Scotland got their Cricket World Cup League Two series in Aberdeen underway with a solid victory over the UAE on Wednesday in first match of this Laserbook tri-series.
The 64 run triumph at Mannofield was set-up by 76 from Calum MacLeod in the first half with the bat while Mark Watt then took four wickets and Chris Sole four as the home 262 all out played 198 all out.
“I am really proud of the boys for this performance,” stand-in Scotland skipper Matthew Cross said.
“Credit to the UAE, their spinners tied us down a bit in the middle overs and made what might have been a total of 280 at 262 instead, but we still felt it was a decent score.
“Then the bowlers did a great job, Chris Sole came out and bowled with real aggression and pace and then Mark Watt did what he has done for us for a while now and performed well.
“This is a good start for us and now we have to build on it through the rest of the series.
“As for myself as a local guy captaining Scotland in Aberdeen, it has been an amazing feeling. Once the game got going it felt natural and I have a lot of experienced guys around me to help me out.”
With wicketkeeper Cross leading the side in Richie Berrington’s injury-enforced absence, Kyle Coetzer and Craig Wallace put on 52 for the first wicket before the former was out for 23.
Chris McBride, Wallace and Cross then fell before the 30 over mark to leave the side on 130-4, but MacLeod, who was later named player of the match, carried on and made his 76 off 88 balls.
Michael Leask then scored 39 late on from just 25 balls while Zahoor Khan was the pick of a disciplined UAE bowling attack with 4-39 from his 9.5 overs.
The Scottish bowlers then took centre stage to defend the total well, Leask (2) and Safyaan Sharif the other wicket takers alongside Watt (4-30 from 8.5 overs) and Sole (3-39 from eight overs).
Seamer Sole took the first three wickets of the innings, dismissing Muhammad Waseem with the second ball of the second over and building from there.
There was some good catching and fielding from Scotland in general to back up the bowlers while Rohan Mustafa made a battling 65 not out for the UAE in defeat.
Basil Hameed made a breezy 34 off 35 balls and Chundangapoyil Rizwan 32, but once spinner Watt took two wickets in two balls in the 33rd over to reduce the visitors to 151-7 there was only going to be one winner of this contest.
“It was a really good start to the series,” MacLeod, who took some good catches as well as contributing with the bat, said.
“We felt that 262 was maybe just under par with the bat, but then the bowling was excellent and that spell from Soley [Chris Sole] up front was as fast as I have seen him bowl in a Scotland shirt.”
Scotland are next in action at Mannofield against the USA on Saturday while on Thursday the UAE take on the Americans.