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09 July 201518:05

Scotland begins campaign with big win

Spinners, Munsey stand out in nine-wicket victory over United Arab Emirates

Scotland begins campaign with big win - Cricket News

George Munsey plays a shot.

Scotland began its ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2015 campaign with a nine-wicket win against United Arab Emirates on Thursday (July 9).

UAE began in aggressive fashion after being inserted at the Grange Cricket Club Ground in Edinburgh. But Scotland's spinners came to the fore to bowl UAE out for 109 in 18.1 overs, Michael Leask (3 for 20), the off-spinner, and Mark Watt (3 for 28), the left-arm spinner doing the bulk of the damage.

In reply, Scotland rode on a fine opening stand worth 96 runs in just eight overs between Kyle Coetzer (39 off 16) and George Munsey (62 not out off 36) to cruise to 110 for 1 in 10 overs.

UAE was on the attack early but a pull shot from Faizan Asif (17) off Alasdair Evans was held by Calum MacLeod at deep square-leg to end a short opening salvo of 22 in 2.2 overs.

Thereafter, Scotland constantly chipped away at the wickets and kept the heat on as UAE could not find a way to string together a meaningful partnership. With the exception of Swapnil Patil, the wicketkeeper who was run out by MacLeod's direct throw at the non-striker's end, the middle order caved in to the Leask-Watt duo.

“I feel I’m in good rhythm,” Leask said after the game. “I feel like I can do a decent job for the team and hold up an end, and to grab a couple of wickets is nice.

“I’m really enjoying my bowling at the moment. It's nice to come back with the bat and if I can contribute with the ball, that’s even better.”

Mohammad Naveed at No. 10 showed some fight with an unbeaten 19 and put on 27 for the ninth wicket with Amjad Javed, UAE’s highest of the match. But the recovery didn't suffice in the end.

In reply, Munsey and Coetzer began with a flourish, Scotland racing away 76 for no loss at the end of the power play. Munsey got to his fifty with the ninth boundary of his innings - a reverse sweep.

Naveed castled Coetzer to end the opening association as batsman looked to make room and drive a full ball but failed to get bat to ball.

When he departed, Scotland needed just 14 more runs. MacLeod then joined Munsey and completed the formalities. Coetzer struck nine boundaries in his innings, while Munsey finished with 11 fours and one hit over the fence.

“The performance was really good. We started from ball one and put a lot of pressure on them,” Munsey pointed out. “We took all the catches that were given to us and we were on top from the start to the end, which is great.

“We are really happy with the build-up. We’ve had a great series against Ireland and then great couple of matches here before and we just want to go the way we are going.”

Scotland will take on Netherlands on Saturday, while United Arab Emirates faces Afghanistan on Friday. Both matches will take place at the same venue.

To see the full scorecard of this match, please click here.