SCOTLAND’s World Cup hopes suffered a major setback last night when they were crushed in the first of two qualifiers against Afghanistan
Gordon Drummond’s men were looking to bounce back from their two T20 defeats at the Sharjah Stadium but were outplayed. A century from Nawroz Mangal allowed the Afghans to cruise to their 200 run target with seven wickets and more than 16 overs to spare.
Scotland coach Pete Steindl refused to blame umpiring decisions. He said: “We simply weren’t good enough today. Our total was nowhere close to being a challenging one.”
As they began the chase, Mo Shahzad got Afghanistan off to the flier they wanted. He faced just 11 balls for his 19 but the Saltires fought back to take three quick wickets. Iain Wardlaw claimed his first ODI scalp when Shahzad gloved one to David Murphy and the Yorkshire pace bowler followed up by dismissing Asghar Stanikzai. Majid Haq then equalled John Blain’s record of wickets in one-day internationals when he trapped Rahmat Shah lbw.
But, at 59-3 Mangal launched a ferocious counter-attack which quickly took the game away from the Saltires.
Mangal reached his first ODI century from just 86 deliveries with six fours and the same number of maximums. Partner Sami Shenwari reached 55no, the pair’s unbeaten stand of 144 leaving the Scots demoralised.
With Scotland sent in to bat, Kyle Coetzer seized the initiative with three boundaries and a six off Hamid Hassan in his 23. But his departure, quickly followed by Calum MacLeod, left Matt Machan and Richie Berrington to rebuild the innings. They had done the hard work in adding 99 when the batting power-play sparked a collapse. Machan was first to go for 44 when he got the thinnest of edges to be caught behind off Dawlat Zadran. There was even more doubt over Berrington’s dismissal, the Greenock batsman given out down the leg side after a half-hearted appeal by Hassan.
A source close to the Scotland team said: “The umpire has apologised for the decision at the end of the match. He went up to [captain] Gordon Drummond and admitted that he got it wrong.”
Berrington’s loss for 51 was a huge setback and the Scots collapsed to 149-7. Skipper Drummond’s 21 and Moneeb Iqbal’s 26no carried them to 199-8 but it proved woefully inadequate.
The Scots must gain revenge tomorrow to remain ahead of Afghanistan in the eight-team table from which two will automatically qualify for the 2015 World Cup.
K Coetzer c Stanikzai b Zadran 23
C MacLeod c Nabi b Naib 9
M Machan c Shahzad b Zadran 44
R Berrington c Shahzad b Hassan 51
P Mommsen c Nabi b Naib 1
M Iqbal not out 26
D Murphy c Paak b Naib 4
M Haqlbw b Naib 0
G Drummond c Shahzad b Hassan 21
S Sharif not out 9
Extras (lb 4, w 6, nb 1) 11
Total (8 wkts, 50 overs) 199
Fall: 1-26, 2-34, 3-133, 4-133, 5-14, 6-149, 7-149, 8-179. Bowling: H Hassan 8-1-46-2; D Zadran 10-1-41-2; S Shenwari 4-0-17-0; G Naib 9-0-31-4; M Nabi 7-0-21-0; H Hotak 9-0-29-0; R Shah 3-0-10-0.
M Shahzad c Murphy b Wardlaw 19
N Mangal not out 112
A Stanikzai c Machan b Wardlaw 7
R Shah lbw b Haq 3
S Shenwari not out 55
Extras (b 1, lb 1, w 5) 7
Total (3 wkts,33.5 overs) 203
Fall 1-28, 2-40, 3-59. Bowling: I Wardlaw 10-0-52-2; S Sharif 7-1-33-0; M Haq 7-0-3-1; G Drummond 3-0-11-0; M Machan 2-0-9-0; M Iqbal 2-0-21-0; P Mommsen 1-0-25-0; R Berrington 1.5-0-17-0.
Afghanistan won by seven wickets