Mathew Cross heroics leads Scotland home in the last over
Richie Berrington scripted a thrilling five-wicket win for Scotland over Papua New Guinea in the seventh-place play-off match of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier played at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi on November (29).
Needing 13 runs in the last over, Mathew Cross smashed a six and a four of the last two balls to seal victory. Chasing 144, Scotland's openers added 30 runs in four overs but failed to capitalise on the good start, as Calum Macleod, Matt Machan and Michael Leask were dismissed adding just one run more.
Kyle Coetzer and Berrington then added 90 runs for the fourth wicket before Coetzer was run out for a 33-ball 35. Andrew Hicks and Norman Vanua picked up two wickets each. Berrington remained unbeaten on a 55-ball 70, hitting one four and three sixes.
Earlier, opting to bat first, the PNG openers gave the team a brisk start, adding 33 runs in four overs. Neil Carter dismissed Charles Amini for 18 in the fifth over. Tony Ura and Christopher Kent then added 33 more runs for the second wicket. Majid Haq cleaned up the PNG top order dismissing Ura for 27, Kent for 24 and Geraint Jones for 25 and returned figures of 3 for 25 in four overs.
Jack Vare gave PNG a much needed boost in the slog overs, scoring a 24-ball 35 with three fours and one six, helping them reach a competitive 143 for 5 in 20 overs. Carter provided Haq with ample support and picked up 2 for 19.
Coetzer, the Scotland captain, looked satisfied after the win. “When we came out today we needed to finish off with a win and it is nice to go home with a win,” he said. “We thought we needed to take it down till the end, not as close as it got, it was tense but there was still a chance. We had to take the match till deep and that’s what we did so happy we finished off with a win.”
Chris Amini, the PNG captain, expressed his disappointment to have finished eighth. “It was disappointing not to finish on the winning side but a lot of positives over the last two weeks and even today we pushed a top side like Scotland to the last ball,” he said. “We finished 8th last year and would have liked to finish a lot higher. But I am satisfied that we progressed to the play-offs and to get this far I’m proud of the boys and proud of the effort we put in.”