Scotland's hopes shattered
William Dick Cricket Media Scotland
Scotland's Intercontinental Cup hopes lay in tatters last night after they slumped to a gut-wrenching defeat to Namibia in Windhoek.
Ryan Watson's side looked to be coasting to glory after reducing the Africans to 190-9 in pursuit of an unlikely victory target of 237.
That should have made the outcome a formality but instead the last two Namibian batsmen staged an amazing fightback to add the 47 runs needed to clinch a famous one-wicket win.
It was a dramatic finale to an amazing match which saw Scotland skittled for 140 on the first day only to rout their rivals for 115.
A century stand between Fraser Watts and Qasim Sheikh, who notched his maiden first class half-century, then put the Scots firmly in charge before another batting collapse tossed away the initiative.
Watson's men had been cruising on 110-1 but were eventually shot out for a disappointing 211 in their second innings. However, a three-wicket burst from man-of-the-match John Blain tipped the scales in Scotland's favour once again.
They looked like turning the screw after Blain picked up his fourth early yesterday morning. The Scots continued to chip away at Namibia's batsmen and had the game in their grasp after taking the ninth wicket.
But they were unable to find the clinching tenth wicket that would have given Pete Steindl a winning start to his reign as coach and rekindled their faint Intercontinental Cup hopes.
Steindl declared: "It's obviously very disappointing not to get across the finishing line.
"The efforts of the lads were fantastic throughout the match but we just couldn't take that last wicket. Their last two batsmen batted very well but our bowlers went passed the bat on numerous occasions and were unlucky not to find an edge.
"I'm gutted for the lads but we've got a good work ethic and a great spirit in the squad. Our ground fielding was as good as I've seen from a Scottish side and we took three screaming catches.
"We also saw a top batting performance from Qasim Sheikh so there are positives we can take from the game."<