SCOTLAND’s tourists came up short as the world’s best T20 team proved just too strong at Senwes Park, Potchefstroom yesterday.
Pete Steindl’s men went into their clash with IPL champions Kolkata Knight Riders aiming to improve on Tuesday’s 20-run defeat to the Highveld Lions. And, despite another spirited display, the Scots went down by 24 runs.
Steindl said: “Our guys deserve a lot of credit – we came up against a well-oiled machine, but competed pretty well. Most of our players have been on holiday for a month and we’ve had very little preparation, so we are clearly rusty in some areas.”
Scotland again found themselves fielding first as the Riders took the chance to play themselves into form for their Champions League opener against Delhi Daredevils. Gautham Gambhir and Manvinder Bisla set the tone by smashing 18 from the first two overs.
Gordon Goudie made the breakthrough to dismiss Gambhir, but Bisla went on to fire 40 from just 25 balls before retiring to give his team-mates some practise. Manoj Tiwary took advantage with a hard-hitting half-century before he too opted out.
However, the punishment never stopped for the Scots as Yusuf Pathan’s 18-ball 31 propelled the Knight Riders to an imposing 176-7.
Goudie and Richie Berrington were the pick of the bowlers with two wickets apiece.
In reply, the Saltires lost wickets at crucial periods to fall behind the rate, and at 84-4 from 14 overs, their hopes had realistically gone. However, some spirited late hitting saw 68 runs added from the final six overs.
Skipper Preston Mommsen led the way with a sparkling unbeaten 58, featuring seven boundaries and one six, while Ryan Flannigan gave support with a 23-ball 36. Steindl added: “It has been a great experience for our guys playing against the IPL champions and they can learn a lot from it.”
Steindl’s men continue their tour today with a two-day encounter against North West Dragons.