Playing their second ODI in as many days, Scotland took victory over the Netherlands by six wickets to level to the two-match series and get their return to international cricket after an 18-month break off to a positive start.
With rain forecast for Rotterdam on Friday, Cricket Scotland and the KNCB agreed to move the match forward by 24 hours to ensure that a full game of cricket could be played following the shortened match on day one.
Head coach Shane Burger made two changes to his line up with Michael Leask and Adrian Neill joining the 11 in place of Safyaan Sharif and Hamza Tahir.
The Dutch won the toss and elected to bat with Scott Edwards’ half-century and opener Stephan Myburgh’s 40 helping them to 171 all out. Ally Evans took five wickets for Scotland taking his ODI wicket tally over 50 and holding the Netherlands team to a modest total.
The Scots produced a strong start to their reply, with captain Kyle Coetzer and Matthew Cross putting on 34 runs. But when Cross, Coetzer and Calum Macleod fell in quick succession it was down to George Munsey (79) and Dylan Budge (40) to steady the ship. Their partnership took Scotland to their 172-run target with room to spare.
The team will return to Scotland on Saturday to undertake ten days of self-isolation at home, but Head Coach Shane Burger believes that overcoming the added difficulties created by Covid to make the series happen has been worth it.
“It’s been great to be together as a group, to play cricket and just enjoy it,” he said. “Obviously we’re always happy with a win, but I’m probably even happier that we learned from yesterday’s performance and that we put a few things right that we got wrong yesterday. I am also happy that there was really proactive thinking from both sides in getting the game on today rather than tomorrow.
“I think it was a far better bowling performance from us today, and I’m really happy for Evo (Ally Evans) as that’s probably the first time that a seam bowler has got a five-for for Scotland in an ODI for a while. That’s a real positive for me.
“I’m really happy with the way we finished the game with George Munsey and Dylan Budge putting together a hundred-run partnership to get us over the line. I thought George in particular was excellent. It was a really mature knock that shows that he has come a long way in the last couple of years and he’s really taken a mature look at his batting.”
Five-wicket hero Evans was modest about his performance: “I was really pleased to help the team and a win always makes it much more enjoyable. I really enjoyed seeing George and Dylan take us home under pressure, doing what they do best and scoring runs. To be on the park and get another win for Scotland is an amazing feeling and one that I’ve missed,”
Following their home isolation the team will return to training to prepare for their Cricket World Cup League 2 matches which take place in July.
You can view the full score card from today’s match here: https://matchcentre.kncb.nl/match/134453-6058306/scorecard?period=1010867