Cricket: Fraser Watts urges Scots to learn lessons

Mark Watt has been backed to bounce back. Pic: Neil Hanna
Mark Watt has been backed to bounce back. Pic: Neil Hanna
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Former internationalist Fraser Watts believes Scotland can get their ICC World Twenty20 qualifying campaign back on track with three wins in the Capital this week – but he has warned that the bowlers must learn lessons from the weekend’s losses quickly.

Watts, who made 203 
appearances for Scotland in all forms of the game until retiring in 2013, still turns out for 
Carlton’s first XI.

At the weekend he had 
the best seat in the house in Stockbridge – as part of the Sky Sports commentary team – as the Scots lost two Group B encounters to the Netherlands and Afghanistan.

The defeats leaves them facing a crucial run of three matches, starting this afternoon against Kenya back at Raeburn Place (2.15pm), to make sure of a top four spot and a place in the play-offs in Ireland next week.

Watts said: “In both the matches at the weekend it was small margins that made the difference.

“You look back to the Netherlands match and there was a couple of dropped catches and then Wesley Barresi went on to hit 75, while on both days the fielding was perhaps not quite as sharp as it could have been.

“Chasing 192 and 211 respectively was always going to be tough and although Scotland fell short twice, there was still enough to show that there are batsmen in form.

“Bowling-wise there were a couple of good performances, while a couple of guys like young Mark Watt came in for some treatment on Sunday, but that is the nature of T20 cricket and I’m sure he will bounce back.

“What I would say to the Scottish bowlers is that they can learn from the length that the Afghanistan team bowled – they always made it hard for batters to free their arms and go for a big hit.

“Despite the results I still feel that Scotland can win three matches this week and then head to Ireland with a bit of form under their belts.”

Meanwhile, Scotland coach Grant Bradburn believes that Heriot’s spinner Mark Watt can come back stronger from a tough experience at the weekend.

Watt, 18, had taken three wickets as Scotland defeated UAE last Thursday, but at the weekend he bowled six overs over two days and took just one wicket at a cost of 82 runs.

“T20 is a cruel game at times and every bowler has been hit about the park at times, I have great faith in Mark to come back fighting in his next outing,” the coach said.