Comprehensive win for Scotland
SCOTLAND stayed firmly on course to reach the play-off phase of the World Twenty20 Qualifier with a comprehensive win over Canada at Goldenacre yesterday.
The Scots dominated to the extent that they completed their eight-wicket success with thirty-two balls to spare, in the process enhancing their net-run-rate, a potentially crucial advantage as a tight Group B reaches its climax.
Needing a modest 136 for victory after another efficient display in the field, Kyle Coetzer and Calum MacLeod quickly put Scotland ahead of the required rate.
MacLeod dominated the early overs, showing his class by sweeping and cutting consecutive deliveries from Junaid Siddiqui to the boundary.
The Durham batsman then swept back-to-back sixes off the same bowler's next over only to depart when he was bowled attempting an elaborate scoop shot off Satsamranjit Dhindsa.
However, his departure paved the way for Coetzer to produce a masterclass of one-day batting in which classic cricket shots won the day over improvisation.
The Aberdeen-born Northants opener was at his best when striking through the offside, an imperious six over extra cover being the highlight.
Coetzer reached his 50 from forty deliveries with five boundaries and two maximums.
However, when Matthew Cross came and went for a breezy 21, even Coetzer was forced to play second fiddle as George Munsey arrived to complete the victory with 33no from only twelve balls with six boundaries and one six.
Earlier, Canada started and finished well but Scotland's bowlers dominated the middle overs to deny their rivals a winning total.
Ruvindu Gunesekera gave a hint of his intentions by smashing the first ball of the match from Ali Evans to the long-off boundary.
The Carlton fast bowler suffered further punishment when the same batsman struck him for consecutive maximums, the first a fortuitous top-edge but the second a huge blow over long-on.
Gunesekera immediately attempted to repeat the dose only to miscue to Safyaan Sharif who took the catch.
Hiral Patel and Nitesh Kumar continued in similar vein before falling to Josh Davey and Sharif in quick succession.
When Rizwan Cheema then holed out to George Munsey at deep over it signalled a spell during which the Scots exercised such control that their rivals went eleven overs without finding the boundary.
Wickets also continued to fall tumble, Canada slumping to 87-8 as Davey claimed 3-36.
However, an unbroken stand of 48 for the ninth wicket between Navneet Dhaliwal and Siddiqui hoisted the tally to 135-8 at the close.
The former played the anchor role sensibly to compile 34 from 37 balls while Siddiqui opened out to hit maximums of both Rob Taylor and Con de Lange on his way to 16-ball 28.
Man-of-the-match Coetzer said: “Personally it was nice to get a few runs but the most important thing was that the team won.
“We did that and we did it at a good rate which we know could also be important.
“We're conscious that in the past run-rate has hurt us in tournaments like this and we've taken care of that with this win.”
The victory takes Scotland into third place in the group though Oman, whom they face in their final Group B match tomorrow (Sat) could leapfrog them by beating UAE today.
Coetzer added: “We've definitely still got a fight on but we just want to win each game we play and hope other results go our way.”