Mommsen positive as Scots claim ‘winning draw’

Scotland bowler Richie Berrington, centre, celebrates after dismissing Afghanistan's Izatullah Dawlatzai. Picture: Donald MacLeod

Scotland bowler Richie Berrington, centre, celebrates after dismissing Afghanistan's Izatullah Dawlatzai. Picture: Donald MacLeod

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PRESTON Mommsen last night praised his weather-weary troops after they claimed a moral victory in their rain-hampered Intercontinental Cup clash with Afghanistan.

Lengthy weather interruptions throughout the four-day encounter in Stirling meant no outright result was possible.

But Mommsen’s side yesterday claimed the final two wickets they needed to clinch a first-innings lead and the six bonus points on offer.

With seven also awarded for the draw it means the Scots have started their campaign with 13 of a possible 20 points and there were few complaints in the home camp. “Effectively it’s a winning draw,” said skipper Mommsen. “It’s been a tough four days for everyone and obviously the weather has had a huge influence but it’s very satisfying that on day four we managed to take the final two wickets we needed for a first-innings lead.

“Unfortunately there was no chance of an outright result but against a top team like Afghanistan we’ll take this and move on.”

Heavy rain in the morning at one stage looked like costing the Scots even their chance of the first-innings lead but the skies eventually cleared to allow play to start in late afternoon.

Scotland were given 27 overs in which to claim the final two Afghan scalps, while the visitors’ hopes of scoring the 137 runs they needed to overhaul Scotland’s 233 were effectively over. In the event Afghanistan managed to add just 39, long enough for Samiullah Shenwari to complete a half-century.

However, Shenwari was helplessly watching from the non-striker’s end as Richie Berrington took the final wickets in the space of three deliveries.

He first had Izatullah Dawlatzai caught in the covers and followed up to trap Sayed Shirzad for a duck.

Mommsen added: “Afghanistan fought hard today as we knew they would and the key was to be patient and I think we showed that.

“There was still 20 overs left when we got those last two wickets so there was no panic.

“Overall we can be pleased with the performance because it was tough batting first on a wicket that had been covered for a few days because of the rain. But we were pretty pleased with the total we got because we knew there was still enough in the wicket for our bowlers to trouble their batsmen with the swinging ball.

“We still had to take ten wickets and I’m really chuffed with the way the bowlers responded.”

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