Scotland’s men finished 2022 with a flourish as they defeated Nepal in their Cricket World Cup League 2 clash on Thursday by eight wickets in Windhoek, Namibia.
Richie Berrington’s men had fallen to defeat against the hosts on Monday, but bounced back to make it three wins from four from the tour with a commanding display here.
The triumph leaves them top of the Cricket World Cup League 2 with only a few matches to play and they can head into 2023 with a spring in their step.
“We may well have had a bowl first anyway because we thought the wicket might do a few things early on, so losing the toss and being asked to bowl wasn’t too bad for us,” head coach Shane Burger said.
“I thought the seamers were excellent up top, I am really liking the aggression that Chris Sole and the control that Brandon McMullen are bringing with the new ball.
“Saf [Sharif] and the spinners backed them up well and kept taking wickets to peg Nepal back. Playing a fourth game in a few days was always going to be tough, so I really enjoyed the attitude and intent from the lads in the field and to keep them to 119 was good.
“That allowed the batters to go out there and attack in the reply and Kyle Coetzer and George Munsey got us off to a great start and then I was very chuffed for Chris McBride as he came in and finished off the game, he has really matured on this trip.
“I’m happy with the way we finished this trip, we wanted four wins from four, but three wins it is and it’s always good to end with a victory.
“To be top of the [Cricket World Cup League 2] table just now is good, but we know we have to focus on our next trip to Nepal when it comes around.”
Scotland, with Chris Greaves in for Hamza Tahir, got off to the perfect start here when Nepal wicketkeeper Arjun Saud was out off the third ball of the match. Chris Sole was the bowler with Kyle Coetzer taking the catch.
Things got worse for Nepal at the start of the fourth over when Saud’s fellow opener Aasif Sheikh was trapped LBW by Brandon McMullen and they were 2-2.
McMullen was at it again in the sixth over when he got Gyanendra Malla out LBW for 9 before skipper Rohit Paudel and Dipendra Singh Airee settled things down a bit with a 43 run partnership for the fourth wicket.
That partnership came to an end when the latter was caught by Mark Watt off the bowling of Safyaan Sharif for 14 in the 15th over.
Aarif Sheikh followed soon after to the same bowler and Nepal were 73-5, made worse just six balls later when Harishankar Shah was trapped LBW by Watt.
They were 74-6 at that point and that went on to become 89-8.
Sompal Kami (16) and Lalit Rajbanshi (11) did battle away for a 26 run ninth wicket stand, but Scotland soon wrapped things up, Watt getting the last wicket as Nepal made 119 all out off 35.3 overs.
Sharif took 2-20, McMullen 2-21 and Watt 2-36 while Sole bowled some great stuff in taking 1-21 from eight overs which included two maidens.
Chris McBride and Greaves also took scalps.
Scotland’s batters were in the mood to get things done quickly in reply and Coetzer and George Munsey had put on just 43 in four overs before the former was out LBW to Gulsan Jha for 16.
Munsey, playing with real intent, and McBride then put on another 43 before the end of the 10th over.
Munsey then fell LBW to Airee, but only after scoring 45 off 28 balls in a knock that included seven 4s and two 6s.
McBride (46 not out off 40 balls and including seven 4s) and Berrington (12 not out) then saw Scotland home by eight wickets, the skipper finishing it all off with a 4 at the end of the 17th over.