Scotland's top performers in 2011
Neil Drysdale (Glasgow Herald)
Scotland’s cricketers made significant strides forward during the 2011 season, both in domestic competition, and on their travels in the Intercontinental Cup, justifying the decision of Cricket Scotland to invest in full-time contracts for their elite performers.
There were penetrating bowling spells, dazzling pyrotechnics with the bat, memorable against-the-odds knocks and game-changing acts of individual derring-do. But who was
Here, we unveil the six candidates and invite Cricket Europe’s followers to decide who deserves to be crowned Player of the Year.
RICHIE BERRINGTON (Greenock): The Scots were slipping behind the run rate required to beat Ireland when Berrington entered the proceedings at the Grange in July. Less than an hour later, they were on easy street after Berrington launched a belligerent attack on his opponents, powering his way to a wonderfully pugnacious 56 from just 23 deliveries, including half-a-dozen 6s as the visiting bowlers were despatched to every corner of the Edinburgh ground. Berrington has power and panache and his effort ensured his team finished up chasing an imposing target and winning with plenty to spare.
KYLE COETZER (Northants): The seasoned county professional moved from Durham to Northants, but stacked up runs wherever he ventured. He had the distinction of scoring hundreds for and against his homeland in the CB 40 tournament, the first for Durham in Edinburgh, the second a match-winning knock for the Saltires against his subsequent new employers. Whether in ODIs or the longer forms of the game, Coetzer was mightily effective, winning the man-of-the match award for his unbeaten 89 against the Netherlands in Aberdeen, and posting consecutive half-centuries against Namibia.
JOSH DAVEY (Middlesex): The 21 year-old has quickly developed into Scotland’s Mr Consistency and kept producing important contributions with bat and ball, whether in his quick-fire 48 against Ireland, or his heroics during the CB40 win over Warwickshire, when Davey hit 24, snared three wickets and ran out the dangerous Neil Carter, as his side successfully defended a small target in wet conditions. The 21 year-old boasts the versatility required to flourish in the modern game and demonstrated, time and time again, in 2011 that he has the talent and temperament to prosper in any scenario.
MAJID HAQ (Clydesdale): The vastly experienced spinner highlighted his increasing fluency with the bat by striking his maiden hundred for Scotland against the Dutch at Mannofield and chipped in with important runs in other matches. In the bowling stakes, he regularly displayed his potent combination of parsimony and penetration, and recorded career-best figures of six for 32 – from more than 27 overs! – against Namibia in the Intercontinental Cup. He and Coetzer enjoyed the distinction of being chosen for the composite Associate side which will tackle England in Dubai early in 2012.
PRESTON MOMMSEN (Carlton): The hard-working batsman blazed an efficacious trail amidst the bad weather which blighted the Scottish summer and made himself one of his country’s automatic picks with a feast of runs. In the CB 40 competition, he struck an unbeaten 73 against Durham and 81 not out against Northants and was comfortably the most consistent of the Saltires batsmen. Mommsen then showed his worth in the longer form of the game by posting his maiden ton for the Scots against the Namibians and he has the range of shots and mental toughness to thrive against the best opponents.
JAN STANDER (Stoneywood-Dyce): Hundreds in one-day contests are rare enough for Associate batsmen, but they are about as uncommon occurrences as lunar collapses on the Twenty20 circuit. However, Stander, a wonderfully clean-hitting striker, rose to the challenge with a spellbinding display against Namibia, cracking nine 4s and seven 6s in his unbeaten 116, amassed from only 56 balls at a strike rate of over 200, which helped his team to a comfortable victory. Given the rising importance of the T20 format, Stander looks certain to be an integral member of the Scots’ line-up in the year ahead.