Gavin Main now has nine wickets in his last two outings for Scotland and certainly enjoys bowling against Papua New Guinea after his 5-52 helped his side make it three ICC Cricket World Cup League 2 wins on the spin in Dubai on Wednesday for the men’s national side.
The 27-year-old seamer had taken 4-26 in the first competitive game of the tour against PNG on Saturday as Craig Wright’s men came out on top by 162 runs.
He then sat out the four run triumph over Oman on Sunday, but was back in the XI against PNG again on Wednesday and bowled with pace and power at the Dubai International Cricket Stadium, later being named player of the match.
As 287-5 played 164, the Scots won by 123 runs and it was a great all-round performance by the team, a very professional job.
“It was a great performance from the team in this game,” Main said afterwards.
“We started off well with Costa [skipper Kyle Coetzer] taking us through the first period with the bat well in the heat when it was quite tough going and the pitch was a bit slow.
“He, and others, set things up nicely though and that allowed Dylan Budge and Michael Leask to come in at the end and finish off the innings with some big shots, Leasky in particular with some amazing ball striking.
“The score of 287 took the pressure off us as bowlers going into the second half because we felt that was a really good score on this ground.
“However, fair play to the PNG batters, they came out quite hard and were pretty brave with their batting so, as bowlers, we really had to hold our length under the lights.
“Thankfully for me it came off, there was still the odd loose ball, but I feel like I am bowling well and I am bowling the ball as hard as I ever have.
“The guys are in a good place and all the focus is now on the next match with Oman.”
As with the first two matches at the weekend, Coetzer won the toss and decided to bat first.
Matthew Cross fell in the second over of the 50 and Calum MacLeod was following him back to the pavilion in the seventh over as the PNG bowlers started well.
Coetzer and Richie Berrington, the latter having scored an unbeaten century versus PNG on Saturday, then came together and put on 116 runs for the third wicket.
By the time the former was out for 74 off 100 balls in the 35th over, the team were well set to kick on – and, despite Berrington going soon after for 56, they did just that.
George Munsey and Dylan Budge put on 62 in less than 10 overs for the fifth wicket and, after the former was out for 36, Leask came to the crease.
What came next was amazing to watch, the all-rounder showing his full repertoire of shots as he smashed an unbeaten 50 off just 18 balls which included six sixes.
At the other end, Budge finished on 46 not out of 38 balls and, in total, 107 runs had come off the last 10 overs.
Chad Soper ended up with 2-60 for PNG.
Spinner Hamza Tahir then took a wicket in the first over of PNG’s reply and Scotland really had their tails up.
Main then took scalps in the 10th and 12th overs as PNG were reduced to 52-3.
Tony Ura battled manfully for 47 off 52 balls, but when, in the 28th over, he was the sixth man out a little while later their chances of chasing down 288 had all but gone.
In the end they were 164 all out in the 37th over, Main fittingly bowling Sema Kamea for one to finish off the job and complete his five wicket haul.
As well his 5-52, Tahir’s fine trip continued with 3-27 while Leask and Watt took one scalp apiece.
Scotland will now play Oman on Friday in their final game in the UAE as they look to end the trip with a 100 percent record.
Team that played Papua New Guinea: Kyle Coetzer (C), Matthew Cross, Calum MacLeod, Richie Berrington, George Munsey, Dylan Budge, Michael Leask, Mark Watt, Safyaan Sharif, Gavin Main, Hamza Tahir.