums as the pair took the game away from their opponents. MacLeod utilised his innovative switch hits at the end before being dismissed for 60 from the penultimate ball of the innings, to conclude on 189/3.
Hong Kong’s innings got off to a slow start with some tight bowling in the power play, and although Nizikat Khan threatened with some lusty blows until he was caught by Brad Wheal at third-man off the bowling of Josh Davey.
Shahid Wasif (40) and Ehshan Khan (42*) provided the entertainment at the end with impressive cameo’s Hong Kong were always behind the rate.
The wickets were shared around as Safyaan Sharif, Mark Watt, Wheal and Davey all collected one wicket each.
At the end of the game Man of the Match Calum MacLeod was full of praise for his batting partner, “It’s always great batting with Richie, who has played a lot of cricket and calms me down when I get any ideas in my head and he kept me on track.”
Captain Coetzer was full of praise for his team at the end, “Hong Kong have got dangerous players all through their line-up, as they showed at the end there, but I thought we stuck to our task really well we were clear with our plans as the breeze was pretty strong out there.”