Scotland finish distant second to Hampshire
William Dick (CricketMedia Scotland)
Scotlandís cricketers came a distant second as the first phase of their CB40 campaign ended in a comprehensive 89-run defeat to Hampshire yesterday. On a day when the sun finally shone, the scene was set for the Saltires to sparkle in front of an enthusiastic crowd at Bothwell Castle Policies.
Instead they produced their most disappointing performance of the season particularly in making just 131 with the bat after dismissing their visitors for 220. Indeed, the run-chase never got going after Kabir Ali claimed two wickets in as many balls.
Josh Davey had hit two boundaries in a rather laboured 13 before he had his off-stump uprooted while Ryan Flannigan was trapped in front. At 28-2 after nine overs Scotland were in danger of falling fatally behind the required rate.
Their problems intensified when Calum MacLeod, having made 16, embarked on a suicidal single and was run out. There was some resistance from Jean Symes who top-scored with 33 while Preston Mommsen and Craig Wallace also attempted inject some urgency.
However, the sad fact is that the Scots were never in contention against a slick county attack for whom Kabir Ali and Danny Briggs excelled.
Earlier the Saltires produced a fine display in the field after struggling initially to contain the runs against the free-scoring county batting line-up. The tone was set in the first over when Jimmy Adams stroked the first of a flurry of boundaries.
Michael Carberry got in on the act in the next over as both Matty Parker and Ali Evans were punished whenever they erred in line or length. That was more frequently than the Scots would have wanted as the county raced to 64-0 from the first eight overs of power-play. However, skipper Gordon Drummond made the breakthrough when he found the edge of Adamsí bat and Wallace took a sharp catch. The Hampshire captain had made 33 from just 23 balls with six boundaries.
There was no immediate stem to the flow of runs as James Vince looked in the mood to add to the 130 runs he scored when the sides met in Southampton last season. The young England prospect raced to 21 with three attractive boundaries before a brilliant spell by Majid Haq wrested the initiative from the visitors. Haq first bowled Vince with a delivery which deceived the batsman in the air and followed up in his next over with two in two balls.
Much had been made of the threat posed by Simon Katich, the former Australian Test batsman. However, Haq trapped the left-hander lbw for just 6 and immediately turned one past the edge of Sean Ervineís bat.
Suddenly, Hampshire had been reduced to 117-4 and a soaring run-rate was firmly checked. Mommsen was next to strike with a wicket which drew laughter as much as applause from the Uddingston crowd, Liam Dawson pulling a long hop straight to Drummond at short mid-wicket.
There were also two wickets for Davey as the Saltires continued to chip away, Chris Wood and Michael Bates falling to the Middlesex all-rounder. Carberry, though, proved a more obdurate figure going on to anchor the innings with a controlled innings that yielded 76 runs from 86 deliveries with ten boundaries.
The one-time England Test batsman eventually fell to the Drummond/Wallace combination before some late hitting from Kabir Ali and Briggs propelled the county beyond 200. Ali hit the only six of the innings, a cleanly struck effort over long-off in Haqís final over but the spinnerís 3-42 was still an impressive effort.
Symes was also rewarded with the final two wickets as the Saltires managed to bowl their rivals out.