Scotland 282 for 8 (Berrington 127, Watt 44*, Leask 41, Siddique 3-49) beat United Arab Emirates 171 (Waseem 36, Sharif 4-20, Sole 3-37) by 111 runs

A captain’s knock from Richie Berrington, followed up by a clinical bowling performance from the Scotland bowlers gave them a 111-run win over United Arab Emirates, thereby knocking the Asian side out of qualification contention on Friday afternoon in Bulawayo.

Berrington walked in at 11 for 2 and was put on the back foot when Scotland were reduced to 48 for 4, but he fought through the rebuilding process alongside his middle order before blossoming in the slog overs. His 136-ball 127 was a clinic in pacing an innings through a demanding situation, hitting nine fours and three sixes. His first century in 13 months set UAE a target of stiff target of 283.

UAE could never recover from Berrington’s batting blows. When they came to bat, they were jolted by Chris Sole‘s opening spell, further jolting their challenge in a must-win match. Muhammad Waseem, Basil Hameed and the lower order provided brief resistances, but with the team’s highest individual score reading only 36, they were never in touch of the chase, and were bowled out for 171 in 35.3 overs.
But UAE did start the game as the better side. After winning the toss, they dominated with the new ball. Junaid Siddique and Ali Naseer led the way in Scotland going four down inside 15 overs, and their spinners strangled Scotland for most of the middle overs.

But Berrington ensured he didn’t throw his wicket during the difficult period, and alongside Michael Leask (41), Chris Greaves (22) and Mark Watt (44*), kept the scoreboard moving. That ensured Scotland had mitigated the risk of being bowled out, which then gave them the freedom to go hard in the final ten overs.

And, Berrington and Watt did just that, dominating from the 40th over. They upped the tempo in the last five, scoring 63 runs in the last 30 deliveries. Their 66-ball partnership of 109 for the eighth wicket took Scotland from hoping for a target of 220 to eventually finishing on 282 for 8. Scotland did not lose a single wicket in the last ten overs, with only an unselfish attempt at a second run in the innings’ final delivery bringing UAE a late wicket.

UAE’s start to the chase was promising for the first four overs, and Waseem threatened to repeat what his opposite number did. The veteran opener lost four partners inside 16 overs, but while he was there, UAE had hope. However, that was dashed when he was the fifth man gone – lbw by Watt – for 36, leaving UAE reeling at 82 for 5.

Basil Hameed (30), Aayan Afzal Khan (21) and Karthik Meiyappan (23*) briefly thwarted the Scottish challenge but the regular loss of UAE wickets meant they were entertaining but still quite far away from the 283 target. When Safyaan Sharif returned for his second spell, he cleaned up the resistance with three lower-order wickets, finishing with 4 for 20 on the back of that burst.

Scotland now join Sri Lanka and Oman on four points in Group B, realistically needing just one more win in the last two games to be assured of qualification for the Super Sixes. For UAE, their hope of playing in India at the ODI World Cup ended, and now play for pride in their final fixture against Ireland.


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