Spinners Mark Watt and Chris Greaves took four wickets apiece as Scotland defended 122-6 to beat the Netherlands by 32-runs in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday in a T20 World Cup warm-up match.
The ‘second half’ showing by the bowlers and fielders was excellent and saw the opposition all out for 90 in 17.5 overs.
Watt took 4-10 from 23 balls while Greaves ended up with figures of 4-19 from 24 balls. Seamers Josh Davey and Safyaan Sharif took one wicket apiece while Brad Wheal and Michael Leask were wicketless, but everyone played their part.
With the bat earlier on, Calum MacLeod’s 32 not out led the way along with Michael Leask’s 30.
“I thought the boys went about the task very well in this game,” Watt said afterwards.
“With the bat the boys really stuck to their plans well because it wasn’t an easy wicket to bat on and Calum MacLeod dug in to finish not out and he, along with the likes of Michael Leask, ran well between the wickets to get us up to a competitive total on this ground.
“As a bowler it was one of those wickets that you just wanted to roll up and take home with you because it was so good and I thought Chris Greaves bowled excellently.
“For a leg spinner to come in at this level is never easy, but he looked so comfortable out there and he seems to be loving every minute with Scotland.
“I feel in a good rhythm at the minute with my bowling and I just want that to continue.
“It is a good win, but we won’t get carried away and we will just keep building for the big World Cup opener on Sunday against Bangladesh.”
Having won the toss and decided to bat first, Scotland’s batters perhaps did not get off to the flying start they were looking for, but, as Watt said, they knew it was a tricky wicket.
Openers George Munsey and skipper Kyle Coetzer made 15 off 13 and 10 off 13 balls respectively with number three Matthew Cross making 15 off 18.
Number five Dylan Budge made four, but MacLeod and Leask kept things ticking along and the latter hit the only six of the innings as the team made it up to 122-6.
In reply, Sharif got the dangerous Stephan Myburgh out for 17 to kick things off before the spinners really came into their own.
Watt had Ben Cooper trapped LBW for 19 before Greaves bowled Bas De Leede for eight.
That was 50-3 and it was soon 62-5 when Greaves took another couple of scalps and the Scots were in, by then, control.
Watt took the sixth wicket, Davey the seventh, Greaves the eighth and then Watt the last two as they wrapped up the triumph.
Head coach Shane Burger said: “I thought it was a dominant performance, but I think the key is not to read too much into it.
“The Netherlands haven’t played a lot of cricket recently and there are still areas where we can get better as a team and we know that from Sunday onwards when the World Cup starts we are going to have to be at our best.
“The partnership between Calum MacLeod and Michael Leask with the bat was excellent while I thought the bowling unit as a whole was very good, with the likes of Mark Watt and Chris Greaves really taking the game away from the Netherlands.
“We will take momentum from this game, but we will remain humble and keep our feet on the ground, realising there is a lot of hard work to be put in before Sunday.”
Scotland’s final warm-up match before the World Cup is against Namibia on Thursday in Dubai starting at 7am UK time.