Scotland crumble as Sri Lanka gain revenge

Craig Wallace, who top-scored for Scotland powers a drive as wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella looks on. Picture: Donald MacLeod
Craig Wallace, who top-scored for Scotland powers a drive as wicketkeeper Niroshan Dickwella looks on. Picture: Donald MacLeod
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Scotland crashed to earth with a painful bump yesterday as streetwise Sri Lanka claimed quick and emphatic revenge.

The Scots had gone into battle at Beckenham in confident mood after pulling off a stunning triumph over the former World Cup holders.

But the smiles were well and truly wiped off their faces when the Sri Lankans bounced back in clinical fashion.

Skipper Kyle Coetzer admitted: “It was a reality check for us. We knew they would come out strongly after the weekend and that is what happened.

“However, if we had been offered a 1-1 outcome over the two matches, we would probably have taken it.

“Their spinners put us under pressure and we didn’t play a very good game in terms of shot execution.

“We will keep on batting positively because that is the style that suits us – there is no point in going back into our shells.

“The bowlers showed some real pace and at one time their batsmen were bothered.”

The writing was on the Scottish wall as they lost a crucial toss in cloudy conditions and were bundled out for just 166.

The target proved predictably easy, their star-studded opponents cruising to victory with nine wickets and more than 27 overs to spare.

The only breakthrough came with the pursuit on 58, Niroshan Dickwella lobbing Ali Evans into the hands of Mark Watt.

Upal Tharanga and Kusal Mendis brought up the hundred in 15 overs.

And they both passed the 50 mark as they guided their team to the most comfortable of wins.

Earlier, the Scots couldn’t have feared a more ominous start after being put in to bat.

Coetzer – fresh from his swashbuckling century on Sunday – looked uneasy in the trickier conditions. With the Scotland tally on five, he survived a straightforward chance – only to nick the next delivery from Nuwan Kulusekara to slip.

Calum MacLeod then fell for four, pulling the same bowler to Seekkuge Prasanna at midwicket, leaving his side in potential peril at 15 for two.

Matthew Cross, pictured, the other ton-up star from the weekend, maintained his momentum, but frustratingly perished with the faintest of edges to the keeper.

The experienced Richie Berrington and Con de Lange steadied the ship, but only briefly.

However they perished in quick succession to reduce Scotland to 71 for five.

And even worse was to come four runs later as Dylan Budge went for two.

The procession back to the pavilion continued with Mark Watt departing with the score on 83.

At this stage, the Scots were in danger of failing to break through the three-figure barrier. But Craig Wallace, in tandem with Ali Evans, provided fresh hope.

Evans reached 22 before becoming victim No 8 and 
Stuart Whittingham was run out before even facing a ball.

Wallace was last to succumb with 46, leaving Gaving Main 10 not out.