Scotland U19s produced a solid all-round performance to defeat their Namibian counterparts at Stirling Cricket Club on Wednesday 12 July. [Scorecard]
On a bright and sunny morning in central Scotland, the home team lost the toss and were asked to bat first with Calum Garden and Owais Shah opening the batting.
The dynamic pair took the score onto 61 before Shah was out caught and bowled for 30. Garden continued to bat in a positive manner, although it was clear early on that boundaries were going to be difficult to come by following the recent wet weather.
Garden looked to be closing in on his half century before he feathered a delivery to the keeper Loftie-Eaton to go for 44, although the Scots had just passed three figures.
The Scots were reduced to 143/5 as Rory Johnson and Angus Hinton were dismissed, but some good work by Findlay McCreath (30) and captain for the day James Dickinson (41) enabled the hosts to post a respectable 234 from their innings.
The chances of a successful Namibian run-chase were dashed early on with Oliver Brown making use of the swinging ball to collect three top order wickets – all caught by wicket-keeper Garden – before they had 50 runs on the board.
Things soon got worse for the visitors as Tom Diamond entered the attack and claimed another two wickets while Haroon Tahir and Angus Beattie produced handy spells of spin, as Namibia found themselves 80/7 in the 25th over.
It wasn’t all over quite yet though as they went to 126 without losing another wicket, but it was ended very quickly as Dickinson decided enough was enough to take two quick wickets to give his side the win by 97 runs.
At the end of the match U19s coach Gordon Drummond said, “It was pleasing to see the way the guys played today against a good Namibian side who have already qualified for the World Cup. Although none of our top four made big scores I was happy with the depth we show to post 234.
We started well with the ball and put them on the back-foot early which made for a difficult chase. Obviously it was good to get a winning start to the series.”
The teams will do it all again on Thursday and Friday as the Scots look to build on their preparations for the ICC World Cup Qualifier in Jersey.
Wednesday also saw victories for the U15s against Cumbria, while an Angus Guy century helped the U17s defeat Leicestershire.