SCOTLAND suffered yet more YB40 misery as Hampshire cruised to an easy nine-wicket win at Titwood yesterday.
Pete Steindl’s side have now suffered ten consecutive defeats in this season’s competition and have just one match remaining to salvage a victory in what is their final season in the event.
Cynics will suggest their exclusion from next year’s event will merely spare the Scots from further punishment and, on this evidence, it is hard to argue.
Certainly, the Saltires had the worst of the conditions, being forced to bat first on a wicket which assisted the bowlers – especially such skilled practitioners as Hampshire’s attack.
But the gulf in class was glaring as a depressingly one-sided encounter unfolded and the ease with which Hampshire rattled-off the 137 runs needed for victory made a mockery of Scotland’s travails.
Openers Michael Carberry and James Vince scored at almost ten runs an over before the former was stumped by Matt Cross off Goudie for 45 with the total on 98. Carberry’s blast came from just 27 balls and included seven boundaries and a hooked six into the adjacent hockey pitch. However, his removal was the Saltires only success as Vince continued the onslaught, finishing unbeaten on 75 as Hampshire reached their target in just 15.1 overs. Earlier it soon became evident that the Saltires’ batsmen would have their work cut out on a Titwood track of variable bounce.
Sohail Tanvir struggled for a consistent line in the first over but Dimitri Mascarenhas needed just one delivery to strike, trapping the hapless Freddie Coleman in front with a ball that kept low as well as nipping back off the seam. Mascarenhas claimed a second wicket in his next over when Richie Berrington attempted to hit over the in-field but picked out Vince.
The Scots were in deep trouble on 23-3 when Calum MacLeod then edged Tanvir to Neil McKenzie at slip. Hamish Gardiner, once again looking solid at the top of the order, registered the first boundary when he glanced a Mascarenhas delivery to fine leg but a glut of dot balls undermined Scotland’s hopes of registering a good total.
Gardiner and Preston Mommsen took the total to 60 before the former ran out of patience and found the substitute fielder as he tried to loft Danny Briggs over the top. Gardiner’s departure signalled a second collapse during which Moneeb Iqbal presented Briggs with a second wicket with an aggressive shot which failed to carry Mascarenhas at deep mid-wicket. Worse followed when Mommsen was the victim of a misunderstanding with Cross, the skipper run out for 21 as his team teetered on 64-4.
Cross managed to hang around for 22 from 43 balls while Goudie finally gave the innings belated impetus with a hard-hitting 26 at better than a run-a-ball. The Aberdonian smacked two boundaries and a straight maximum off Tanvir but by then the wicket was levelling out as the Hampshire batsmen were about to discover to their advantage.