Saltires let slip initiative against Notts

SCOTLAND were once again the architects of their own downfall yesterday as they suffered a seventh consecutive Clydesdale Bank 40 defeat against Notts Outlaws at a sunny Trent Bridge.

There were stages when the Saltires held the upper-hand both in the field and when setting out in pursuit of a daunting target of 261. However, several disastrous overs with the ball and a familiar batting collapse proved their undoing against opponents who clinically seized their opportunities.

Chasing a tally which was 40 runs higher than it should have been, Fraser Watts and Preston Mommsen gave their side an ideal start with a half-century stand at a run-a-ball.

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Neither player looked in any difficulty until Mommsen, having made 28 with four attractive boundaries, took a needless swipe across the line at Paul Franks and skied a simple catch to Chris Read.

As against Warwickshire a week earlier, the fall of one wicket was the catalyst for several more as Scotland lost their way. For the second game in a row George Bailey fell for a duck, clipping a simple catch to mid-wicket off the innocuous Luke Fletcher. Richie Berrington's loss of form continued when he departed for four and then Watts suffered a similar rush of blood that cost his Carlton team-mate Mommsen when he offered an easy return catch to Franks. At 65-4 the game was as good as over for Scotland especially when spinner Samit Patel and Graeme White rushed through their overs while the required rate climbed inexorably.

There was token resistance from Gavin Hamilton and Moneeb Iqbal before the former was brilliantly caught in the deep by Ali Brown off Patel.

Iqbal posted 31 while, with the result already a formality, Dougie Lockhart took the opportunity of some batting practise to top-score with 37.

However, Scotland were 75 runs short when their final wicket fell in the penultimate scheduled over.

Earlier the Saltires bowlers were put to the sword as the Notts batsmen sized them up before launching a savage attack. Their mammoth total had looked unlikely when they ambled along to 145-4 after 30 overs however, the momentum was provided by David Hussey and Read who made excellent use of the power-play, adding 50 in four overs to claim the initiative.

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