Scotland put their weather woes behind them yesterday to step up their World Cricket League bid with a comprehensive win over UAE at the Grange in Edinburgh.
After last week’s Intercontinental Cup was wrecked by rain, the Scots came out of their enforced hibernation full of intent as Kyle Coetzer and Preston Mommsen both scored centuries in an imposing total of 327 for five.
The bowlers then completed the job to seal victory by 98 runs with Ali Evans returning his best ODI figures of four for 41.
Chasing such a big total, the UAE batsmen had to go for their shots from the start and the tactic paid dividends as Rohan Mustafa and Laxman Sreekumar put on 72 before the introduction of Evans brought reward when the latter edged to Matthew Cross for 28.
Mustafa went on to compile 43 with five boundaries and a six before he too fell to Evans.
The visiting batsmen continued their aggressive approach but Scotland picked up wickets at regular intervals. Two in an over from Safyaan Sharif set UAE back further before an explosive knock of 32 from only 19 balls by Amjad Javed proved the last hurrah for the visitors, Evans returning to remove the hard-hitting skipper.
Earlier the Scottish batsmen showed few signs of rustiness despite a dearth of top-flight action all season. Coetzer gave a hint of what was to come with two consecutive boundaries in the first over, though Craig Wallace rode his luck in a frenetic stay at the crease. The Forfarshire batsman had been dropped twice before departing for 16, but by then he had helped Coetzer put on 78 in fewer than ten overs.
A second cameo, this time by Calum MacLeod, was brought to an end when the Durham batsman, having stroked three boundaries in his 20, offered a return catch to Ahmed Raza who gratefully accepted his second wicket.
However, the substance of Scotland’s innings followed in a stand of 112 between the two centurions. Coetzer led the way with a series of expansive shots including a big six off Krishna Chandran. There was an air of inevitability when the Aberdonian brought up his third ODI century with the 12th boundary of a wonderfully controlled innings.
He went on to hit two more fours before holing out on the long-on boundary to give Mo Shahzad the first of his three wickets. By then he had made 127 from six balls fewer and in the process reached the landmark of 1,000 runs in ODIs.
He was followed to that milestone by both Mommsen and Richie Berrington as the onslaught continued. Michael Leask, promoted up the order to pile on the misery for the UAE bowlers, hoisted one maximum over the rope at deep square leg only to depart attempting a repeat.
But Mommsen and Berrington added 69 at ten runs an over before the latter, having raced to 27 from 16 deliveries, was caught in the deep off Shahzad. It only remained for Mommsen to bring up his second ODI century, reaching it from just 95 balls and going on to finish unbeaten on 111 with nine boundaries.
The sides meet again tomorrow.