After a successful first venture into T10 cricket, the Scotland XI arrived home at the weekend in the knowledge that an exciting finals week awaits them in seven days time.
Group C in the European Cricket Championship turned out to be the tightest group so far in the five week tournament hosted at the Cartama Oval in the hills west of Malaga.
The Scotland XI started the tournament with a win over France however after loses to Malta and Belgium it was evident they were struggling to cope with the new format played on astro turf.
“The players had to adapt really quickly” said team coach Dan Sutton, who as a sports science lecturer at Aberdeen University and former national team head coach of Cricket Argentina, knows a thing or two about competing in different cricket environments.
“I could sense the players were out of their comfort zone in the early part of the tournament and we were well aware that the opposition had all experienced T10 cricket in this environment. It was just a matter of learning from our early mistakes” said Sutton.
At the half way stage of the week, the Scotland XI had won two from five and looked to be struggling, however a convincing win versus Luxembourg under the lights at the Cartama Oval seemed to rejuvenate their spirit as they went on to win all their remaining matches with some strong performances with bat and ball.
In the final they faced Belgium, a team who had got the better of them on two occasions in the earlier group matches. Scotland XI elected to bat with English, Hinkley, and Jarvis setting up a strong platform racing to 83 runs after 7 overs. Naylor, Garden and Sajjad added another 32 setting Belgium a challenging 116 to win the group.
The Scottish bowlers had improved throughout the tournament and with Hogarth, Jarvis, Shah and Neill all producing single figure economy rates, they restricted Belgium to 92 in their 10 overs.
Scotland now progress to the finals week and will face Netherland XI, England XI, Spain and the winners of group D being played this week.
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