Scotland inspired by maiden ton for Ewan Chalmers

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EWAN Chalmers completed a maiden first-class century as Scotland secured a comprehensive victory in their Intercontinental Cup clash with Kenya at Mannofield yesterday.

The Watsonian batsman, who made his cap debut four years ago, finally came of age with 106 in a second innings total of 230.

That allowed the Scots to set their rivals a target of 342 for victory and, despite some resistance from visiting captain Collins Obuya, the win was sealed with three overs of the third day remaining.

It looked as if the visitors might subside as they had in their first innings when Duncan Allan was caught behind by Craig Wallace off Ali Evans and Gordon Goudie held a return catch to remove Tamnay Mishra and reduce Kenya to 12-2.

However, Alex Obanda and Obuya led the counter-attack with a flurry of boundaries in a partnership of 68 before Evans returned to uproot Obanda’s off-stump for 36.

Majid Haq then trapped Rakep Patel in front before Obuya was joined in a second half-century stand by Irfan Karim. However, the Scots did not help their own cause, Wallace spilling a diving effort to give Karim a let-off before Calvin Burnett failed to hang on when Obuya clipped Goudie to mid-wicket.

Scotland, though, continued to chip away and Obuya, having reached 92, with two sixes and six fours, was left stranded when Richie Berrington claimed the final wicket.

Earlier Chalmers, continuing on 79no, drove Hiren Varaiya confidently through extra cover in the first over of the morning.

His second scoring shot was also a boundary, pulling Nehemiah Odhiambo behind square.

However, the Watsonian player’s progress to three figures became a much more fraught affair as cricket’s infamous “nervous nineties” took over.

Chalmers had reached 91 when he edged an Elijah Otieno delivery to first slip where a difficult chance went down.

On 98, Chalmers had an even bigger let-off when Tanmay Mishra put down a regulation slip catch off Varaiya.

The 23-year-old accepted the reprieve to reach his maiden century from 210 balls, including eleven boundaries.

He added another one before his long innings came to an end, the fourth victim of the Irfan Karim/Varaiya combination.

With Chalmers’ departure, Scotland went into a collective shell during a session which yielded just 54 runs from 31 overs and also saw the loss of Calum MacLeod and Moneeb Iqbal, the latter hitting a six-over long-on but also facing 76 balls for his 13.

As the last three wickets fell in quick succession, their total of 230 was the highest of the match.