Win means more than making history

Scotland captain Preston Mommsen is relishing the clash in Hong Kong. Picture: SNS
Scotland captain Preston Mommsen is relishing the clash in Hong Kong. Picture: SNS
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Preston Mommsen last night insisted his side are intent on kickstarting their Intercontinental Cup campaign when they take part in a historic clash with Hong Kong over the next four days.

The Scots are the opponents for the first-ever first-class 
fixture in the former British colony.

However, skipper Mommsen says the fixture at the Mission Road Ground, Mong Kok, will have far greater significance for the Scots if they can claim the first win of a campaign which has failed to spark.

After just two matches Scotland already trail leaders Ireland by 27 points and are desperate to close the gap.

Mommsen said: “This is our first time here as a team and the boys are very excited to be in what is an amazing place.

“But we are here to do an important job and we can’t wait to get out on the park.

“Our only focus is on taking points against a very challenging team. We know what they are capable of – they have batsmen who can score hundreds and bowlers who can take five wickets – so we take nothing for granted.

“But we have prepared thoroughly and are determined to get our first win on the board in the competition.”

The winners of the current I-Cup will have the chance to claim Test status via the ICC’s new Test Challenge and, having drawn with Afghanistan and lost to the Netherlands in their opening two fixtures, the Scots have no margin for 

Coach Grant Bradburn said: “Every match is critical from now on. There is a massive prize on offer down the line and we want to be in there challenging.”

Bradburn received a setback yesterday when first-choice spinner Con de Lange flew home following the birth of his second child.

De Lange’s absence may mean a first-class debut for teenager Mark Watt while fellow 19 year-old Brad Wheal, Hampshire’s South African-born pace bowler, is in line for his Scotland bow.

Following the I-Cup encounter the sides meet again in two crucial 50-over World Cricket League clashes on 26 and 28 January.

Meanwhile, Liam Plunkett has suffered a thigh injury which has cast doubt on his plans to travel to South 
Africa for England’s limited-overs matches.

Plunkett, named only two days ago as the replacement for injured pace bowler Steven Finn in South Africa, was himself ruled out of the England Lions’ first one-day international against Pakistan A in Dubai yesterday.

The 30-year-old Yorkshire seamer must therefore come through fitness tests to assess whether he can take part in Friday’s second ODI.

The England and Wales Cricket Board reported on its website that Plunkett’s plans to fly to South Africa at the weekend have already been “revised”.