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18 July 201519:15

Coetzer leads Scotland to strong finish in Group B

Opener smashes half-century against Oman to give side best shot at topping the table

Coetzer leads Scotland to strong finish in Group B - Cricket News

Scotland rode on Coetzer's second successive half-century and a late onslaught from Preston Mommsen (32 not out off 18), to reach an imposing 173 for 5.

A tidy all-round effort from Scotland ensured a strong finish to its league stage in the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier with its third win on the trot. Kyle Coetzer’s 63 off 38 was the fulcrum around which Scotland eased to a 23-run win against Oman in its last Group B match on Saturday (July 18) at Goldenacre in Edinburgh.

Scotland thus ended the league stage with eight points from its six matches, the same as Afghanistan, but with a higher net run-rate. Whether it will hold on to the top spot depends on the outcome of the final Group B clash between Kenya and the Netherlands that will take place later on Saturday, with Kenya on seven points and the Netherlands on six.

Asked to bat, Scotland rode on Coetzer's second successive half-century and a late onslaught from Preston Mommsen (32 not out off 18), to reach an imposing 173 for 5. In reply, tidy returns from Safyaan Sharif and Alasdair Evans helped restrict Oman to 150 for 7 in 20 overs.

With more than eight runs an over required from the outset, Oman was pegged back early, with both openers back in the shed within the first four overs.

Aamir Kaleem fought a lone battle with a steely 59 off 47 from No.4, and no other Oman batsman topped 20, with Jatinder Singh’s 18 at No.3 the next highest score. Kaleem walked in with Oman 24 for 2 in the fourth over, and was dismissed only in the 18th over, having hit five fours and three sixes.

However, with the Scotland bowlers striking regularly at the other end, the home side was always in control of the match. Sharif had returns of 3 for 27, while Evans finished with 2 for 19.

Earlier in the day, Coetzer led the way once again, giving Scotland the perfect start with an opening stand of 60 in just 6.2 overs alongside Calum MacLeod. Although MacLeod fell to Mohammad Nadeem, Coetzer powered on to another quick half-century.

Oman fought back through Zeeshan Maqsood, who struck three times in three successive overs to account for Matthew Cross, George Munsey and finally Coetzer, whose 38-ball essay included nine fours and a six. Scotland had gone from 95 for 1 to 119 for 4, and with six overs left, the innings could have gone either way.

However, the composure and experience of Mommsen, the captain, came in handy, as he swung the momentum back towards his side, with 54 runs coming in the last six overs.

Maqsood returned figures of 3 for 29, to be Oman’s best bowler.

Oman’s league stage ended with seven points from its six games, with three wins, two defeats and one washout. Its fate will also depend on the Kenya-Netherlands match. If Kenya wins, Oman will finish fourth and have a chance to qualify for the ICC World Twenty20 2016 that will take place in India.

If the Netherlands triumphs, both Kenya and Oman will be tied on seven points. At present Oman has a higher net run-rate and thus should still finish fourth. Oman will slip to the fifth position – and thus go out of the qualifying race – only if points are shared in the Kenya-Netherlands match.

Scotland, meanwhile, will hope for the Netherlands to beat Kenya narrowly, thus joining it on eight points but still behind on net run-rate. That would ensure Scotland finishes on top of Group B and earns automatic entry to the World T20 next year.

Even if that doesn’t happen, Scotland is still assured of finishing at least second, which will ensure a couple of chances to earn qualification for the World T20.

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