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SCOTLAND CRUSH UAE TO RECORD BACK-TO-BACK WINS

Cricket Scotland @CricketScotland
June 23, 2023 1 year
SCOTLAND CRUSH UAE TO RECORD BACK-TO-BACK WINS
BULAWAYO, ZIMBABWE - JUNE 23: Richard Berrington of Scotland celebrates after reaching their century during the ICC Men´s Cricket World Cup Qualifier Zimbabwe 2023 match between Scotland and UAE at Bulawayo Athletic Club on June 23, 2023 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. (Photo by Matthew Lewis-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Richie Berrington struck a stunning career-best 127 to lead Scotland to an 111-run over the UAE, and back-to-back wins to open the ICC Men’s World Cup Qualifier.

The skipper struck his first century in 13 months to resurrect his side’s innings from 48-4 to 282-8, before Safyaan Sharif took 4-20 as the UAE were bowled out for 171 in reply.

Scotland had gained a first-hand experience of the difficulties batting first in Zimbabwe on Wednesday when Brandon McMullen tore through Ireland’s top-order.

And it was no different for Scotland this time around after being inserted by the UAE, who took advantage of the beneficial conditions to leave the Saltires 25-3 inside nine overs.

Junaid Siddique and Ali Naseer exacted plenty from the surface, the former removing Chris McBride and Matthew Cross, whilst Naseer dismissed Brandon McMullen.

Tom Mackintosh and Richie Berrington then set about quietly rebuilding the innings before Mackintosh fell with the total on 48.

Zahoor Khan found some extra lift to surprise and deceive Mackintosh, who could only push a drive straight back into the bowler’s hands.

That brought Michael Leask to the crease fresh off his heroic, match-winning 91* against Ireland, and he immediately set about playing positively, allowing his captain to continue to build his innings.

The paid added 67, 41 of which were Leask’s, and the all-rounder found the boundary with regularity, including a pair of powerful strokes that cleared the ropes.

Berrington would continue to be the thorn in the UAE’s side, passing 50, but he lost both Chris Greaves and Jack Jarvis in quick succession to leave the Scots 172-7.

Enter Mark Watt, fresh off a career-best 47 on Wednesday. Watt struck 44 from 31 deliveries as he added 110 in 11 overs with Berrington, the Scotland captain accelerating to reach a quite magnificent 100 before he was eventually run out on the final ball of the innings for 127.

The UAE, who would have begun the chase confident with the knowledge that only three sides had won batting first in this competition, started positively, with Muhammad Waseem finding the boundary early on.

However, the extra pace of Chris Sole posed problems for the UAE, and he struck twice in two balls in the fifth over to remove Aryansh Sharma and Vriitya Aravind, and set Scotland on their way.

Brandon McMullen then produced a moment of magic as he cleaned up Rohan Mustafa with an unplayable delivery to leave the chasing side reeling at 34-3.

From then on, the UAE struggled to build any substantial partnerships; Safyaan Sharif removed Asif Khan with a short delivery, and Mark Watt trapped a fluent-looking Muhammed Waseem in front for 36.

Basil Hameed and Ali Naseer briefly threatened to entertain, punishing anything short as they took Jack Jarvis and Chris Sole deep on three occasions.

Sole would get his man in the end as he removed Naseer, superbly caught by Leask diving low to his right at backward point, before Hameed chopped on when facing Chris Greaves.

From then on it was the Safyaan Sharif show as he bowled superbly to remove the final three wickets, including a toe-crushing yorker to dismiss Zahoor Khan and wrap-up an impressive victory for his side.

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