|World Cricket League Championship 2011-2013|
Scotland World Cup quest remains on track
William Dick (CricketMedia Scotland)
SCOTLAND made it three wins from three in their quest for automatic World Cup qualification with a rain-affected success over Namibia at Windhoek yesterday.
Solid knocks from Fraser Watts, Calum MacLeod and Josh Davey were sufficient to ensure the Saltires were 34 runs ahead when rain curtailed their innings after 26 overs.
Chasing a challenging 258 for victory, Scotland made the worst possible start when their batting talisman was out in the second over.
Kyle Coetzer has been in sparkling form this season with eight scores above 50 but he departed for a duck on this occasion, caught by Louis ven der Westhuizen off Kola Burger.
Watts, newly arrived from Scotland, and Calum MacLeod set about rebuilding the innings with the latter refusing to let the home bowlers settle.
The former Warwickshire all-rounder had contributed 46 – his highest score for Scotland – to a partnership of 80 when he edged a Christi Viljoen delivery to the keeper.
Davey then proved that the knee injury which prevented him from bowling was no impediment to him scurrying between the wickets.
The Middlesex all-rounder had just a couple of boundaries in his unbeaten 35, the remainder coming in ones and twos.
Meanwhile Watts’ unbeaten 46 included four boundaries and propelled the Scots to 137-2 when rain intervened.
Earlier, the Saltires bowlers were given a predictably tough time by a Namibian batting line-up renowned for some prodigious hitting.
While Gordon Goudie managed to keep openers Pikky Ya France and Viljoen in check, Saffy Sharif came in for some early punishment.
The Dunfermline youngster was quickly removed from the attack only for skipper Drummond to also come under fire.
Namibia had reached 49 in nine overs when Richie Berrington made the breakthrough, trapping Ya France in front for 18.
However, a century stand between Viljoen and Sarel Burger threatened to take the game away from the Scots.
Drummond turned to Majid Haq, Namibia’s I-Cup tormentor, in the hope of re-establishing control but the Africans were determined not to be dictated to by the Clydesdale spinner.
Instead Haq found himself conceding runs at an unaccustomed rate as Viljoen and Burger continued their assault, though the Scotland man was to claim a measure of revenge.
The stand was finally broken by the excellent Berrington who ripped through Viljoen’s defences to bowl the opener for 78.
He had hit ten fours and one six but his departure heralded the arrival of the equally dangerous van der Westhuizen whose rapid 24 included two maximums and once again forced Scotland onto the back foot.
They fought back impressively, though, and the capture of three wickets for the addition of only four runs restored order.
Haq had Burger (58) and van der Westhuizen caught by Watts and Goudie who clean-bowled Craig Williams for a duck.
Namibia’s hopes of a total approaching 300 were further dented when Haq completed a three-wicket haul by removing Gerrie Snyman, courtesy of MacLeod’s fine catch.
Sharif returned to the attack to pick up two morale-boosting scalps though some late hitting from Ray van Schoor and Gerhard Erasmus gave the home side a competitive 257.
The Scots, having already beaten Holland twice in the qualifying tournament, will attempt to do the double over Namibia in today’s re-match.