Scotland today (December 9th) suffered a 35-run loss at the hands of the USA in Sharjah to open the current round of Cricket World Cup League 2 with defeat.
Losing the toss and being asked to bowl first, USA reached 282/8 thanks to a 140-run stand for the third wicket between Aaron Jones, scoring 74 a day after a knock of 95 twenty-four hours earlier against UAE, and Monank Patel who hit 82.
Despite a great start with the ball (Safyaan Sharif removing Marshall for 0 with no shot offered to an inswinging delivery), Scotland rotated seven bowlers with only three reaping rewards – Mark Watt bagging 4-fer (4/42), Safyaan Sharif picking up a three-wicket haul (3/55) and Richie Berrington taking 1/36 on a pitch that didn’t offer much to Scotland’s bowling unit.
The USA was smart in their approach to scoring, picking off plenty of singles throughout their innings to reach an above par score a day after knocking over UAE at the same venue – taking the USA team straight to the top of the Cricket World Cup League 2 table.
With the bat, openers Coetzer (5) and Cross (8) both fell in the first five overs to give Scotland some early jitters before MacLeod (86) and Jones (52) combined to consolidate the run-chase, putting on a 97-run stand for the third wicket in pursuit of 283.
With Jones falling in the 26th over and Berrington at the crease to join MacLeod, the experienced duo added 51 runs before the former fell to Ian Holland (2/43) chopping the ball onto his stumps.
Stifling bowling from the USA’s attack – five bowlers out of six conceded less than 5-and-a-half runs per over – meant MacLeod could only enjoy short partnerships with George Munsey (16) and Dylan Budge (27) before the run-rate started to creep up even further to around eight per over with ten overs remaining.
With the lower order needing to fire to secure victory, Scotland lost five wickets for nine runs in just 18 balls to record three wins and two losses in the tournament so far.