Scotland cruise past UAE at World Cup qualifier

Bulawayo (Agencies): Scotland made it two wins from two at the World Cup qualifier, sweeping past United Arab Emirates by 111 runs. Captain Richie Berrington was the Scottish hero with the bat, making 127 to steer his team to 282-8.

UAE kept their noses in front in terms of run rate, but losing wickets at regular intervals meant they could never build any real pressure. Sayfaan Sharif took 4-20 and Chris Sole managed 3-37 to make it a rare success for the side batting first in Zimbabwe.

Scotland, who enjoyed a dramatic final-ball victory over Ireland on Wednesday, were in trouble at 25-3 in the ninth over as the sharp bowling of Junaid Siddique accounted for openers Chris McBride and Matthew Cross.

However, Berrington came to the rescue with a splendid knock, bedding in and then accelerating aggressively, hitting nine fours and three sixes before he was run out off the last ball. By then Michael Leask, the swashbuckling hero against the Irish, had contributed 41 and Chris Greaves added 22.

Mark Watt chipped in with a rapid 44 from 31 balls as he and Berrington forged a vital stand of 110 to set a respectable total.

UAE never got going in their run chase, losing three wickets inside the powerplay, and when captain Muhammad Waseem was dismissed for 36 they were teetering on 82-5.

Partnerships briefly threatened, then fizzled out, as Scotland kept cool heads and Sharif came back into the attack to close the match out with three wickets in close succession, ending matters with a sizzling yorker. Scotland now look forward to Group B encounters with Oman and Sri Lanka, while a third defeat for UAE snuffs out their hopes of reaching the Super Six stage.

‘We have a lot of different match-winners’

Scotland captain Richie Berrington told BBC Scotland: “It was really important after the win against Ireland to come back strong again.

“The margin of runs was quite significant in the end, but it was definitely a hard fought victory and it’s pleasing to get two from two. “It was just a case of me having to bat for as long as possible at one point and then it was about trying to cash in with a few wickets spare, especially with the short square boundaries here.

“We’re lucky to have a lot of good players in this squad, we have a lot of different match-winners. “It’s exciting and there’s a lot of belief. If we keep playing our best cricket, we’ll be in a good position. “But it’s a tough schedule and we know the importance of every game in these kind of tournaments and we have a real tough test on Sunday against Oman.”