A brilliant 101 not out from Mark Chapman led New Zealand to a One Day International victory at The Grange in Edinburgh on Sunday against Scotland in the Laser Book Bilateral Series.
Michael Leask’s superb 85 runs off just 55 balls allowed Scotland to post 306 all out batting first before a brilliant 175 run fourth wicket partnership between Chapman and Daryl Mitchell (74 not out) saw New Zealand home by seven wickets.
Scotland captain Richie Berrington said: “There was a lot of good stuff in there, but we probably needed 340-350 runs to give ourselves a chance to win.
“Credit to New Zealand, they batted well and we have to learn from playing against quality sides like them.”
Scotland made three changes from their last ODI earlier in the month against Nepal with Michael Jones, Leask and Chris Sole coming into the XI for Chris McBride, George Munsey and Gavin Main.
Berrington won the toss and decided to have a bat.
Calum MacLeod joined Jones at the crease and they added 23 balls before, in the 14th over, the number three batter was caught by Martin Guptill off the bowling of Tickner for seven.
Between the 17th over and the 25th over New Zealand kept the pressure up on Scotland’s top order batters and Jones was bowled by Michael Bracewell for 36 and Berrington fell to the same bowler – caught by Chapman – for 12.
Chris Greaves then became the third scalp for Bracewell as he was caught by Tickner for six and, after 25 overs, it was 107-5.
By the end of the 30th over they had moved things along to 141-5 and when Leask hit Lockie Ferguson for a four and a six in the 31st over, they were upping the ante and the crowd were loving it.
A four by Cross off the same bowler in the 33rd over took him up to 45 and, after a Leask six off New Zealand skipper Mitchell Santner, Cross reached his half century when he hit Ferguson down to deep square leg for a four.
Leask hot two fours of his own later in that over and with 15 overs remaining in the ‘first half’ it was 189-5.
Following in Cross’ footsteps, a four from Leask in the 36th over bowled by Tickner brought up his own half century.
Cross fell in the following over – caught behind by wicketkeeper Dane Cleaver off the bowling of Mitchell – but his 53 off 58 balls including 12 boundaries and a 92 run partnership with Leask had given Scotland hope of posting a competitive total.
The 200 came up later that over and, with Mark Watt now at the crease with Leask, 14 runs came off the 40th over to leave Scotland 224-6 with 60 legitimate balls to go.
The 41st over was even more fruitful – 19 taken from it including two Leask sixes – and he was really motoring when he fell untimely for 85 off 55 balls including 13 boundaries.
That was in the 43rd over, caught by Guptill off the bowling of Duffy and the partnership with Watt was 63 runs.
From 262-7 another 44 runs were added before Scotland were 306 all out with two balls of the 50 overs left. with Watt making 31, Safyaan Sharif 28, Hamza Tahir five not out and Sole three.
After 10 overs of the reply, New Zealand had progressed to 53-0, but Scotland’s seamers in the shape of Safyaan Sharif and Chris Sole had been causing Guptill and Finn Allen some issues.
In the 12th over Allen managed to hit Chris Greaves for three boundaries and that took the in-form batter to 46.
He reached his 50 in the following over with a four off Sole and they were 77-0.
Tahir was brought on in the 14th over to try and make the breakthrough – and he did just that.
With the third ball he bowled Allen hit the ball to long on only for MacLeod to take a cracking catch and dismiss him for 50.
After 20 overs, with Scotland’s spinners keeping things tight, New Zealand were 111-1 needing another196 runs to win in 30 overs.
Guptill had progressed to 47 when he was pinned LBW by Leask trying to sweep.
That was the final ball of the 22nd over and made it 125-2.
Two overs later Leask forced Cleaver to chop on for 32 and it was 132-3 with new batters Chapman and Mitchell at the crease.
With Chapman on 18 and Mitchell on 17, New Zealand were 165-3 off 30 overs.
In the 38th over both Mitchell and then Chapman brought up their half centuries and New Zealand were edging towards their victory target of 307.
Both men were judging the situation very well no matter which Scotland bowlers were taking it to them and a six by Chapman in the 40th over meant they needed 60 to win from the last 10 overs.
Jones dropped a tough catch before, in the 43rd over off Tahir, New Zealand plundered 22 runs including three sixes for Chapman.
And, fittingly, Chapman reached his hundred with a single off Sole in the 46th over and, two balls later, finished things off with another single as his side reached 307-3.
Leask finished with 2-46 and Tahir 1-70.
“I could see the disappointment on the guys faces when they came off there, they put everything into this match, but we will probably look back on this week as one of missed opportunities,” Scotland head coach Shane Burger said after two T20 matches against the Black Caps and this clash.
“If you are short in small parts of a game and lose the big moments then it can get away from you and that is probably what happened here against a quality opponent.
“The partnership at the end [between Chapman and Mitchell] was the big difference in this game, but like every game we will learn from this experience.
“I thought Michael Leask batted very well while Chris Sole bowled well even if his figures didn’t show that.
“We will reflect on this week and aim to get stronger.”
Scotland will now dust themselves down and are next in action in a Cricket World Cup League Two tri-series with the UAE and the USA between August 10 and August 17 at Mannofield in Aberdeen.