26 July 2015
Scotland and Netherlands share title after final is rained out
“It’s a shame about the weather today but it has been a really good tournament," says Scotland captain Mommsen
The Scots had beaten Hong Kong in the semi-finals on Saturday and the Dutch overcame home team Ireland to set up what should have been an exciting finale to a great tournament. But the rain, which had stayed away from Malahide for nearly the entire event, arrived with a vengeance on Sunday morning meaning no play was possible throughout the day.
Scotland captain Preston Mommsen said: “It’s a shame about the weather today but it has been a really good tournament. Credit to Cricket Scotland and Cricket Ireland on the way it has been run. It has been very professional with no hiccups along the way. From our perspective it was great to be able to play at home and thankfully we were able to take advantage of those home conditions. Pity about today but we are very happy with how the past couple of weeks have gone.
“We’ve had some down moments in Scottish cricket in the past few years. It’s awesome now to see some reward for all the hard work a lot of people have put in. That’s why we play. We want to go to India next year and make an impact. We’ve got a good batting line-up from one to 11, we don’t mind if we lose a wicket because we bat with confidence all the way down.
“The depth in Associate cricket is growing. The bottom teams are catching up. They are obviously doing a lot of work behind the scenes and that is paying off. Hong Kong, PNG, Jersey, Oman and others are really performing well and that has to be a good thing for the global game.”
Mommsen’s Netherlands counterpart, Peter Borren, was also positive about how his team has been performing of late. He said: “We are very happy with our consistent performances, especially in the last four games. We had a hiccup against Oman but we came back strong when the pressure was really on to get through to the final. It’s a real shame that we weren’t able to play today against what I think has been the other form team in the tournament, Scotland. It would have been a great day but it can’t be helped.”
Borren said he thought recent setbacks to the game in the Netherlands may actually have improved things in the long run.
He said: “Failing to qualify for the Cricket World Cup this year was a massive blow to us and it could have been a huge setback for Dutch cricket but it actually spurred us forward. Our coach has really pushed us and we are far more professional now than we have been ever before. We are a pretty good side now. It’s not just that we have talented players – we have talented players who have worked hard together.
“And it’s not just us. Associate cricket is really improving – there are now seven or eight very competitive sides and the overall quality of cricket throughout the Associate world is much better than it was when I first started in 2006.”
Earlier, the third-place play-off between Ireland and Hong Kong was also washed out with
Ireland officially finishing third given it finished higher than Hong Kong in the group stage.
Ireland had won the tournament for the past two editions, but missed a chance to take the tally to three after a five-wicket defeat to Netherlands in the second semi-final on Saturday. In the first semi-final on the same day, Hong Kong lost to Scotland by a five-wicket margin as well.
Ireland coach John Bracewell said: “I have seen some players here who would be world-class wherever they went. There are some really, really talented cricketers here. Most teams had one or two of those players, some teams had three of them. That just shows that if you make that investment, you can get good cricketers out of anything and anywhere.
“From an Irish perspective I think our bowling was very good and that is a positive I would take out of the tournament. We bowled well to plans throughout. We bowled directly, we picked up wickets with our medium-pacers every couple of overs. We were aggressive with the ball and we followed plans and I think our bowling kept us in the tournament.
“And what was the disappointment? Obviously it was our batting. It was perceived (before the tournament) as our strength but it was our bowlers who came to the fore, they gained a lot of experience. Someone like Craig Young played his first games in front of TV cameras. He grew and became more confident as it went on. Our bowlers were probably 10 out of 10 but our batters were only five.”
Meanwhile, the player of the tournament was named as Namibia’s Bernard Scholtz. The left-arm spinner was the stand-out bowler in the competition taking 14 wickets for 154 runs at an average of 11 and an economy-rate of just 5.70. The player of the tournament award is worked out on a points system that sees three players from every game award one, two or three points with the man of the match receiving three. When all the points were tallied, Scholtz was the clear winner on eight points, ahead of a group of players on seven points, including Ireland’s John Mooney, Namibia’s Gerrie Snyman, Akeem Dodson of the USA and Scotland’s Alisdair Evans.