Victims of their own raised expectations, Scotland’s cricketers were deeply disappointed after a second successive heavy T20 defeat at the hands of Pakistan last night, but their captain was in no doubt that they can still head directly to a triangular tournament in the Netherlands with a renewed sense of belief in themselves.
Following their astonishing victory over world No.1 ranked England in Sunday’s 50 overs-a-side One Day International the challenge of adjusting to a different format as they took on the world’s best T20 side proved too much as they collapsed to an 84-run defeat, having lost by 48 runs to a superb Pakistan side the previous day.
However, as captain Kyle Coetzer pointed out, they can take great pride in demonstrating their competitiveness against such opposition.
“It’s been a pretty special four days,” he said. “I’d have said beforehand that if we came out of these three games having won one of them, we’d have taken that, but having won the first won we were hoping to go on and get a second.
“It wasn’t to be but we’ve played some excellent cricket over the four days. The atmosphere has been superb, people have filed through the gates and that is an absolute credit to Scottish cricket and everyone involved in setting this up. These kind of occasions are where we want to be and that’s what we’ll be pushing forward for.”
If the captain was to be faulted for one thing over the three matches it was his inability to win a toss and Pakistan once again opted to bat first yesterday, setting off at a similar pace.
As in the previous day’s encounter they brought up their 50 in the sixth over and while the Scots did a better job of restricting them in the middle overs of their innings, ultimately keeping them to 166 for six, there was always the question of whether a different surface on a new pitch had been a factor.
Conditions were different too, the umpires showing common sense in managing to keep play continuous despite some drizzling rain and the Scottish reply demonstrated the different nature of the conditions and terrain as they struggled from the outset when George Munsey chipped the third ball of the innings from Usman Khan to Fakhar Zaman at mid-wicket.
While last man Ali Evans was the only other Scot to register a duck, only three made it into double figures; Richie Berrington scoring 20 and Safyaan Shariff 10 while, just as he had started it in winning the man-of-the-match award against England, Calum MacLeod finished this sequence of matches at The Grange as top scorer, but this time doing so with only 25 as opposed to 140 not out.
His departure, caught and bowled by Faheem Ashraf, signalled the surrender with Evans’ dismissal ending the innings two balls later.
They now return to more familiar fare, facing the Dutch and Ireland in a Tri-Series that is already under way and in which the hosts have upset their higher-ranked opponents in the first two matches.
“It will be a challenging series, some quality teams will be playing out there and I’m sure the skill level will be up there,” said Coetzer. “We look forward to it. There are always tasty encounters between us, the Irish and the Dutch.”
Source : HeraldScotland