Classy Chalmers leads Scotland to victory over MCC
Willie Dock (CricketMedia Scotland)
Ewan Chalmers, the young Watsonians batsman, stroked a memorable maiden international century as Scotland produced a brilliant run-chase to beat MCC in the Lord’s sunshine yesterday.
All eyes had been on Australian import Luke Butterworth on his Saltires debut and the Tasmanian played his part with both bat and ball.
However, this occasion belonged to 21 year-old Chalmers who reached three figures in front of a substantial crowd.
Chasing MCC’s 256-7, the Scots were in trouble on 90-4 before Chalmers and Butterworth embarked on a what proved to be a match-winning 130-run partnership.
Chalmers, who had walked to the crease following the early departure of Oli Hairs, watched as a further three wickets fell.
However, he proved he has the temperament to match an excellent technique in composing a marvellous 109 at almost a run-a-ball as he stroked fourteen fours and a six before he was finally caught behind with the target just six runs away.
If the youngster provided the backbone to the innings, Butterworth produced the fireworks in a hard-hitting 80. His fifty came from just 44 balls and he went on to hit 12 boundaries as well as launching two mighty sixes into the grandstand off former England spinner Jamie Dalrymple.
In the end Scotland eased to their target with four wickets and three overs to spare.
Earlier Butterworth marked his debut by making the breakthrough as the Saltires started brightly in under glorious blue skies. The Tasmanian arrived on Monday but he must have felt at home in the balmy conditions, settling quickly into a good line and length.
Martin Bicknell had already retired hurt when the Australian ruined Ryan Watson’s hopes of a happy return to Lord’s. It is almost two years to the day since Watson stepped down as Scotland skipper following a heavy defeat to Middlesex at the Home of Cricket. However, the Forfarshire batsman had made just 11 when Butterworth found the edge of his bat and Gregor Maiden took a regulation wicket-keeper’s catch.
Another former Scotland captain – Gavin Hamilton – fared little better when he was on the receiving end of an excellent delivery from Gordon Goudie which ripped through his defences.
Dalrymple was next to go when he was brilliantly run out by Richie Berrington for a duck as the MCC slipped to 77-3.
It was soon even better for the Saltires when Goudie produced another brute of a delivery to remove the former Leicestershire batsman James Benning.
Opener Mark Tomsett offered dogged resistance and the MCC Young Cricketer finally found some willing helpers in his team’s middle order. Tomsett hit a defiant 61 from 84 balls before he was bowled by the excellent Majid Haq whose ten overs cost just 31 runs.
However, Keith Wilkinson and Mark Alleyne also rose to the challenge for the hosts, both making 65 with Alleyne’s punishing knock coming from only 41 deliveries.
He became Goudie’s third clean-bowled victim, the West of Scotland seamer returning figures of 3-52 though the MCC’s total was perhaps 30 runs in excess of what Gordon Drummond’s men had hoped.
Not enough – though - to trouble Chalmers.