Saltires well beaten at Somerset
William Dick (CricketMedia Scotland)
EIGHT overs of mayhem were sufficient to cost the Saltires their chance of a second CB40 victory of the season against Somerset at Taunton yesterday.
Having dismissed their hosts for 206, the Scots would surely have sauntered to the target had they made a solid start with the bat.
Instead a flurry of early wickets left them with too much to do and allowed Somerset to cruise to a 60-run victory Ė their first win of the campaign.
Josh Davey, who starred with the ball, could count himself slightly unlucky when he middled the second ball of the innings off Alfonso Thomas only to see Max Waller pouch an instinctive catch inches off the ground at short cover.
However, his dismissal before a run had been scored was sufficient to spark a collective dose of the wobbles from which no Saltires batsman appeared immune.
Jan Standerís frantic pinch-hitting role lasted just a few balls before he was trapped in front by Thomas while Calum MacLeod could not repeat the heroics that saw him score 99 against Canada last week.
The Uddingston player had managed three boundaries in his 15 but had also been dropped by George Dockrell who made amends when a second opportunity came his way, MacLeod spooning Jamie Overton to mid-wicket.
Jean Symes may not have had any top flight action for more than a month but his top-edge off Overton was not a shot he will reflect on with pleasure, leaving the Scots teetering on 31-4.
There was some respite when Richie Berrington and stand-in captain Preston Mommsen came together.
However, just when a meaningful partnership was developing, Mommsen swung across the line and was bowled by Craig Meschede.
Berrington went on to top-score with 40 before he also fell to Somersetís unlikely bowling hero Meschede who finished with a career-best 4-27.
Ryan Flannigan remained unbeaten on 30 but Scotlandís tally of 146 Ė all out in just 31.4 overs - was a huge disappointment especially after a splendid display in the field.
Craig Kieswetter and Nick Compton came out with all guns blazing to spark worrying reminders of Scotlandís last visit to this ground when Somerset scored in excess of 400
Kieswetter, who could have worn the Saltire on account of his Scottish mother had the ICC changed their qualification rules before he was snapped-up by England, led the way with a couple of leg-side boundaries off Gordon Goudie.
He then walloped a huge six over long on as Ali Evans also came in for some heavy punishment.
However, Mommsenís decision to introduce Symes and Davey during the bowling power-play paid dividends.
Left-arm spinner Symes stemmed the flow while Davey made the breakthrough with a double-wicket maiden which accounted for Compton and Peter Trego.
Compton fell to Craig Wallaceís diving catch behind the stumps while Trego, who had bludgeoned 74 from 39 balls three years ago, failed to score before being trapped in front.
Scotland were further boosted when Goudieís comeback over yielded the prize wicket of Kieswetter, also lbw.
The England player had made 56 from just 53 balls with eight boundaries and one clearance.
Had he stayed around for much longer, the Saltires would surely have been chasing a much bigger total.
In the event, James Hildreth and Jos Buttler steadied the county ship with a half-century stand before Symes again, taking a simple return catch to remove the former for 26.
It would have been two wickets in as many balls for the South African if Mommsen had held a sharp slip chance off Lewis Gregory.
Symes claimed a bigger scalp in his next over, turning one passed the edge of Buttlerís bat to clip the off-stump.
The highly-rated England youngster had shown glimpses of his promise in compiling 32, especially with a beautifully timed reverse sweep off Majid Haq.
Haq, though, was not to be kept out of the action and the Clydesdale spinner became Scotlandís second leading wicket-taker of all time when he trapped Craig Meschede in front.
Haq produced a carbon copy to remove Gregory while Symes claimed a deserved third wicket with a delivery that turned sharply to out-fox Thomas.
Davey provided the final flourish of a spirited fielding display by first running out Max Waller with a direct hit and then bowling Jamie Overton.