Scotland 148 for 7 (Berrington 38) beat Netherlands 141 (Rippon 42, Davey 4-34) by seven runs [Scorecard]
Scotland met old rivals the Netherlands for their second game in Group B of the Desert T20 in Abu Dhabi. As opposition captain Peter Borren won the toss and asked Coetzer and his team to bat first.
The innings got off to a disastrous start from a Scottish perspective. George Munsey, after finding the boundary through backward-point from the first delivery of the game, was bowled two deliveries later by a flighted delivery from Rolfe van der Merwe.
All the top three batsman made four, as Coetzer and Cross were both dismissed by van Meekeren as the lights of the Abu Dhabi scoreboard showed 13/3.
Another solid partnership, worth 50, between Richie Berrington and Calum MacLeod steadied things. MacLeod fell in bizarre fashion as he went to cut a Michael Rippon delivery only to hit his own stumps for 20.
Richie Berrington top-scored with 38 and looked in good touch until ven der Merwe had him LBW. Craig Wallace (21), de Lange (22) and Sharif (20) all produced cameos at the end to give the bowlers something to work with, as the innings closed on 148/7.
The Netherlands got off to a blazing start after surviving a run out opportunity and a couple of close calls. Ben Cooper (24) and Michael Rippon blitzed a 53 run partnership for the first wicket in 5.2 overs, as it all seemed to be going the way of the Dutch.
Things started to happen for the Scots when Sharif held on to a high catch off Cooper for 24. Tobias Visee only lasted two deliveries, both of which were LBW appeals off Davey, with the latter signalled out by the umpire.
Wesley Barresi made 6 from 11 deliveries before he was caught MacLeod off de Lange at long-off to give the experienced all-rounder the first of his wickets. Borren joined Rippon and the Dutch total began to build the momentum again.
Sharif was brought back into the attack and managed to knock Borren off his feet with a short delivery. With Borren still looking to discover his bearings Sharif uprooted his middle stump next ball. With the score now 95/4 the match was in the balance once again.
Rippon continued with new man van der Merwe, but the former was removed for 43 by the consistent threat of De Lange, bowled after coming down the wicket.
He was soon followed by the big wicket of Van der Merwe in the next over – LBW to Wheal – and for the first time the Scots seemed to have seized control of the match.
Pieter Seelar joined Max O’Dowd, just as Scotland had managed to push the required run rate up to over 9 runs per over. Davey then had O’Dowd caught at deep midwicket thanks to a good running catch from MacLeod, and then had Seelar caught at cover point by Sharif with an excellent reaction catch to claim a 4 wicket haul.
Entering the final over, the Netherlands still only required 10 runs, but with only 2 wickets remaining.
Sharif was the man entrusted to bowl the final 6 deliveries – but only two were required.
A good yorker first ball of the over was squeezed out by Van Der Gugten towards long-on where it was fielded by Berrington who threw to Sharif to run out Malik as the Dutch pair attempted to come back for the second run.
With tensions high the Netherlands required 9 off 5 balls with one wicket remaining, where Sharif produced a near carbon copy of the ball before as Berrington and Sharif combined to run out last man Van Meekeren as the Scottish celebrations began.
“Good temperament from the bowlers, they really held it together. It was a great game of cricket. They’re the special games that you want to be part of and hopefully be on the winning side, which we were today.”said captain Kyle Coetzer.
Scotland now finish their Group B fixtures against Oman on Thursday at Dubai Sports City.