Willie Dick (CricketMedia Scotland)
Scotland's hopes of World Cup qualification received another damaging dent when they slumped to a defeat which was at least partially self-inflicted against UAE in Sharjah yesterday. The Saltires went into the second match of their desert double header looking to avenge Wednesday's loss.
However, with both bat and ball they committed elementary errors which allowed their hosts to complete a second victory by a two-wicket margin. The Saltires first lost their way with the bat, crawling to a disappointing 205-9 after a promising start and then contributed a damaging 30 runs in Extras to the UAE total.
Tony Judd, the assistant coach, admitted: "We are all extremely disappointed to lose a game which we had chances to win. "The bottom line is that we weren't good enough to cement these chances on the day. "Having said that, the guys fought like hell to take the game into the final over but we were always up against it.
"Batting became more difficult as the day went on and the UAE have about six decent spinners but we should still have scored about thirty runs more. "The Extras also hurt us because we ended up bowling 52 overs instead of 50 and that is a big difference in such a tight game."
The Saltires had looked on course to make amends for Wednesday's display when Kyle Coetzer stroked 73 and pinch-hitter Gordon Goudie walloped a run-a-ball 45. Coetzer stroked three boundaries as he laid down anchor during a 106-ball stay at the crease.
Following the early loss of Calum MacLeod, Goudie made the most of his promotion up the order to bludgeon three boundaries and the same number of maximums. Fraser Watts also chipped-in with 32 and when the Carlton man was out, Scotland, at 141-3 from thirty overs, appeared to have laid the platform for a substantial total.
Instead six of the middle and lower order men were dismissed for single figures while Preston Mommsen failed to stroke a single boundary, finishing unbeaten on 22 from 39 deliveries as the Scots closed well short.
Defending such a modest total, Scotland were looking for their bowlers to make early inroads into an accomplished UAE batting line-up. However, Goudie and Safyaan Sharif conceded as many Extras in their opening two overs as the home bowlers had done in fifty.
To their credit, the Saltires fought back and pushed their rivals all the way to the penultimate delivery of the match. Goudie and Mommsen claimed two wickets apiece while Majid Haq produced a splendidly economical spell yielding 1-26 from nine overs.
The truth was, though, that Scotland had given themselves too much to do especially with Shaiman Anwar intent on steering his side home. Anwar did just that with a defiant unbeaten 77, finishing the contest with the last of his four boundaries.
The Saltires now sit behind both Ireland and UAE in the World Cricket League from which two teams will qualify for the 2015 World Cup.
Meanwhile, Judd and head coach Pete Steindl must lift the side for the launch of their T20 World Cup qualifying bid which starts against Kenya on Tuesday.
Judd added: "We haven't played good enough one-day cricket in the last two games but we will now focus on a positive T20 campaign."