Scotland’s cricketers booked their place in next year’s ICC T20 World Cup with a comprehensive 90-run win over UAE.
The Scots have struggled for consistency in the tournament in Dubai, afflicted by a variety of problems, including Tom Sole being suspended by the ICC after his bowling action was deemed illegal, and injury to the mercurial Oli Hairs.
But they had no difficulty in posting a formidable total of 198 for 6, propelled by an opening stand of 87 between Kyle Coetzer – one of four Aberdonians in the starting XI – and George Munsey which laid the foundations for victory.
Munsey eventually top-scored with 65, while Richie Berrington contributed 48, Coetzer 34 and Calum MacLeod 25 and there was never any prospect of a weakened UAE line-up chasing down that target.
We’re going to Australia, team! ?
— Cricket Scotland (@CricketScotland) October 30, 2019
They suffered an alarming collapse in response, plummeting from 81 for 3 to 94 for 9, with Mark Watt – the Scots’ best bowler throughout the qualifying tournament – and Safyaan Sharif both taking three for 21.
Scotland captain Coetzer said: “We’ve got a lot of fine players and it’s more progression.
“It’s an opportunity now to play against some of the top-ranked sides in the world.
“Guys are willing to learn and push their game as far as they can. We’ve got a great coaching staff in place and people in the backroom are doing a great job back home.
“We are very lucky to be where we are right now. We know how tough it is, but progression is the key word.”
The result means that Shane Burger’s team will take their place alongside the ICC elite at the World Cup in Australia next year, but they will be looking to improve on their performances in the last fortnight, which have brought defeats against Singapore, Namibia and the Netherlands.
A number of their players have shown their class, with some outstanding displays from the likes of Watt, Sole, MacLeod, Munsey, Coetzer, Berrington and Matt Cross, but others in the squad failed to make much impression, while the continuing omission of paceman Adrian Neill has raised eyebrows in some quarters.
Ultimately, though, the Scots have achieved their main objective, even if they travelled to Dubai as one of the favourites to win the overall event.