Richie Berrington sealed a professional victory for Scotland in the DafaNews T20 Summer Bash opener against Papua New Guinea by hitting a six to give them an eight wicket win with 13 balls remaining on Friday.
The Scots are continuing their preparations for the upcoming World Cup by playing this match and then one on Saturday against Namibia in the Summer Bash in Dubai and this was a strong showing by the team.
Head coach Shane Burger handed a full T20 international debut to spinning all-rounder Chris Greaves and, batting first, PNG got off to a decent start before seamer Chris Sole had Tony Ura caught for 14 by skipper Kyle Coetzer off the last ball of the fifth over.
That left PNG 42-1 and their captain Assad Vala and Charles Amini toom the score up to 77 before the latter was caught behind by wicketkeeper Matthew Cross off the bowling of Calum MacLeod for 17 in the 10th over.
Two overs later, Hamza Tahir got into the wicket taking act and had PNG number four Kiplin Doriga stumped by Cross for four to leave them on 83-3.
By that time Greaves had already bowled a couple of tidy overs and the next over he bowled went for just three to leave him with 0-13 from 18 balls.
MacLeod bowled the 14th over and Vala brought up his half century before Tahir had him caught and bowled in the 15th over for 55 to leave his charges on 103-5.
The 17th over brought Greaves a deserved first wicket at this level when he had Jason Kila caught by Oli Hairs for four.
Sese Bau came together with Norman Vanua to hit 35 off the last 19 balls of the innings to hoist PNG up to 154-5 from their 20 overs.
Tahir ended with 2-35, Greaves 1-17, Sole 1-17 and MacLeod 1-28.
Scotland wanted to show intent from the off in reply and George Munsey and Coetzer did that before the latter fell for 14 at the end of the fourth over, Chad Soper having him caught by Nosaina Pokana.
From 32-1, Munsey then teamed up with fellow big hitter Hairs to put on 52 for the second wicket.
Munsey had just reached his 50 with a two off the first ball of the 10th over when Amini had him caught by Pokana the very next ball.
The left hander had given his side a great platform and his half century had included seven fours and one six and lasted just 333 balls.
Hairs had to retire hurt soon after on 15, but Berrington and MacLeod showed all their experience to recover from the setback.
They batted expertly and Berrington finished things in style, the six off Amini off the fifth ball of the 18th over sealing the game and seeing him finish up on 41 not out off 28 balls, ably supported by MacLeod’s 27 not out off 28 balls.
Head coach Burger said: “I am really happy for the team to get another victory, winning becomes a habit and we are doing well at the moment, at times we do make it tough for ourselves and we are still searching for the perfect game, but that will come.
“Highlights for me in this game were the way that the spinners bowled on a surface that didn’t always help them, they were superb and Chris Greaves on debut showed what he is all about.
“And the batters were very professional, they batted how they needed to to get the team over the line.”
“It is really hot out here, so to get over the line in a game like this is testament to all the hard work that everyone is putting in on and off the pitch and everyone mucked in during this game,” Munsey added.
“Well done to Chris Greaves for all the work he has put in to get into the team and it was good to see him getting his first cap and bowling well.
“PNG had the better of us in the powerplay, but for the bowlers and the fielders to battle back and keep them to what we felt was just a below par total showed character.
“With the bat it was important that we got off to a good start and myself and Kyle managed to do that and then Oli, Richie and Calum came in and showed that same intent.
“It was nice personally to get some runs, but most important was the win.”
Scotland’s next match in the Summer Bash is against Namibia on Saturday and it is live on FreeSports starting at 6am UK time.