A comprehensive 7-wicket win over Oman in the last game of the Quadrangular Series saw Scotland take the title after chasing down 112 inside 16 overs, thanks to a fantastic innings from Richie Berrington and impressive debut from 6ft9 seamer Adrian Neill.
Scotland chased down 112 in 15.3 overs to complete a 7-wicket win over Oman and take the 2019 Quadrangular Series, after a brilliant display with the bat and ball.
Winning the toss and electing to field, Scotland made one change to the team that beat Ireland on Wednesday, replacing Ruaidhri Smith and handing Adrian Neill (Gloucestershire and Scotland A) his first international cap.
Ali Evans (2/10) applied the pressure right from the off-set, bowling a rare T20I wicket-maiden to leave Oman 0/1 after the first over, removing Naseem Khushi.
Safyaan Sharif (0/29) gave nothing away to Oman’s opening pair in his first over of the game, going for just two runs. Oman soon found themselves two wickets down in the second over, with Wasim Ali being run out by debutant Neill for 1, leaving the hosts reeling at 2/2.
Evans continued his excellent spell, leaking just two runs from his second over and Scotland’s third. With the pressure well applied, Kyle Coetzer handed Adrian Neill (3/21) the ball to bowl Scotland’s fourth over, and the 6ft9inch pacer wasted no time in getting involved, picking up his first international wicket after 3.2 overs – bowling Jatinder Singh for 2 to leave Oman struggling at 6/3.
Scotland, knowing a quick-win would see them top the Quadrangular Series table, continued their quest to attack at the top of the order, with Neill picking up his second wicket, removing Khurram Nawaz for 8 to leave Oman 17/4 after the powerplay.
Mark Watt (3/20) was brought on to bowl into the 10th over and made an impact with his first ball – Oman’s captain Lalcheta top edging the spinner to Adrian Neill for 13 to leave his side 38/5.
Wickets continued to fall throughout Oman’s innings, and despite some late hitting from Sandeep Goud (31 off 19) – Oman were bowled out for 111 after 19.3 overs.
George Munsey (16) and Kyle Coetzer (3) – an opening pair to be reckoned with in international cricket – strolled to the crease for Scotland’s reply, needing just 112 for victory.
Munsey – who struck 50 from 27 vs. Netherlands – smashed two 4s and one 6 from Bilal Khan’s first over, leaving Scotland 15/0. Fayyaz Butt was given the ball from the other end and didn’t yield a much better result – Scotland’s openers taking 8 runs to reach 23/0 after two overs.
Scotland soon lost three quick wickets, with Munsey the first to depart after being bowled by Mohammad Nadeem (2/25) for a quick 16 off 9. The skipper followed in Nadeem’s next over, being dismissed in the same fashion for 3 to have Scotland 30/2 after 4.3 overs.
The loss of Coetzer brought MacLeod (29*) to the crease to join Matt Cross – the partnership lasting 12 runs before Cross was caught by Lalcheta off the bowling of Bilal Khan for 10. Scotland finding themselves 42/3 after 7.1 overs.
Richie Berrington (47*) strolled out to the middle to join MacLeod, and the pair – enjoying a 73-run partnership – paced their innings brilliantly to ensure Scotland could win the Quadrangular Series on run-rate.
With 15 overs bowled and needing just 2 runs from the next 30 deliveries, MacLeod picked up a single from the first delivery of Fayyaz Butt’s over to bring Berrington on strike, Scotland’s no.5 sending the ball to the boundary to seal the win and the series for the men in tartan.
Speaking of his debut, Neill (Player of the Match) commented:
“We started really well in the field. Ali and Saf at the top [of Oman’s innings] put pressure on and didn’t concede any boundaries. The four wickets in the power play is the key for all T20 games – that’s initially what started it off and created a big buzz in the field.
I had a couple of butterflies this morning, I was a bit nervous and quite quiet on the bus. On your debut you always hope it goes well. It’s nice when you get early wickets and all the pressure and nerves disappear.”
Acting Head Coach, Toby Bailey, said:
“We wanted to play some strong, attacking cricket. We made a change and brought Adrian Neill in, and he was a real handful today. It’s fantastic for him that he got 3 wickets. To bowl a side out and have short-legs in a T20 game is fantastic and it’s the sort of dynamic brand of cricket which we want to play.
Ali Evans started brilliantly again and really set the tone. Richie Berrington, again, is coming into his own [with his bowling] on these pitches.
With our batting, it was pleasing to see Richie, who was short of runs in this series but is a strong player, stay calm and take us over the line. Calum MacLeod is in great form at the moment and is playing his role in the team beautifully.
What’s really pleasing is the leadership skills which the guys have developed throughout the winter. The character which they’ve shown and the responsibility which they’re taking – that’s what has taken us over the line in this tournament. It’s great to get a trophy.”
Scotland now face Oman in three 50-over games beginning on Tuesday 19th February.