Valiant Scotland bows out

By: Al Muthu

The Netherlands survived a minor scare to kill Scotland’s hopes of appearing in the 2012 Cricket World Twenty-20 championships.

Tom Cooper carried the Dutch to a vital three-wicket victory over Scotland at yesterday’s Twenty-20 qualifiers match. Abused by a smattering of injuries within the team, the Scots leaked 50 runs in the last 5 overs allowing a competitive target of 167 to be overhauled with relative ease.
Once again, Majid Haq made Scotland proud. In addition to being extremely miserly, the crafty off spinner accounted for three of the opposition’s top batsman, one of which almost swung the game Scotland’s way. He is currently the highest wicket taker for the entire tournament.
But Haq was forced to lead a lone battle as Australia-born Tom Cooper exploited Captain Kyle Coetzer’s lack of bowling resources. His belligerent 60 off a mere 32 balls included a hat-trick of sixes against second spinner Moneeb Iqbal.
Gordon Drummond, returning for this game after a side strain, teamed up with Majid Haq to cause a small stir. The duo removed three Dutch batsmen including Tom Cooper, in the space of three overs.
In a brave move, the skipper took the responsibility to capitalize on his men’s efforts, but 20 year-old Tim Gruijters smashed him for a massive six over midwicket to throw momentum back in favor of the Dutch.
In a final display of game-losing misfortune, Tom de Grooth miscued a slow bouncer, which flew over the keeper, Craigh Wallace’s head, and became the winning runs. This signalled the end of the Scottish campaign to qualify for the Cricket World T20 Championships later this year.
Scotland’s batsmen have had an impressive tournament. Openers Calum MacLeod and Richard Berrington consolidated with a blistering partnership amassing 59 runs in just 6 overs. Berrington contributed 37 off 25 balls whilst MacLeod became the tournament’s second highest run scorer in the process of notching up his second half century (57 off 42 balls, with two sixes and five fours). MacLeod also holds the record for the second highest score in an innings for his undefeated 104 against Oman.
Preston Mommsen compiled a handy 26 off 19 and Jan Stander (17 off 15) guided the tail end of the Scottish innings to reach 166/6 in their allotted 20 overs.
The Scots sorely missed Safyaan Sharif, their 20-year old hero, whose final against the Americans secured Scotland entry into the playoffs. Matthew Parker and Moneeb Iqbal, were forced to fend for themselves on the big stage and were found wanting. The Netherlands, as a team, shamed England at Lords in the 2009 Twenty-20 Championships and Pakistan in the 2007 Cricket World Cup. Scotland faces Canada today to battle for fifth place in the tournament.