Scotland’s men ended their Cricket World Cup League Two tri-series with Namibia and Nepal in emphatic style on Sunday, defeating the latter by eight wickets at Titwood in Glasgow.
Going into the clash Shane Burger’s men had won two and lost one during the week.
They made the final record three wins and one defeat at Clydesdale’s ground by getting revenge on a Nepal side who had beaten them on Wednesday.
The spin bowlers set Scotland up here, Hamza Tahir taking 4-26 and Mark Watt 3-19 as Nepal were bowled out for just 128 up first in this 50-over-a-side encounter.
In the ‘second half’ Scotland were keen to reach their victory target as quickly as they could and a blistering 64 from just 29 balls from player of the match Calum MacLeod and 44 not out from Kyle Coetzer allowed them to get over the line in just 19 overs.
Scotland skipper Richie Berrington said: “It was pleasing to end the week with a really dominant, strong performance and I think as the series went on we got better as a side.
“We do know these conditions well and it was good to come away with three wins from four overall.
“Hamza and Mark bowled very well in this game against Nepal and really made it hard for their batters to build up any momentum. The seamers did well too, Safyaan Sharif bowled well without reward, but he put the squeeze on and Gavin Main has had an excellent series in general.
“With the bat, Kyle showed intent from the first over of the reply and that then allowed Calum to come in and play the way he did and, all round, it was a good performance by the team.”
For this game, Chris McBride was brought into the Scotland XI, meaning Michael Leask dropped out.
Scotland won the toss and Berrington decided to have a bowl first against a Nepal side who had lost to Namibia on Saturday in Ayr.
The bowlers kept things very tight from the off and in the sixth over the pressure paid off as Watt had Kushal Bhurtel caught by McBride for 3.
Aasif Sheikh and Dev Khanal then put on 32 for the second wicket before the latter was caught by MacLeod off the bowling of Main for 10.
That left Nepal 37-2 after 12 overs and when dangerman Sheikh departed for 40 off 58 balls in the 19thover there was a feeling that Scotland could really get into the middle and lower order.
Rohit Paudel became all-rounder McBride’s first wicket at this level in the 20th over, MacLeod taking another catch, and the visiting side were 71-4.
From there only another 57 runs were added as Scotland did, as they had intended, put the squeeze on.
Only skipper Sandeep Lamichhane (22) and wicketkeeper Binod Bhandari (13) made it into double figures of the remaining batters.
Lamichhane was the last man out – caught by MacLeod off the bowling of Tahir – at the end of the 36thover and it was a good job well done for the Scots.
As well as Tahir and Watt’s aforementioned tidy figures, Main finished off an excellent tri-series for him personally with 2-44 and McBride took 1-26.
MacLeod took four catches, Cross two and Chris Greaves two.
In the reply, McBride was asked to open the innings with Coetzer and the put on 42 in 7.4 overs before the former was out for 10.
He was trapped LBW by Lamichhane and that saw MacLeod come to the crease and quickly show off his full repertoire of shots.
Alongside Coetzer, he put on 82 for the second wicket in double quick time with 64 of the runs coming from the bat off MacLeod.
He hit 10 fours and three 6s to wow the home crowd and by the time he was out at the end of the 17thover Scotland only needed another five runs to win.
As it was, they hit six more with a leg bye coming, Coetzer adding one more to his total and Berrington finishing things off with a 4 off Lamichhane.
Cricket Scotland would like to thank Nepal and Namibia for making the respective trips to play in this tri-series while a big thanks goes to the groundstaff and other club members at Clydesdale and Ayr who made the six matches in the week possible.
Scotland are in pretty good shape in the Cricket World Cup League Two standings and the next action in that competition for them is a tri-series with the USA and the UAE in August at Mannofield in Aberdeen.
Next up though is three matches – two T20s and one ODI – versus New Zealand on July 27, 29 and 31 at The Grange at Portgower Place in Edinburgh.