Spinners Mark Watt and Chris Greaves each took four wickets as Scotland defended 122-6 on Tuesday to beat the Netherlands by 32 runs in Abu Dhabi in a T20 World Cup warm-up match.
The second half shown by the bowlers and fielders was excellent, seeing the opponent all out for 90 in 17.5 overs.
Watt took 4-10 from 23 balls, while Greaves came in at 4-19 from 24 balls. Seamers Josh Davey and Safyaan Sharif each took one wicket while Brad Wheal and Michael Leask were wicketless, but everyone played their part.
With the bat before, Calum led MacLeods 32 not out of the way along with Michael Leasks 30.
I thought the guys did the job really well in this game, Watt said afterwards.
With the bat, the lads kept to their plans well as it was not an easy wicket to save and Calum MacLeod dug in to avoid getting out and he, along with Michael Leask, ran well between the wickets to get us to a competitive overall in this field.
As a bowler it was one of those wickets you just wanted to roll up and take home because it was so good and I thought Chris Greaves bowled excellent.
It’s never easy for a leg spinner to get in at this level but he looked so comfortable there and he seems to love Scotland every minute of it.
I feel in a good rhythm with my bowling right now and I just want to keep doing that.
It’s a good win, but we don’t get carried away and just keep building for the big World Cup opener against Bangladesh on Sunday.
After Scotland’s batters won the toss and decided to hit first, they may not have had the jump start they were looking for, but, as Watt said, they knew it was going to be a tricky wicket.
Openers George Munsey and skipper Kyle Coetzer made 15 out of 13 and 10 out of 13 balls respectively, with number three Matthew Cross making 15 out of 18.
Number five Dylan Budge made four, but MacLeod and Leask kept things going and the latter hit the lone six innings as the team reached 122-6.
In response, Sharif knocked out the dangerous Stephan Myburgh for 17 to kick things off before the spinners really came into their own.
Watt had caught Ben Cooper LBW for 19 before Greaves threw Bas De Leede for eight.
That was 50-3 and it was soon 62-5 when Greaves took a few more scalps and the Scots were in control by then.
Watt took the sixth wicket, Davey the seventh, Greaves the eighth and then Watt the last two as they capped off the triumph.
Head coach Shane Burger said: I thought it was a dominant performance, but I think the key is not to read too much into it.
The Netherlands have not played much cricket lately and there are still areas where we can improve as a team and we know that from Sunday when the World Cup starts we will have to be at our best.
The collaboration between Calum MacLeod and Michael Leask with the bat was excellent, while I thought the bowling unit as a whole was very good, with the likes of Mark Watt and Chris Greaves really taking the game away from the Netherlands.
We will gain momentum from this race, but we will remain humble and keep our feet on the ground, recognizing that there is a lot of hard work to be done before Sunday.
Scotland’s final warm-up match for the World Cup is against Namibia in Dubai on Thursday, starting at 7 a.m. UK time.
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