Scotland vice-captain Matt Cross praised the way his team responded yesterday as they got their ICC World Twenty20 qualifying campaign back on track with a comfortable victory over Kenya.
After last Thursday’s opening Group B win against the UAE, the Scots stumbled at the weekend with back-to-back defeats by the Netherlands and Afghanistan.
That left coach Grant Bradburn and his squad with a bit of soul-searching to do on Sunday evening and Monday, but they came back fighting.
At The Grange in Stockbridge, they defeated Kenya by seven wickets in yesterday’s afternoon sunshine – and wicketkeeper Cross was very happy with the performance.
“We knew we had to put together a decent showing and I feel we did that. Early on Kenya scored a few runs, but the spinners managed to stop the heavy scoring in the middle overs and we knew that they didn’t bat that deep so we kept the pressure on,” the 22-year-old said.
“I was pleased to get some runs myself [45 not out], but I was also happy with the way that the other guys batted around me and we got home fairly comfortably.
“We now need to kick on and take this good form into our final two group matches.”
For the match, Bradburn brought in Rob Taylor in place of Heriot’s spinner Mark Watt in Scotland’s XI.
Like in Scotland’s two outings at the weekend, the opposition batsmen started off at some lick, Irfan Karim the main man for Kenya.
In the second over he smashed Safyaan Sharif for two big sixes in successive balls before the Scots got the day’s first wicket in the third over.
Carlton’s Ali Evans had Narendra Patel caught by Michael Leask in the deep for one and Kenya were 30-1.
Karim and Nehemiah Odhiambo then put together a 30 partnership for the second wicket before left-arm seamer Taylor, playing his first match of the tournament, had the latter batsman caught for 18.
That was after five overs and one ball and Kenya had hit nine boundaries by that stage.
It shows just how quickly the Scots bowling improved that in the next 14 overs and five balls they only gave away three more boundaries.
They started bowling much fuller and often took the pace off the ball and it was spinner Leask who got the prize wicket of Karim for 46 off just 26 balls.
In the end Leask took 2-12 from three overs, while Evans took 1-30 and Taylor and spinner Con de Lange also took scalps.
Kenya finished on 141-5 with Morris Ouma digging in well for 36 not out from 39 balls.
Scotland’s reply got off to the worst possible start when Kyle Coetzer was bowled by a beauty by Elijah Otieno with just the third ball of the innings.
Calum MacLeod and Cross then put on 36 for the second wicket before the former was bowled by Lucas Ndandason for 21. Mazars Grange’s George Munsey then came to the crease and did not take long to get into his stride, flicking a 6 over the ropes in the sixth over.
In the eighth over he then hit three nice reverse sweeps for boundaries to progress to 26 with Cross continuing to go well at the other end.
Munsey then made it to 35 before going for one big shot too many and falling in the ninth over to leave Scotland on 91-3.
By the end of that over they were 93-3, meaning they needed 49 runs from 60 balls to win.
They did that with relative ease, Cross finishing on 45 not out and man of the match Richie Berrington on 34 not out as they won by seven wickets in the 15th over.
Meanwhile, earlier in the day at Myreside, Oman had sprung a bit of a surprise to defeat the Netherlands.
Munis Ansari took the cracking figures of 4-15 for Oman as the Netherlands were all out for 135.
In their run chase Jatinder Singh hit 65 not out off 56 balls to guide Oman home by six wickets while the UAE defeated Canada in Stirling.
Today in Group B, Afghanistan were due to play Oman and the UAE were due to take on Kenya in a double header at Goldenacre.
Tomorrow Scotland play Canada at 10am, also at Goldenacre.