Scotland pay cost for missed chances against Hampshire
William Dick (CricketMedia Scotland)
Scotland went down fighting in the opening encounter of their Diamond Jubilee double header against Hampshire yesterday.
The Saltires may still be seeking their second win of this CB40 campaign but this six-wicket reverse was an improvement on last week’s limp showing against Durham.
In the end the difference may well have been two improbable catches held by the hosts and a straightforward one which was dropped by the Scots.
Defending a below-par total of 230, Gordon Drummond’s men made the ideal start when the skipper himself found the edge of Jimmy Adams’ bat and Calum MacLeod held the catch at slip.
Better followed when Drummond trapped James Vince in front to reduce the county to 15-2.
However, in-form Michael Carberry, who top-scored with 76 in the corresponding game at Uddingston, survived a huge lbw shout to Matty Parker.
The left-handed opener then edged Josh Davey between the keeper and slip before being dropped in the same over by Jean Symes at deep mid-wicket.
It was to prove horribly costly for the Scots as Carberry took full advantage of his good fortune, blazing his way to a rapid half-century with nine boundaries.
It was enough to put the county side back in the box seat especially when Simon Katich helped Carberry add 100 in 90 just balls.
Scotland, though, continued to compete gamely and had their reward when Katich edged Parker to Craig Wallace to depart for 41.
The Forfarshire bowler had a further success when Sean Ervine found the safe hands of MacLeod in the deep.
However, for the second game in a row a county batsman took the game away from Scotland as Carberry continued to punish the visitors for that drop.
He finished the match unbeaten on 148 having faced just 120 balls and stroked twenty boundaries.
The last of his three maximums completed a comfortable six-wicket win with 23 balls to spare.
Earlier the Saltires made a promising start only to witness to their cost the old adage that “catches win matches.”
Davey and MacLeod had issued a statement of intent by running quick singles from the first three deliveries of the match.
Davey looked in particularly good touch, pushing the first of his three boundaries through the covers with fine timing.
The Middlesex all-rounder dished out further punishment to Chris Wood with a lofted shot over mid-off and another drive to the cover boundary.
MacLeod, too, got in on the act with a crunching shot off Dimitri Mascarenhas.
However, having put on 37 at a brisk rate, both batsmen were dismissed without addition to the total.
Davey, having made 24, connected cleanly with David Griffiths’ first delivery of the match only for Vince to take a brilliant one-handed catch.
Remarkably that effort was eclipsed by Katich who audaciously pouched MacLeod’s searing drive at mid-wicket off Mascarenhas.
It was a double blow from which the Saltires took a while to recover.
Richie Berrington appeared to have broken the shackles by lofting Mascarenhas over his head for six only for the bowler to claim revenge three balls later.
Symes was next to go, the South African having played and missed several times on the way to his 22 before finally edging Sean Ervine to Michael Bates.
When Warwickshire youngster Freddie Coleman went in similar fashion, the Scots, on 97-5, were in danger of a major collapse.
However, they rallied through an enterprising 80-run stand between Preston Mommsen and Majid Haq.
The pair first steadied the ship and then opened out to take 20 runs from the first over of the batting power-play, though only 18 followed from the next three.
By then Mommsen had gone, holing out two short of a half-century, having stroked four boundaries and a six.
Craig Wallace and Moneeb Iqbal also departed during the power-play while the loss of Drummond saw Scotland teetering on 201-9 with two overs remaining.
It was a bonus that they were able to bat out the innings with Haq going on to record an unbeaten 53.
The Clydesdale left-hander hit four boundaries and a spectacular flat six over long-on as Griffiths’ figures took a pounding at the death.