Scotland level series with 6-wicket victory

Scotland celebrates a wicket
ICC World Cup League 2 - Scotland v Oman. Aberdeenshire Cricket Club, Aberdeen , Aberdeenshire, UK. 18,08, 2019. Scotland take on Oman in the 4th game of the tournament. Pic shows: Scotland celebrate as Hamza Tahir takes the wicket of Oman's Jatinder Singh for 23. Credit: Ian Jacobs

An unbroken fifth-wicket stand of 106 between George Munsey and Dylan Budge saw Scotland home at the Hazelaarweg on Thursday and levelled the two-match series with the Netherlands.

The match had been brought forward from Friday after the team managements had seen the weather forecast for the rest of the week and concluded that the match would need to be played on Thursday if it were going to be played at all.
Pieter Seelaar won the toss and elected to bat, but his side battled throughout against some excellent Scottish bowling and were eventually dismissed for a disappointing 171.

Max O’Dowd, hero of Wednesday’s Dutch victory, fell early, the first of five victims for the outstanding Alasdair Evans, who extracted plenty of bounce and movement early on and then came back to snuff out any hope of a significant revival.

Steph Myburgh batted with determination for his 40, but it was keeper Scott Edwards who showed the greatest application, reaching a maiden international half-century before he was the last man out with a 67-ball 56.

If one or two of the Dutch batters were entitled to feel somewhat aggrieved at the manner of their dismissal – Pieter Seelaar in particular seemed unlucky to be adjudged leg-before after grafting long and hard for his 21 – there can be little question that by and large the Scottish bowlers were masters of the conditions.

Adrian Neill, brought into the Scottish side in place of Safyaan Sharif, partnered Evans effectively with the new ball, while Michael Leask came on for one over, bowled Myburgh with a peach of a delivery, and retired to the outfield after a single over, his job apparently done.

171 never seemed likely to be enough, but the Dutch pace attack made Kyle Coetzer and Matthew Cross battle for every run, and there was even a moment, when three wickets fell to Viv Kingman and Paul van Meekeren in the space of eleven deliveries and the Scots found themselves on 34 for three, when Seelaar’s men might have caught the faintest whiff of another improbable victory.

Richie Berrington and Munsey almost doubled the score, but when Philippe Boissevain bowled Berrington immediately after being lofted over mid-on for four Dutch hopes briefly flickered again.

But then Munsey and Budge, dealing with inconsistent bounce as well as a purposeful Dutch attack, gradually turned the game their way, and with plenty of overs up their sleeves they could afford to wait their moment.

Kingma, Logan van Beek and Van Meekeren all bowled their hearts out, and Aryan Dutt showed his versatility by starting with an over of seam and then two of off breaks before reverting to seam again.

But the boundaries now began to flow, and there were almost eight overs left when Munsey, who had reached his half-century off 73 deliveries with five fours, smacked O’Dowd back over his head for the winning six.

Munsey finished on 79 from exactly 100 balls, while Budge’s unbeaten 40 came from 47.

The series had been a useful work-out for both sides, and especially for the Dutch who face Ireland in a three-match Super League contest in a couple of weeks’ time.
But coach Ryan Campbell must be scratching his head about how his team can post enough runs to test a full-strength Ireland in the most important matches of the summer.

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