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New Zealand XI squeeze home in a last ball thriller v Scots

Hosts win by one run after Hamish Gardiner and Matt Machan lead Scotland's fightback with a 111-run stand

New Zealand XI squeeze home in a last ball thriller v Scots - Cricket News
Brendon McCullum celebrates after running out Alasdair Evans.

Scotland, playing its first match in New Zealand as part of the ICC High Performance tour of Australia and New Zealand, nearly pulled off an upset over a New Zealand XI, eventually going down by the narrowest of margins, one run, on Wednesday (October 15). 

Chasing 264 for victory after New Zealand XI was bowled out for 263 off the last ball of its 50th over, Scotland was dismissed for 262 in 50 overs at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval in Lincoln. With overcast conditions helping the bowlers, Kyle Mills rocked Scotland early, dismissing Kyle Coetzer for a duck in the first over. Though Callum MacLeod (22) and Hamish Gardiner (54) added 35 for the second wicket to steady the innings, it was the 111-run stand between Gardiner and Matt Machan that threatened to take the match away from New Zealand. 

Machan, who made an enterprising 83 off 86 balls, started slowly before taking the attack to the bowlers. Gardiner completed his half-century in the 30th over, but was finally dismissed when Mills dropped a return catch from Machan but deflect the ball on to the stumps with Gardiner out of his ground at the non-striker's end.  

Soon after the stand was broken, New Zealand XI clawed its way back by picking up wickets at regular intervals to peg Scotland back. Though Freddie Coleman’s 50-ball 56 kept the scoreboard moving, the visitors eventually fell short. Corey Anderson, though expensive, picked up four wickets for 47 runs from seven overs. 

Earlier, after Preston Mommsen, the Scotland captain, won the toss and chose to field, his bowlers kept things tight and struck twice as New Zealand XI ended the Power Play on 26 for 2. 

Playing a close to full strength squad, New Zealand depended on Brendon McCullum and Tom Latham to carry the innings forward. The duo added 82 runs for the third wicket at a brisk pace and helped the hosts cross the 100-run mark. However, both McCullum (52) and Latham (39) were dismissed in the space of two runs as New Zealand XI slipped to 110 for 5 in 26 overs.

The Scotland bowlers kept chipping away but as Anderson (53 off 47) counter-attacked. Even so, New Zealand XI found itself in a sport at 208 for 9 when Mills (33) and Matt Henry (21 not out) added 55 runs for the last wicket to make the difference in the final analysis. Richie Berrington starred with the ball for Scotland, picking up three wickets for 66 runs from nine overs.

Scotland will now face Canterbury on Friday while New Zealand XI will take on Ireland on Saturday. 

New Zealand and Scotland will face-off in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 on February 17 in Dunedin.

To see the scorecard and review the New Zealand XI v Scotland match in full, please click here.
 

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