The experienced Scotland duo of Kyle Coetzer and Richie Berrington propelled Scotland to a 38-run win at Mannofield in their last game of the opening round of the ICC Cricket World Cup League 2.
Half-centuries from the duo carried the hosts to 242/7 before the bowlers combined to keep Papua New Guinea to 204/9 in 50 overs on Tuesday, 20 August.
On a fresh pitch, Scotland were unchanged as Coetzer stuck with his four frontline spinners in Mark Watt, Hamza Tahir, Tom Sole and Michael Leask. Asked to bat first, the hosts enjoyed a 39-run stand for the first wicket before Matthew Cross (8) popped one to Gaudi Toka at leg slip to hand Nosaina Pokana (2/40) his first wicket of the day in the ninth over.
Calum MacLeod, with 56 runs from four ODIs in the series, joined the captain, but the pair could only add 20 runs in seven overs before MacLeod (9) fell to Chad Soper in the 17th.
On the way to his 16th one-day international half-century, Coetzer was joined by George Munsey, and the pair added 46 runs before the captain fell on 62 – an inside edge rolling onto the stumps to hand Assad Vala his first.
But the platform had been set, and it allowed Berrington and Munsey to play with freedom. The pair added 40 from 58 balls before a Munsey skyer in the 40th gave Norman Vanua (1/48) his only wicket of the day.
Berrington was unfazed by the wickets falling around him. He smashed six sixes and one four on his way to a 64-ball 81 – his 13th ODI half-century – in the gentle Aberdeen sunshine. He added 33 from five overs with Craig Wallace (16) and 48 in 25 balls with Leask (12).
Berrington was run out in the last over, but with 12 runs coming from the final over, the total was a healthy 242/7.
Handed the new ball, Watt conceded only one run from the over before Safyaan Sharif struck in his second ball. He trapped Tony Ura lbw for a duck after a huge appeal and raised finger from umpire Alex Dowdalls, standing in his 250th game.
PNG were able to provide resistance against a confident Scotland bowling attack in a 42-run stand for the second wicket, Toka (20) combining with captain Vala (48), and Siaka (33) joining Vala for another 52 for the third. However, runs were hard to come and by the time PNG had reached the halfway point, only four boundaries had been struck with the run-rate at 3.36 an over and requiring 6.36.
Their steady approach to the run chase suffered a blow when Siaka fell to Watt (2/43) as he looked to hit down the ground, but could only pick out Munsey, who took a comfortable catch at mid-off in the 27th over. Berrington then ran out Kiplin Doriga, as PNG slipped from 96/2 to 101/4.
Vala provided some hope before he fell to the off-spin of MacLeod (1/13) in the 34th over, failing to connect with a reverse sweep he successfully put away two balls earlier.
Vanua (4) fell five balls later to another run-out, leave PNG reeling at 127/6 as Coetzer and Cross combined to send PNG’s No.7 back. No.10 Damien Ravu hit out in an entertaining run-a-ball 38*, but there was too much to do.
Leask (1/43), Tahir (1/27) and Watt took one wicket each in the closing stages of the game to earn Scotland their third win of the series.
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