WCL Championship, Ayr July 30, 2015

Mommsen pleased with fightback from fatigue

Preston Mommsen scored 78 off 62 balls © Peter Della Penna

Scotland captain Preston Mommsen admitted his side was feeling the after-effects of the World Twenty20 Qualifier, but said he was relieved after Scotland's tense three-run win over Nepal on Wednesday.

"There's no doubt we were under pressure," Mommsen said after the win. "They certainly put us under pressure. They batted well and they ran well. I think it was a combination of a few things and one of those things was fatigue and the end of a long campaign. Today that was always going to be a challenge for us, getting up for this game. We wanted to make sure we didn't take this Nepal team lightly. We know they are capable and they showed that they are capable today. We'll have to go away and do some more homework and make sure we come back even stronger on Friday."

Nepal were in the middle of a 139-run partnership with eight wickets in hand in the final two overs needing 25 to win before Gavin Main sparked a slide of three wickets in four balls by removing Nepal captain Paras Khadka for 70. It was 20-year-old Main's maiden List A match and his freshness proved to be the key after having sat on the bench during Scotland's entire World Twenty20 Qualifier campaign. Mommsen said despite Nepal's strong position he was confident Scotland's experience would help them in the end.

"I think there were certainly signs of tiredness toward the end," Mommsen said. "It's been a long three or four weeks for us and I think at the end of the day we are just very happy to get the points and move on. I didn't ever feel like we were going to lose the game, but it was far too close than we would have liked. I still had faith in our bowlers to come back and nail our plans."

Mommsen, who scored 78 off 62 balls, credited Con de Lange, who scored his maiden 50 for Scotland, with propping the team up after Nepal had Scotland in trouble at 101 for 5. Their 113-run sixth wicket stand lifted Scotland out of trouble and took them to a winning score as the hosts scored 86 runs in the final seven overs to finish on 235 for 7 in 36.

"Obviously it was a slightly tricky period when I came in so to get through that initial bit of hard work was good and then to try to capitalize toward the end. I thought Con also batted nicely and together we put on quite a nice partnership there. That was his first 50 for Scotland so he batted well and adapted really well to conditions. I think we did really well in the end to post the score that we did."

Khadka said after the match that he felt Nepal's cautious start did not cost them in the end. Opener Anil Mandal scored 100 in 93 balls, with his second 50 coming in just 32 deliveries. However, Mandal and Mahesh Chhetri only scored one boundary in the opening seven-over power play of the chase, reaching 24 for 0.

"We had a plan that we'd build up the innings slowly but steadily and accordingly move from there," Khadka said. "It could be a slow start, it could be a fast start but in the end it was a matter of one ball. Had the result gone in our favor, things would have gone well and we wouldn't be talking about that. This is what it is. As long as you play the game we have to take the other side of the story and today unfortunately we couldn't cross the line."

The Nepal captain was reasonably positive though despite the defeat. After a rough tour of Ireland where they secured a lone victory over USA in their opening match of the World Twenty20 Qualifier, taking this match to the end was an indication that his side had greater confidence in their skills in the 50-over format.

"We came very close. It was a very good game altogether. I think both teams played equally well. Scotland after being [101] for 5 managed to put up a decent score and we put up a fight until the last ball but unfortunately we couldn't pull it off in the end. It was just a matter of one ball. Sometimes I'd say this is what cricket comes down to. When you play good teams, it's just a matter of those small margins."

Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent. @PeterDellaPenna

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