Twenty20: Quick-scoring Scotland brush Canada aside

SCOTLAND stayed firmly on course to reach the play-off phase of the World Twenty20 Qualifier with a comprehensive win over Canada at Goldenacre yesterday.

Kyle Coetzer sends a ball towards the umpire. Picture: Donald MacLeod

The Scots completed their eight-wicket success with 32 balls to spare, in the process enhancing their net run-rate, a potentially crucial advantage as a tight Group B reaches its climax.

Needing just 136 to win after another efficient display in the field, Kyle Coetzer and Calum MacLeod quickly put Scotland ahead of the required rate.

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MacLeod dominated the early overs, sweeping and cutting consecutive deliveries from Junaid Siddiqui to the boundary then hitting back-to-back sixes off the same bowler’s next over, only to depart when he was bowled attempting an elaborate scoop shot off Satsamranjit Dhindsa.

His departure paved the way for Coetzer to produce a masterclass of one-day batting.The Aberdeen-born Northants opener reached his 50 from 40 deliveries, with five boundaries and two sixes.

However, when Matthew Cross came and went for a breezy 21, even Coetzer was forced to play second fiddle as George Munsey arrived to complete the victory with 33no from only 12 balls, including six boundaries and one six.

Earlier, Canada started and finished well but Scotland’s bowlers dominated the middle overs to deny their rivals a winning total. Ruvindu Gunesekera smashed the first ball of the match from Ali Evans to the long-off boundary. The Carlton paceman suffered further punishment when the Canadian struck him for consecutive sixes.

Gunesekera immediately attempted to repeat the dose only to miscue to Safyaan Sharif, who took the catch.

Hiral Patel and Nitesh Kumar continued in similar vein before falling to Josh Davey and Sharif in quick succession.

When Rizwan Cheema then holed out to George Munsey at deep over it signalled a spell during which the Scots exercised such control that their rivals went 11 overs without finding the boundary. Canada slumped to 87-8 as Davey claimed 3-36.

However, an unbroken stand of 48 for the ninth wicket between Navneet Dhaliwal and Siddiqui hoisted the tally to 135-8 at the close, Siddiqui smashing sixes off both Rob Taylor and Con de Lange on his way to a 16-ball 28.

The victory takes Scotland into third place in the group though Oman, whom they face in their final Group B match tomorrow, could leapfrog them by beating UAE today.