If STATISTICS and a glut of historical records were the benchmark of success then Scotland would be able to claim this as a World Cup match to savour.
A highest individual score; a record World Cup total and a highest ever partnership for any wicket were racked up against Bangladesh yesterday but in the crucial column of games won by the national team, the score remains zero and Scotland are out.
Kyle Coetzer’s beautifully crafted century and a half was an innings to enjoy but on a good batting track in Nelson, Bangladesh were able to chase down their target of 319 with a little less than two overs to spare.
Preston Mommsen, the Scotland captain, was left to reflect on another good performance ending in defeat. “We’re very disappointed, especially after that last result against Afghanistan, to play so well in that first half and not get over the line,” he said.
“The team are gutted but I think credit to the way the Bangladeshi batsman handled the chase. I thought they played it very well. We’ll take a lot out of that first half performance. We knew 318 was a good score but going into the break we also knew it was a good wicket.
“We had to be very disciplined with the ball, bowl in good areas and try and create chances. Unfortunately we didn’t create enough chances to bowl them out and in the end it wasn’t enough.”
Coetzer’s score of 156 off 134 balls more than doubled the previous World Cup best for a Scottish batsman; 76 for Gavin Hamilton back in 1999 having been the benchmark.
Seventeen fours and four sixes also helped Coetzer become the highest scoring batsman of any Associate nation against a full Test side.
Coetzer, together with Mommsen, piled on 141 runs as they put together the highest ever partnership for Scotland while the total broke this team’s own record set last week in Dunedin for a highest total at a Cricket World Cup.
It remains, though, a defeat for Scotland and no wins from 12 World Cup outings. Another, if unwanted, record.
Mommsen said: “There’s a huge amount we can take from today’s game. I think the way we batted as a team; the way Kyle Coetzer batted. That individual performance is the best ever individual performance by a Scotland player at a World Cup so as a team we’re very proud of what he achieved out there. It was a fantastic knock so I was fortunate to spend a lot of time out there with him, especially the period where he accelerated perfectly and timed his innings. The guys will take a lot of confidence from his performance.
“We’re proud of that first half, of that total. That’s the highest ever score a Scotland team has scored at a World Cup and hopefully people back home are proud of that performance. Unfortunately that couldn’t come together in a win.”
Coetzer had been slow to get going with Calum MacLeod taking over early on, looking to improve on what has been a disappointing tournament so far for the Durham opener.
Two excellent drives to the boundary suggested MacLeod may have found his touch but his innings ended far too early for 11. A leading edge saw the ball spooned high for an easy catch off the bowling of Mashrafe Mortaza. Hamish Gardiner added 19 and went along with another double digit addition from Matt Machan (35) before Gardiner played a loose shot off a rising ball and was taken square of the wicket.
Machan then fell to the gentle off-spin of Sabbir Rahman, the bowler taking an easy catch to record his first ever ODI wicket but not before Machan and Coetzer had added 78 to the total.
Mommsen and Coetzer took over, adding 100 runs in 92 balls as they notched up the highest ever partnership in ODIs for a Scottish side. They reached the 250 mark off 253 balls, the team’s best tally of this World Cup or any other.
Mommsen fell with fewer than ten overs remaining and was followed two overs later by Coetzer who was given a standing ovation. His score is one of only four 150s to be made in a one-day international by a British-based player. Luminaries Andrew Strauss, David Gower and Robin Smith make up the quartet.
A cameo of 26 from Richie Berrington followed, with Matthew Cross also reaching double figures as Scotland posted 318.
Bangladesh raced off on their run chase, reaching 50 in 8 overs.
Already one man down with the loss of Anamul Haque to a dislocated shoulder in the first innings, Bangladesh were reduced to, effectively, 66 for two when Josh Davey struck, removing Sarkar – caught behind by Cross to leave them 5-1.
Majid Haq and Machan were introduced to provide some spin and, more importantly, slow the run rate which had crept up to more than six an over. Tamim’s 50 was reached off 53 balls as Bangladesh brought up their 100 with 17 overs gone. Bangladesh themselves posted national records. Tamim Iqbal and Mahmudullah bringing up a 100 partnership, the highest ever for the team in a World Cup.
Mahmadullah was then unlucky to fall to an odd ball from Ian Wardlaw. Chased off the crease, the ball struck his foot then bounced on to the stumps, removing him for 62. But there was plenty left in the tank. Tamim reached 95, the highest individual total in a World Cup for a Bangladesh batsman, with Mushfiqur and Shakib adding further half centuries.
Bangladesh maintained a steady run rate in the pursuit of a total which increasingly looked short of defendable.
Scotland now leave New Zealand, out of the World Cup, but with two more matches to play. They face the might of Sri Lanka and Australia in Tasmania with perhaps little more than valuable experience to be gained on the world stage.
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