Capital stars hailed as Scots make World Twenty20

Scotland players celebrate a Safyaan Sharif wicket against Oman. Pic: ICC/Donald MacLeod
Scotland players celebrate a Safyaan Sharif wicket against Oman. Pic: ICC/Donald MacLeod
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Scotland assistant coach Craig Wright has paid tribute to the part the four Capital-based players have played in helping the national team qualify for the ICC World Twenty20 event in India next year.

The Scots – including Carlton duo Preston Mommsen and Ali Evans, Mazars Grange’s George Munsey and Heriot’s Mark Watt – managed to finish top of Group B after a dramatic day of qualifying action in Edinburgh on Saturday.

And that means they will be jetting off to India early in 2016 while this coming weekend they will be involved in the semi-finals – and hopefully final – of the qualifying event in Dublin.

On Saturday morning, the Scots defeated Oman by 23 runs in their final group match at Goldenacre. With four teams out of seven from the group going through to the next stages in Ireland, that result made sure of that but also left them in top spot.

However, they had to wait until later in the afternoon to see if the Netherlands would leapfrog them.

The Dutch gave it a good go against Kenya at Myreside, bowling them out for 97 and then knocking off the runs required in little more than eight overs but it was not enough and Scotland stayed top.

Wright, the former Scotland skipper, said: “We are just delighted with the way the guys have played this week, they have shown great spirit.

“When we lost two matches last weekend to the Netherlands and Afghanistan a few people questioned if the guys could recover, but they have and there is a great spirit in the camp and we can now go forward to Ireland – and further down the line, India – with confidence.

“In terms of the players from Edinburgh clubs who have been involved, Preston Mommsen has captained the team well and I think George Munsey has shown with the bat that he can certainly play at this level.

“He has come into the group and settled in well and I think there is a lot more to come from him in the future while Ali Evans has bowled really well and adapted to different opponents quickly.

“Mark Watt is only 18 but he has been a great addition to the squad and he will have taken a lot out of this experience and I know he has a really bright 
future ahead of him. It has also been great to see three Edinburgh grounds being part of the event too and credit goes to the groundstaff and volunteers who have done a good job and there have been good crowds cheering the boys on.”

Against Oman, Scotland were put in to bat and Kyle Coetzer continued where he had left off against Canada on Thursday.

The opening batsman played some cracking early shots and, along with Calum MacLeod, they put on 60 in just over six overs before the latter was out for 20, LBW to Mohammad Nadeem.

Vice-captain Matt Cross then came in and he and Coetzer added another 35 runs together. Cross was then the next man out in the tenth over, bowled by Zeeshan Maqsood for 20 off just 11 balls.

The bowlers from Oman then started to keep things a bit tighter and Scotland found boundaries a bit tougher to come by for a stage.

With the score on 101, Munsey was out for three in the 12th over before Coetzer was out two overs later for 63 having hit nine fours and one six in 38 balls.

Richie Berrington and Mommsen then came together and put on 31 for the fifth wicket before the former was out for 26.

Mommsen, with some trademark sweep shots, went on to finish on 32 not out from 18 balls and his side had posted 173-5.

With the ball in Oman’s reply it as Safyaan Sharif who took the key wickets of danger men Maqsood and Zeeshan Ahmad and at that stage they were on 24-2 in the fourth over.

Aamir Kaleem batted well for 59 off 47 balls for Oman, including three sixes but they always looked unlikely to reach Scotland’s total.

In the end they made 150-7, Sharif the pick of the Scots’ bowlers with 3-27. and Evans taking 2-19.