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Bowlers help Scotland earn crucial points

Afghanistan conceded 98-run lead after being all out for 135, as Scottish side bags 13 points in rain-truncated clash

Bowlers help Scotland earn crucial points - Cricket News
The Shenwari-Dawlatzai collaboration had fetched Afghanistan 41 runs.
Scotland walked away with 13 points against Afghanistan in its first-round match in the ICC Intercontinental Cup after rain delayed the start of play on the fourth and final day at the New Williamfield No. 1 Oval in Stirling on Friday (June 5).

With the possibility of a result looking bleak, Scotland needed two wickets to gain the first innings lead and secure the points. It managed to do so after Afghanistan, overnight 96 for 8 in 45 overs, was bowled out for 135 in 61.4 overs. 

With ten hours lost to rain, both sides were awarded seven points each, with Scotland getting six more points for the first-innings lead.

The drizzle that began early in the morning did stop around mid-day, but the wet outfield forced the players and officials to take an early lunch. The heavens opened up once again at 1.45 pm, and when play eventually started, the pair of Samiullah Shenwari and Izatullah Dawlatzai held out for as many as 16 overs to add 37 runs to the overnight score. 

Shenwari protected the No. 9 batsman and in the process, stroked an unbeaten 152-ball 51. Searching for wickets, Preston Mommsen, the Scotland captain, introduced Richie Berrington into the attack and the move worked immediately. The pacer removed Dawlatzai, caught at short extra-cover for 18. The Shenwari-Dawlatzai collaboration had fetched Afghanistan 41 runs.

Once the breakthrough was achieved, it took Berrington just two more balls to trap Sayed Shirzad in front of the wicket to end the innings and ensure Scotland had its valuable first-innings lead. With no possibility of a result, the captains settled for a draw.

Given that result, Scotland is in third place in the points table right now, with the first round of the tournament still not over. The last match of the first round will pit The Netherlands against Papua New Guinea in Amstelveen from June 16 onwards.

As of now, Ireland and Namibia lead the table with the full complement of 20 points gained after securing outright wins over United Arab Emirates and Hong Kong respectively.

Earlier, Afghanistan’s bowlers had done well to restrict Scotland to 233 in 72.2 overs, but Scotland’s bowlers responded well to ensure Afghanistan’s advantage was short-lived. Mommsen had made a valuable 77 for his side, and his innings was instrumental in propping up Scotland’s score, while Hamish Gardiner too contributed a valuable 46. For Afghanistan, the legspin duo of Rahmat Shah and Shenwari picked up three wickets each.

Both Scotland and Afghanistan will now feature in the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2015 in Scotland starting from July 9.

To view the full scorecard, please click here.

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