|ICC Intercontinental Cup 2011-2013|
Scotland and Netherlands draw in exciting clash
Majid Haq’s first international century proved in vain as the Netherlands fought back to produce a surprisingly exciting finale to the weather-hit Intercontinental Cup encounter between Scotland and Holland in Aberdeen.
While rain washed-out the first two days’ play at Mannofield, the sides served up plenty of entertainment in attempting to claim the 13 points on offer for a first innings lead before settling for seven apiece.
Thanks to a Scottish batting collapse in the morning – seven wickets falling for 72 - the Dutch fell just four runs short of the 310 runs needed from what proved to be 70 overs.
Openers Michael Swart and Neil Kruger provided a solid foundation with a stand of 140 before Preston Mommsen’s three wickets – one of them courtesy of a remarkable running one-handed catch by Ali Evans - stemmed the flow.
However, Mudasser Bukhari launched another assault by blasting four sixes in a quickfire 50 while Tom Cooper looked dangerous in making 28.
Haq removed both with successive deliveries as the match swung again.
But the Dutch kept coming and Tom de Grooth smashed 43 before Scots skipper Gordon Drummond held his nerve to deny them the 13 runs needed from the final over.
Earlier Haq duly completed his maiden international century though not without a dose of the “nervous 90s” and an eternity stuck on 99.
The Clydesdale man, resuming on 89, watched from the other end as Preston
Mommsen and Neil McCallum both went for just a single.
Mommsen departed in the second over of the morning when a delivery from Berend Westdijk moved prodigiously to scatter the stumps.
McCallum then mis-judged one from Peter Borren and was bowled behind his legs and suddenly Scotland had descended to 251-5.
Haq, though, was intent on three figures and finally got there after a mix-up which could have seen either him or Calum MacLeod run out.
In the event MacLeod ran to the danger end in an act of sacrifice but was spared by a poor throw from the deep.
Soon after, Haq reached his landmark with a push into the covers for a straightforward single.
He went on to finish unbeaten on 120, having faced 292 balls and hit nine boundaries.
The problem for Scotland was that they were unable to establish the partnerships that had put them firmly in the driving seat on Thursday.
Instead Haq fought a near-lone battle as wickets continued to tumble.
MacLeod, perhaps in frustration, presented Westdijk with a second wicket when he failed to clear Neil Kruger at point.
Drummond smacked a couple of lusty blows before finding the safe hands of Tom Cooper off Ashan Malik for 19.
Simon Smith was unluckily run out, the victim of a poor decision by Peter Nero, while Bukhari returned to the attack to clean up the tail and complete figures of 5-79.
Scotland, who had been aiming for a total in excess of 350, had made just 309, losing seven wickets for 72 in a disappointing morning session.
The plaudits were reserved for Haq with Scotland coach Pete Steindl saying: “We’ve always known Majid had an innings like this in him.
“He responded to the challenge of batting higher in the order and showed the patience needed to make big scores.
“It’s just a pity the rain took so much time out of the game but we still produced a reasonably entertaining game.
“A draw and seven points each was probably fair because we had the better of day one and they came back well today.”
And Dutch coach Peter Drinnen, Steindl’s predecessor also praised Haq, saying: “Majid is a superbly talented cricketer.
“I’m really pleased he’s got his first international hundred.”
The sides square up again next week in two ODIs at the same venue.