George Munsey’s fireworks light way to Scotland win

Scotland batsman George Munsey. Picture: Donald MacLeod
Scotland batsman George Munsey. Picture: Donald MacLeod
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George Munsey yesterday hit a brilliant 96 as Scotland clinched their three-match series against Oman with a hard-fought 15-run victory at the Al-Amerat Stadium.

The Scots went into the decider chastened by Wednesday’s 93-run humbling following their record-breaking ten-wicket success in the opening tussle.

And, after being sent in to bat, they asserted themselves from the start on the way to an imposing total of 303-5.

Kyle Coetzer (27) and Matthew Cross (23) laid the platform with a steady opening stand of 51.

However, it was the middle order men who gave Scotland the initiative, with Calum MacLeod, Richie Berrington and Munsey all among the runs.

MacLeod and Berrington got the ball rolling with a controlled partnership of 73, the former stroking seven boundaries in his 64.

Berrington anchored the innings, going on to finish unbeaten on 72 from 80 deliveries with three boundaries and the same number of sixes.

But the real fireworks were produced by Munsey who launched a merciless attack on his way to a superb 96.

The left-hander hit seven boundaries and an astonishing nine maximums and looked set for a first 50-over international century until holing out four runs short.

Had the effort gone for a boundary, Munsey would have matched Ryan Watson’s record for the fastest Scotland century.

In the event, his 43-ball 96 propelled the Scots to what proved to be a winning tally.

Oman’s reply was de-railed by a devastating opening burst from Safyaan Sharif who claimed three quick wickets.

There was resistance from Sandeep Goud, who made an enterprising 49 before becoming the second of Berrington’s victims while Fayyaz Butt (45), Moonamchery Michal (34), Badal Singh (30no) and Khurram Nawaz (30) all battled as Oman refused to buckle.

However, despite some impressive late hitting, they never seriously threatened to cause a further upset, closing on 288-8.

Top scorer Munsey paid tribute to batting partner Berrington after the pair combined to help Scotland clinch the series. He said: “It’s always nice to get a few runs and contribute for the team but I have to say Richie is fantastic – he just keeps on going.

“He’s one of those guys you just love to bat with – he’s so clear in his plans. It calms me down batting with him.

“I was attacking the short boundary at first to score my sixes because it was a bit easier but by the end we were just going for it and aiming to get us past 300 which we just about managed.”

The Scots return home today, having won a T20 Quadrangular tournament as well as the 50-over series against Oman.

Munsey added: “The team have done a great job out here, firstly with the T20 stuff coming back from the loss in the first game to win the other ones. To finish with a trophy is always special.

“Then, after a slip-up in game two to win this series is a nice feeling. It’s great for the lads.”

Scotland are next in action on 8 May in the first of two ODIs against Afghanistan at The Grange.