|Twenty20 World Cup Qualifier, UAE 2012|
Scotland's World Cup dream ends
William Dick (CricketMedia Scotland)
Scotland's World Cup dream died in the desert last night when the multi-national outfit that masquerades as the Netherlands carved out a three-wicket win at the Global Cricket Academy, Dubai.
A Saltires side, creaking at the seams after an injury-jinxed qualifying campaign, went down fighting after Calum MacLeodís brilliant half-century helped them post 166-6. However, the Scottish batsmen were unable to press the accelerator at the end of their innings while the bowlers, having built pressure impressively, released it during a couple of fatally expensive overs.
Ironically, it was the former Forfarshire batsman Tom Cooper, one of eight Dutch players born outside the Netherlands, whose well-paced 60 extinguished Scotlandís hopes of travelling to the T20 World Cup in Sri Lanka later this year.
While refusing to make excuses for his teamís exit, coach Pete Steindl did point out that the loss of his two front-line seam bowlers had proved costly. Neither Gordon Goudie nor Safy Sharif survived an arduous schedule while the formerís replacement Moneeb Iqbal was short of top flight action as a toll of 33 runs from his two overs proved.
Steindl admitted: ďAt the end of the day weíve come up short and the guys are gutted. To be honest, we have run out of bowlers and that has made our task even harder. It hurt us not having Gordon and it hurt us not having Safy but the guys tried extremely hard and we would still have backed ourselves to get through to the World Cup.Ē
The day started well for the Saltires when MacLeod and Richie Berrington came out firing. They reached 59-0 in the seventh over before Berrington was first to go for a 25-ball 37. However, another half-century stand between MacLeod and Mommsen kept the momentum going. Mommsen hit a rapid 26 while MacLeodís 57 came from just 42 balls and included five boundaries and two maximums.
However, the Saltires lost their way, hitting just two boundaries in the last six overs.
The Dutch were given a solid start by South African Stephan Myburgh and his Australian colleague Michael Swart who put on 31 for the first wicket. However, the Scottish bowlers made a real game of it, Berrington making the breakthrough to remove Swart before Majid Haq claimed two wickets in quick succession.
Scotlandís most consistent bowler first deceived Worcestershire batsman Alex Kervezee in the flight and also bowled Myburgh for a 24-ball 36. Haq claimed his third wicket when Mudassar Bukhari charged down the wicket and was stumped by Craig Wallace.
Berrington took a return catch to remove big-hitting Peter Borren while skipper Gordon Drummond kept Scottish hopes alive by dismissing Wesley Barresi and Cooper in the space of four balls as the game went to the final over. However, Cooper had already done the damage, only departing with his adopted country within touching distance of victory and a second play-off against Ireland.
In fine touch after a successful season with South Australia, Cooper seized the initiative by smashing three sixes in a row off the unfortunate Iqbal. He hit one further maximum as well as four boundaries in his punishing 32-ball knock.
Steindl added: ďWe didnít score heavily enough at the end of our innings and were a bit short of where we wanted to be. Having said that we exerted pressure with the ball and one guy has taken it away from us but thatís what can happen in T20. It has been a tough campaign and the boys never gave up but at the end of the day we have under-performed.Ē