George Munsey’s late rally in vain as Scotland fall short of target

Scotland’s George Munsey smashed some superb runs in the late evening sunshine, but ultimately Sri Lanka’s cricketers won the rain-affected One Day International at The Grange in Edinburgh ?yesterday.

Scotland's Matthew Cross, batting with George Munsey, brought up his second ODI 50. Picture: Donald MacLeod/Cricket Scotland
Scotland's Matthew Cross, batting with George Munsey, brought up his second ODI 50. Picture: Donald MacLeod/Cricket Scotland

With the home side having reached 132-3 from 27 overs and chasing 323 to win, the rain that had been falling for around half an hour finally got the better of the umpires and the players at 5:30pm.

The groundstaff in Stockbridge got the pitch playable again at 7pm and it meant that Scotland’s revised total via DLS – the system used in rain-affected matches – was 235.

That meant they needed another 103 runs from seven overs – and Munsey, 23 not out at that point, gave it his best shot.

In the first over after the break he scored 17 runs himself, with the team scoring 19, to raise hopes.

He then reached his 50 off 37 balls with a huge six, but with fellow half-century maker Matthew Cross (55) and Michael Leask (8) now out hopes were fading.

They were extinguished after Munsey was out for 61 (off 42 balls) with 46 runs still needed from 15 balls.

Scotland finished on 199 all out to lose by 35 runs via DLS.

Head coach Shane Burger said: “We are obviously disappointed with the loss. With the ball I thought we could have kept things a bit tighter in the first 30 overs.

“The guys then fought back and the batters did a good job in general, but it was a tough run chase after the rain delay.”

Earlier, with Sri Lanka batting first, seamer Brad Wheal bowled very well, his opening five overs going for only 12 runs. Sadly during that spell he did not pick up a wicket, having Sri Lanka skipper Dimuth Karunaratne dropped in the slips by Munsey and Avishka Fernand dropped by Ali Evans at mid-off.

Scotland were made to pay for a spell, with the visitors making their way to 123 runs before Fernando was the first man out for a well-made 74 before Karunaratne and Kusal Mendis came together in the middle.

They put on 81 for the second wicket and put their side in a good place before Scotland fought back.

Wheal returned to the attack and took two wickets in three balls, firstly the captain being caught by sub fielder Gavin Main for 77 and then Thisara Perera going without troubling the scorers.

That double salvo gave the Scots a boost and Safyaan Sharif then took the seventh wicket in the 48th over. Although Wheal took another in the 49th, those six balls went for 18.

When Sri Lanka took 17 runs off Sharif in the final over of the innings it meant they finished on 322-8 from their 50 overs with Lahiru Thirimanne finishing on 44 not out.

Wheal was the best Scots’ bowler with 3-49.

Scotland’s openers – Cross and skipper Kyle Coetzer – got the reply off to a solid start.

They reached 50-0 off ten overs before Coetzer went for 34 four balls later, making his runs off 44 balls before holing out to Thirimanne off the bowling of Nuwan Pradeep.

Worse was to follow off the first ball of the 13th over when Pradeep struck again to bowl Calum MacLeod, coming off the back of a century against Afghanistan, out for only one.

Cross and Craig Wallace went about starting the rebuilding job and by the drinks break after 17 overs the team were 72-2.

By the 21st over the rain, which had been spitting for a few minutes, began to fall more heavily.

As it fell Wallace was soon walking back to the pavilion, being caught behind by Mendis off the bowling of Isuru Udana for 18.

As Munsey came to the wicket he knew Scotland were in a bit of bother, but two fours settled the left-hander down as the team’s 100 came up.

The rain continued to fall as Cross made it past 50 in the 26th over with a well-placed four before play was finally brought to a halt at the end of the 27th over with the rain coming down hard.

That left Scotland on 132-3 and disheartened before the late salvo by Munsey entertained the crowd, albeit in defeat.