Tom Sole stars as Scotland’s cricketers grab second win

The Scotland players celebrate after Tom Sole dismissed Hong Kong batsman Anshuman Rath. Picture: Getty/ICC
The Scotland players celebrate after Tom Sole dismissed Hong Kong batsman Anshuman Rath. Picture: Getty/ICC
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Tom Sole helped Scotland overpower Hong Kong and move to the brink of the Super Six stage of the World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe 

The young Northamptonshire spinner claimed 4-15 from his ten overs as Hong Kong collapsed from 46-0 
to 91 all out at the Bulawayo Athletic Club.

And, although Scotland lost six wickets during the run-chase, they duly completed their second win of the tournament with 159 balls to spare.

Sole, son of Scotland rugby Grand Slam legend David, delivered five maidens during his mesmerising stint, which was the third best by a 
Scottish spinner in one-day internationals.

There was little hint of the carnage to follow when the HK openers Nizakat Khan (26) and Aizaz Khan (17) negotiated the opening ten overs.

However, only one more batsman was to reach double figures as Scotland took full control.

Mark Watt sparked the collapse when he trapped Nizakat lbw before Ali Evans, back in the side after missing Sunday’s victory over Afghanistan, had Aizaz caught by Watt.

Sole then entered the fray to stunning effect, taking two wickets in three balls as Hong Kong slumped to 53-4.

The spinner’s third wicket was the big one of HK skipper and dangerman Babar Hayat, who popped up a simple catch to Craig Wallace at short leg.

Sole completed his haul by deceiving Waqas Barkat in the flight, the ball clipping the batsman’s middle stump.

It was left to Evans and Watt to complete the job, the former claiming 3-19 while left-arm spinner Watt had 2-23.

Scotland limped rather than raced to their target, losing six wickets as Hong Kong’s bowlers offered a spirited response.

Matthew Cross was first to go when he was bowed for just by Ehsan Nawaz while Sunday’s centurion Calum MacLeod followed soon after for 10.

Richie Berrington also departed cheaply before George Munsey took the attack to the opposition with five fours in his 19-ball 22.

Munsey, though, was another who could not see the job through and, with Craig Wallace and Watt also departing cheaply, the Scots found themselves reduced to 90-6.

However, skipper Kyle Coetzer anchored the innings with a composed 41no including five boundaries and the only maximum of his side’s innings.

Scotland face Nepal tomorrow in the penultimate match of the group stage and Coetzer admitted his side have lessons to learn from yesterday’s batting display.

He said: “It’s a wake-up call for some of our batters and we’ll have to take what we can from today’s game.

“If someone had offered us two wins at the start of the tournament we’d have taken it but there is no room for complacency.

“We know what to expect in terms of wickets that take spin and as the tournament goes on we’ll have to be more prepared going into games. But our bowlers were fantastic again today – we bowled Afghanistan out in the first game and managed to do it again today. That’s what we set our stall out to do – to take wickets and bowl teams out.”

Matchwinner Sole added: “It was a spinners paradise. I thought there would be more turn today and that’s how I found it. I think spin will become more of a factor as the tournament goes on.”

Victory against Nepal tomorrow will secure a Super Six berth for the Scots, who top Group B on run-rate ahead of hosts Zimbabwe, who edged out Afghanistan by two runs yesterday.