Michael Leask takes some blame for Scotland’s tough tie

Despair for Michael Leask as his unbeaten 28 wasn't quite enough for Scotland to beat hosts Zimabwe in Bulawayo. Picture: ICC/Getty
Despair for Michael Leask as his unbeaten 28 wasn't quite enough for Scotland to beat hosts Zimabwe in Bulawayo. Picture: ICC/Getty
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Michael Leask was left with mixed emotions as he reflected on Scotland’s thrilling tie with Zimbabwe in the World Cup Qualifier.

Despite spinning his way to career-best figures of 4-37 with the ball, the Forfarshire all-rounder accepted some responsibility for Scotland’s failure to secure the two runs they needed for victory with two wickets still in hand.

In a nail-biting finish to Monday’s final Group B match, Leask (28no) and Mark Watt (17) added 36 precious runs for the ninth wicket before Watt, going for glory, skied a catch off the last ball of the penultimate over.

With the ball in the air, the batsmen crossed in the middle of the wicket meaning that Leask was off strike for the final over.

A wide from the first delivery then tied the scores before new batsman Brad Wheal edged a catch to the keeper to leave the scores level.

Leask said: “The tie is probably on my shoulders – I messed up a little bit. I ran past Watty not realising it was the last ball of the over which left Brad on strike.

“I take that partially on my shoulders but, at the same time, to get up to their total and get a tie out of the match was a decent effort.

“The game ebbed and flowed with both sides on top at different stages.

“We lost a couple of quick wickets in the run-chase and it was up to myself and Watty to get us close and we did that. Unfortunately, we just couldn’t put the final stake in.”

Despite the disappointing finish, Leask had earlier played his part as the Scots fought back to dismiss Zimbabwe, who had been on course for 250, for just 210.

The former Somerset player added: “My bowling is something I’ve worked really hard on because I’ve been put under a lot of pressure by Tom [Sole] and Watty who have been bowling outstandingly.

“So for me to come out today and bowl like that and get the big wickets of guys at key moments was really good.

“Overall that game might take a bit of processing for me. I’ll maybe take a bit of time for reflection with the coaching staff and see where we can go from there and see how we can actually better ourselves and get over the line which we should have done.”

The Scots now carry three points into the Super Six phase, which they launch tomorrow against a United Arab Emirates side coached by former Scotland all-rounder Dougie Brown.