Scotland 198 for 6 (Munsey 65, Berrington 48, Mustafa 2-38) beat United Arab Emirates 108 (Shahzad 34, Sharif 3-21, Watt 3-21) by 90 runs
After a lacklustre group stage, defending co-champions Scotland showed they still had enough left in the tank after two off days to see off the tournament hosts as George Munsey’s second half-century of the event laid the platform for a lopsided 90-run win over UAE. The result clinched Scotland’s second straight trip to the T20 World Cup and fourth appearance overall.
Netherlands had executed a brilliant plan to negate Munsey’s bread-and-butter scoring option, the reverse sweep, in Scotland’s last group match on Sunday. But UAE had no answers to the shot on Wednesday as Munsey cracked a pair of sixes with the shot off Sultan Ahmed to get his innings going in the third over and he never looked back.
Along with captain Kyle Coetzer, Munsey added 87 for the opening stand in 11.2 overs, scoring just as efficiently against pace and spin. Munsey flicked Waheed Ahmed’s medium-pace over square leg and midwicket for two more sixes in the 10th over to go to 49 before a single in the next over raised a 33-ball half-century. The stand ended when Coetzer swatted Junaid Siddique’s medium pace to Muhammad Usman at long-off for 34. Munsey fell in the 14th over off a candidate for catch of the tournament as Rameez Shahzad plucked a lofted drive leaping one-handed at long-off.
But the faintest glimmer of hope UAE had of clawing back into the match was quickly washed away with the arrival of Richie Berrington at No. 4. The Scotland vice-captain only failed to score off the first and last balls he faced. In between were 16 balls of fury as he commenced a merciless assault at the death. Waheed’s medium pace was slog-swept for six before a slower ball was hammered back over his head for another six in the 16th over. There was no respite when he fell in the 18th over to Rohan Mustafa either as Calum MacLeod finished the innings with three fours in the final over before being run out off the last ball as Scotland finished two shy of reaching 200 for the second time in the tournament.
Considering how UAE’s line-up fared against the Netherlands pace attack a day earlier, their chances of chasing Scotland’s total were remote and so it proved in the Powerplay. Chirag Suri skied the third ball off Safyaan Sharif taken at short fine leg with the gloves by Matthew Cross. Mustafa’s wild charge to Josh Davey two overs later resulted in a toe edge behind to make it 12 for 2. Darius D’Silva retired hurt at the end of the Powerplay to leave UAE further in a hole, at 35 for 2, and the chasm only grew wider when their best batsman Rameez drove a catch to Munsey on the off-side boundary off Mark Watt’s left-arm spin in the ninth over to make it 55 for 3.
The slide accelerated a few overs later when UAE’s middle order lost four wickets in eight balls to effectively end the match. Waheed was bounced out by Berrington with a slower ball flicked to short fine leg. Muhammad Usman skied a drive to long-on where Michael Leask charged in for a fantastic sliding catch. Two balls later Sultan Ahmed played inside the line of a stock delivery from Watt to be bowled for a golden duck before MacLeod’s part-time offspin resulted in a pull to deep square leg by Mohammad Boota to make it 84 for 7.
D’Silva eventually returned to the crease but Sharif wound up cleaning up the tail. A miscued slog was skied back to Sharif for the final wicket and UAE were bowled out with nine balls unused.
Scotland now move into the fifth place playoff for T20 World Cup seeding purposes against the winner of the remaining elimination playoff match between Oman and Hong Kong.
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