The Scotland U19s drew their recent 2 game series with aGuernsey XI which featured a number of their senior team players. The series was organised as part of preparation for both squads who have future qualification tournaments to look forward to, with the U19s preparing for a ICC World Cup Qualifier in Jersey.
Guernsey took the spoils in the first match having recovered well from 111 – 6 to post an above par 265 for 8. A 7th wicket partnership of 142 between Martin and Newey proved to be the difference in the game. Most of the young Scots with the exception of Tahir (1-28) and Hardie (2-25) struggled with consistency throughout the innings allowing Guernsey to claw back from a challenging position.
The Scots found things tough at the start of the chase against some tight Guernsey bowling as their seam-attack manged to consistently move the ball off the deck. The pressure finally told as both Shah and Garden were dismissed. Wickets continued to fall whilst the run rate increased and the bowling remained tight however a run-a-ball 50 from Beattie who was well supported by Diamond to give the u19s a glimmer of hope. Unfortunately for the Scots the target provided was too challenging for the young Scots who concluded 172 in the 44th after being bowled out .
In the second match the Scots batted first looking to produce a better overall performance after the first fixture. Once again the young Scots found the opening passage of the innings a challenge due to a disciplined Guernsey attack. At 34 -4 the Scots needed a big partnerships to post a total anywhere near par for the good batting conditions. The partnership came courtesy of Hardie (77), Beattie (63) and Diamond (34) who put on 140 in 22 overs with some positive hitting and running between the wickets. This allowed the Scots to post decent total of 248 – 8 which showed real character and gave them a chance of victory.
The Guernsey innings required a more consistent and disciplined effort in the field and the young Scots dully obliged. With some pressurised bowling and fielding they had the Guernsey squad reeling at 134 -6 after 36 overs, Qureshi (2-31) and Tahir (2-41) doing the bulk of the damage. A 74-run partnership put the hosts back in with a chance but again some good disciplined bowling and fielding in the last 5 overs allowed Scotland to register the victory by 8 runs.
At the conclusion of the match Scotland U19 coach Gordon Drummond said, ” I was really good response form the young Scots against a strong Guernsey team. The experience was great preparation for the next series against Namibia and the World Cup Qualifiers in Jersey.”
Cricket Scotland would like to thank Guernsey for the invitation to play and the great hospitality throughout the trip.