Moneeb Iqbal leads the way for Scotland

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BIRTHDAY boy Moneeb Iqbal last night played himself into contention for next week’s jousts against Afghanistan as Scotland earned another morale-boosting win in Dubai.

The former Durham all-rounder, 27 yesterday, first claimed three wickets as the Saltires dismissed UAE Blues for 140 in their last warm-up match in Dubai. Iqbal then helped Kyle Coetzer dig his side out of a huge hole before clinching victory by four wickets. The Saltires were in deep trouble on 80-6 when Iqbal joined Northants star Coetzer in the middle. But the pair tamed the Blues bowlers with an unbroken partnership to give Scotland the win they wanted before their T20 and 50-over double headers with the Afghans.

Coetzer led the way with a classy unbeaten 75, while Iqbal lent stout support with 26no to follow his 43 in Tuesday’s win against the same opponents. Earlier, Iqbal’s leg-spin had seen him claim 3-22 while Leicestershire’s Rob Taylor took 2-12 in another dominant display by the Scottish bowlers.

Coach Pete Steindl said: “It’s always good to win so we’ll take the result. There was always a bit in the wicket for the bowlers and their guys took advantage of it to put us in a bit of bother.”

Scotland face Afghanistan in two T20s on Sunday and ­Monday before a crucial World Cup qualifying double header on 6 and 8 March.