Papua New Guinea – 196 (46.2/50 ov) Bau 52, Watt 3/22, T Sole 3/32 lost to Scotland 197/3 (36.4/50 ov) Cross 102*, Coetzer 46 by 7 wickets [Scorecard]
Scotland started their official Cricket World Cup campaign with solid performance on Tuesday against Papua New Guinea.
Captain Kyle Coetzer elected to bowl first after a bit of overnight rain, which subsequently meant an hour delay before proceedings could get underway at the Bulawayo Athletic Club.
Vani Morea was the first wicket to fall when he found the hands of Stuart Whittingham when attempting a cut off Mark Watt in the 8th over.
Brad Wheal and Safyaan Sharif found good carry in the opening overs beating the bat on several occasions. Sharif was then to make the next breakthrough with the help of a good catch by MacLeod at second slip.
PNG found boundaries hard to come by as Lega Siaka fell for 19 when he was given LBW attempting to sweep off the bowling of Watt following several appeals in the previous over.
Asad Vala offered some resistance with 39 and Sese Bau top-scored with 53. However, when both were dismissed the innings began to unravel.
Mark Watt and Tom Sole both bowled good spells of spin – each claiming 3 wickets – to ensure PNG would be bowled out for 196 all after 46.2 overs.
Coetzer and Matthew Cross then came firing out of the traps at the start of the Scotland reply. The captain playing the aggressor with 46 from just 23 balls before being caught off the bowling of Kila.
Craig Wallace joined Cross in the middle after the wickets of Calum MacLeod (3) and Richie Berringon (11). The pair worked well to build a strong partnership based on good running between the wickets and taking advantage of anything loose.
Cross would go on to make a deserved hundred in the same fashion he reached his 50 – a maximum into the trees at deep mid-wicket. The partnership between Cross and Wallace produced 94 runs as the Scots completed a comfortable 7 wicket win.
At the end of the match captain Kyle Coetzer said, “It was a good day, we turned up unsure if we would play at all today actually, but the ground-staff did a great job and we were able to get a good game of cricket in.
There was a bit of movement and humidity about so the ball did swing a bit and the pitch was possibly on the slow side, which we’ve noted and hopefully take that knowledge into the group games.
We’re fortunate to have some quality spinners at the moment, there was a considerably short boundary at one side so we managed to work the bowlers with that as a factor.
Tactially we tried to put them under pressure and managed to get ourselves off to a decent start and Matthew came out, after struggling a bit initially, but that’s credit to him how far he’s come, even in the last few months or so, he’s scored a couple of hundreds and now turning a few innings big scores and that’s the sign of a classy player.”
Scotland now turn their attention to Ireland in their final practice game on Thursday (29th March).