Scotland’s run of eight consecutive ODI victories was ended at the Moosa Stadium in Pearland, Texas, as the USA completed a comfortable 104-run win in the opening match of the latest round of Cricket World Cup League 2. A disciplined performance from the home side took full advantage of local conditions to condemn Scotland to defeat in its first international on US soil.
Chasing a target of 311, Scotland’s batters struggled to get going in the face of some excellent bowling on a completely grassless surface. It was a pitch that had offered little by way of pace or carry from the outset, but with low bounce an increasingly telling factor as the second innings wore on, the fielding side was always in the driving seat as Scotland tried in vain to build a match-winning partnership. George Munsey scored 54 and Calum MacLeod 40, while Richie Berrington was on the wrong end of a contentious caught behind decision just as he and Munsey looked set to counter-attack, but left-arm seamer Saurabh Netravalkar had the final word with figures of 5 for 45.
After winning the toss earlier in the day, the USA had got away to a good start, openers Steven Taylor and Sushant Modani putting on 67. The talented Taylor, who had been given the benefit of the doubt after what had looked a good shout for lbw in the fourth, was in particularly good touch, racing to 40 via his sixth and seventh boundaries in the ninth. The next over, however, saw him depart as Hamza Tahir held on to a superb running catch, taking the ball from over his right shoulder at short fine leg.
Modani remained, however, putting on 40 with Monank Patel then 89 with Aaron Jones before being caught behind for 77, a second wicket for Adrian Neill. Wicketkeeper Matthew Cross was in the game again three overs later, whipping off the bails with Jones out of his ground as Michael Leask appealed for lbw in the 40th. But from 210/4, two dropped chances allowed Gajanand Singh to join Nisarg Patel in lifting the USA up to 310/5: that regained initiative was never surrendered.
‘Today was a tough day out,’ said skipper Kyle Coetzer. ‘We didn’t quite hit the standards we expect with the bat and ball, and in the field for that matter. We expect better in all departments, and ultimately it led to us being outplayed in all three skill-sets, really.
‘Leading into tomorrow, playing back-to-back games will be extremely tough in this heat, but we have to find a way to be better than what we showed today and increase the standards which we expect of ourselves, otherwise this strong USA team will make things very difficult for us. We have to be prepared to turn up and really fight for the game. It’s a full day of graft in the sun, and tomorrow’s going to be just that.’
The two sides meet again this afternoon, beginning at 4.30 pm. The match will be live-streamed via ICC TV.