Scotland wins easily against UAE
Scotland captain Ryan Watson was left to lament his side saving their best for last at the Cricket World Cup qualifiers as the Saltires missed out on meeting the sport’s big guns in 2011 by two points at the end of the group stages.
An impressive 122-run rout of the United Arab Emirates at Benoni proved enough to preserve the side’s One Day International status, and the seven-figure bounty that accompanies the privilege. Yet despite the large margin of victory, it left the Scots in fifth place in the final Super Eight standings as Ireland, Kenya, Canada and the Netherlands qualified to take on the sport’s big guns in two years time.
Finally, however, Watson’s men pulled together a performance in which the batting, fielding and bowled were up to the mark against a UAE side who were themselves still in the running for a World Cup place. However Gavin Hamilton produced a magnificent 127-run haul under the most acute of pressure to help his side rack up 299-7 from their 50 overs.
With Neil McCallum adding 54 in support, the Emirates were then held in check as they desperately tried to get the result required to end up in the top four. Instead, Craig Wright took four wickets for 41 to put the Scots in control with McCallum running out the dangerous Nithin Gopal on 50 as arguably the most important win in the history of Scottish cricket was completed with over ten overs to spare.
“Obviously we played decent cricket today,” said Watson. “We had two batters get runs as opposed to just one which made a huge difference. It wasn’t easy. We took a bit of a gamble by batting first on that wicket but it’s paid off in the end."
The Saltires now finish up on Sunday in the play-off for fifth place with a chance for revenge against previous conquerors Afghanistan, back at Benoni.