In need of a good start after the match was reduced to 28 overs per side, Matthew Cross and MacLeod, the openers, showed their complete dominance over a hapless UAE attack after Scotland elected to bat first. By the time Cross was bowled by Rohan Mustafa in the 18th over, Scotland was already firmly in the driver’s seat after a 178-run stand off just 105 balls. Cross went after a well made 88 off 60 balls, having hit ten fours and three sixes.
Following the much-needed breakthrough, Mustafa struck twice more, first removing Matt Machan, before having MacLeod caught by Shaiman Anwar. By that time, however, MacLeod had played a whirlwind 62-ball 113 that included 12 fours and four sixes. UAE’s bowlers managed to continue making frequent inroads after that, but, the opening stand had given a good enough platform to Scotland, and it ended at a solid 265 for 6.
Mohammad Naveed, who took 3 for 44 in six overs, was the most economical of the UAE bowlers, Mustafa close behind with 3 for 45 off six overs.
But UAE’s batsmen put their best foot forward and did not go down without a fight.
After being rocked early by twin strikes from Iain Wardlaw to slip to 36 for 2, Khurram Khan, the captain, along with Shaiman Anwar, put on a 74-run stand that served to stabilise the innings. Following the dismissals of Anwar for 36 and Amjad Javed in quick succession, Khurram added 46 more runs for the fifth wicket with Swapnil Patil. But, once the UAE captain was dismissed off the first ball of the 20th over, a flurry of wickets followed, the last five going down for just 48 runs. Patil was the last man dismissed, when he was stumped off Cross, and UAE was bowled out for 212 in 26.5 overs, falling short by 53 runs. Patil made 41 off 35 balls and hit five boundaries.
MacLeod followed up his exploits with the bat with three wickets. He returned figures of 3 for 37 in five overs. Wardlaw took 3 for 36 and Majid Haq took 2 for 42, while Safyaan Sharif accounted for the wicket of Ahmed Raza.
With two wins in as many matches after opening the tournament with a loss against Hong Kong, Scotland will look to carry its dominant form forward when it meets Canada in Christchurch on January 23, while UAE, after two massive victories to begin the tournament with, will look to get back on track against Hong Kong at Queenstown on the same day.