A career-best 114 from Aberdeen’s Matthew Cross powered Scotland to a convincing 73-run win in their World Cup qualifier with United Arab Emirates.
The Saltires kicked off their Super Six campaign in style with a commanding win which puts them in a strong position to qualify for the final ahead of next year’s World Cup.
After winning the toss and choosing to bat, it was a welcome return to form for Scotland who have struggled to post big scores in the early stages of the tournament. Cross was in form as Scotland posted a mammoth 322 for six.
Kyle Coetzer made a breezy 43 before he was dismissed but Cross combined with Calum MacLeod (78) for a 161-run stand for the second wicket to put Scotland in a strong position.
The two pressed the accelerator going into the final 10 overs as Scotland put on 121 in the final 11 overs, but it was Cross who anchored the innings brilliantly in his 135-ball knock, which included four 6s.
Richie Berrington and Harry Munsey helped boost the total above the 300 mark with late cameos as UAE suffered in the field.
Despite making a positive start in reply, their challenge quickly subsided as Scotland made inroads.
Chris Sole finished with four for 68 as Scotland eventually clinched the 73-run win and move top of the table following West Indies’ defeat to Afghanistan.
Cross said: “It was nice to pitch in but winning was most important.
“Kyle got us off to a great start and settled me. It was good to go on and get such a bit total. It’s credit to the guys in the middle order for getting us up there because at one stage we were hoping for 280. We’re not seeing it as changing much because we still have to go to Harare and beat Ireland.
“There has always been a belief that we can punch above our weight. We’ve bowled five teams out now so we’re doing a lot right.”