Cricket: UAE make Scots work for victory

Richie Berrington: Three wickets
Richie Berrington: Three wickets
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SCOTLAND yesterday secured a morale-boosting win over UAE at the Ageas Bowl, Southampton.

However, while Preston Mommsen’s men dominated the first two days of the warm-up clash for next week’s I-Cup encounter with Afghanistan, they faced stubborn resistance as the game reached its climax before securing victory by 275 runs.

The Scots went into the final day needing all ten second innings wickets of their opponents who had been set an impossible target of 520 runs.

Resuming on 43-0, the UAE openers continued to repel the Scottish attack until Ali Evans found the outside edge of Amjad Ali’s bat and Andrew Umeed took the catch at slip.

A second followed when Chirag Suri was trapped in front by Richie Berrington – the first of the Clydesdale all-rounder’s three wickets.

When Saqib Ali was caught and bowled by Michael Leask the UAE, dismissed for just 73 in their first innings, were teetering on 112 for three and Scottish hopes of an early finish were rekindled.

However, there was no dramatic batting collapse on this occasion as Scotland were made to fight for every breakthrough.

A seventh wicket stand of 55 between Swapnil Patil and Ahmed Raza was especially frustrating for the Scots, the former looking capable of seeing his side to safety.

He moved defiantly to 78 and was perhaps even eyeing a century when the extra pace and bounce of Evans proved his undoing, the batsman chopping the ball onto his stumps.

Safyaan Sharif got in on the act to have Amjad Javed caught by Mommsen as the Scots closed in on victory. And it was Falkland quick bowler Sharif who completed the job by claiming the final two scalps as the UAE were all out for 278.

Scotland’s selectors will today announce their squad for the four-day match against Afghanistan, which starts in Stirling on Tuesday.