Scotland’s men avenged yesterday’s heavy defeat at the Moosa Stadium with an equally emphatic 111-run victory over the USA in match two of the Cricket World Cup League 2 tri-series in Pearland, Texas. Richie Berrington’s third ODI hundred helped Scotland to a first innings total of 300/7, a target that proved well beyond the hosts as their chase petered out in the afternoon heat.
Two wickets for Safyaan Sharif in the seventh and ninth overs – the second the ever-dangerous Steven Taylor, out for a run-a-ball 29 – pinned the USA back to 41/2, and while Monank Patel and Aaron Jones gave their side hope with a partnership of 58, a brilliant pick-up and throw from Dylan Budge saw the home captain on his way, run out for 36.
Eight boundary-less overs had passed by the time Saiteja Mukkamalla holed out to Chris Sole, two more when Jones skied a simple catch to Matthew Cross to give Michael Leask his second wicket. The boundary drought was finally ended in the 34th, but by then the asking rate had climbed to more than nine: Chris Greaves, on his ODI debut, trapped Gajanand Singh in front for 12, and the USA’s challenge was all but over. Greaves claimed a second before Chris Sole wrapped up the innings with 3 for 40: Kyle Coetzer’s handling of his bowlers and field placements had been exemplary throughout.
But the star of Scotland’s day was Berrington. Arriving at the crease with the score on 60/2, the Clydesdale batter had initially been content to play a supporting role to Cross, who played superbly for his 74 before being run out by an equally impressive piece of work from Jones. The thirtieth over saw a noticeable shift up the gears, however, as Berrington and George Munsey began to cut loose, Berrington taking 15 off an over of Jones’s leg-spin before Munsey’s reverse-sweep brought the first of his seven boundaries. Taylor brought their 116-run partnership to an end with a fine diving catch immediately after Munsey had reached his fifty: Budge, Leask and Greaves followed, but Berrington remained, bringing up his hundred with a sixth six off his 87th ball. A single off the last took Scotland to exactly 300: it proved more than enough for them to regain their winning habit.
Scotland coach Shane Burger was naturally delighted at the improvement made from Saturday’s game. “It was good to see that we learnt a lot from the first game and wining the toss is key in these conditions” he commented.
“I thought Cross got us off to a good start with an aggressive knock and Richie followed up with a fantastic unbeaten 107. It was a superb innings showing real stability coming in at number four. He was well supported by George Munsey which was crucial to maintain momentum.
“From a bowling and fielding perspective, we were a lot better than Saturday and adapted to the condition much quicker. Our spinners were excellent and we controlled the game. Chris Sole was superb picking up three wickets and Sharif got us two crucial wickets bowling into the wind in his second spell.
“Congratulations must go to Greaves for his first ODI wicket and to Budge for his run out which was a huge moment and a game changer.”
The ICC CWCL2 series continues with Scotland facing UAE on Tuesday.