Saltires suffer last-ball defeat in South Africa

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SCOTLAND’s cricketers suffered last-ball despair yesterday as their latest South African tour match ended in an agonising one-run defeat.

The Saltires went into their T20 clash with the North West Dragons in Potchefstroom on a high after Wednesday’s 50-over win against the same opponents. However, after dismissing their hosts for 143, they fell one run short. Coach Pete Steindl said: “We felt as a team that this was a game we should have won and the guys are frustrated to have fallen just short. We dragged it back pretty well in both innings but, having given ourselves a chance, we failed to take it.”

The Dragons had cruised to 99 for two, but Sussex spinner Matt Machan led the Scots fightback with three for 16 while Gordon Goudie and Safy Sharif each claimed two scalps as the final eight wickets fell for 44 runs.

Machan and Calum MacLeod got the reply off to a flier only for a clutch of wickets to leave Scotland teetering on 50 for five. Haq and David Murphy launched the tourists’ second recovery to leave Goudie and Richard Coughtrie requiring 21 runs off the final over. A flurry of boundaries then reduced the target to four from the final delivery. However, the pair managed just two before Coughtrie was run out going for the third that would have tied the match, the Scots finishing on 142 for seven.