McCallum and Watson star in big win
Scotland 452 (McCallum 181, Watson 154) beat Netherlands 255 (de Grooth 98, Blain 5-84) and 138 by an innings and 59 runs
A record 240-run fourth-wicket partnership between Neil McCallum and Ryan Watson set up a big win for Scotland over Netherlands on the third day at Aberdeen. McCallum smashed a career-best 181 and captain made Watson 154 to take Scotland to 452 before a much-improved bowling and fielding display knocked over the tourists for 138.
McCallum was the aggressor on the third day, hitting 19 fours and three sixes in his 254-ball innings. Overnight on 277 for 3, he and Watson added a further 55 to their stand. Watson fell with the score on 295 for 4, hitting Alexei Kervezee to Geert-Maarten Mol. In the compant of Majid Haq (37), McCallum added 73 runs and from there on minor yet handy contributions from the lower order helped Scotland to 452. McCallum was the ninth wicket to fall, as he mistimed a pull off Mudassar Bukhari's medium-pace into Nick Statham's waiting hands. Bukhari finished with 3 for 70 when he removed Dewald Nel for 2.
Trailing by 197, Netherlands put up a meek performance with the bat. John Blain, fresh from his 5 for 84 in the first innings, removed Tom de Grooth, Statham and Atse Buurman cheaply, while Paul Hoffman got rid of Kervezee and stand-in captain Peter Borren to leave Netherlands limping at 49 for 5 inside 17 overs. Bukhari and Mol added 41 for the sixth wicket but a quick mopping up of the lower order sealed a fine start to Scotland's trophy campaign.
Andy Tennant, Scotland's interim coach, had plenty of praise for McCallum's hundred. "It was a great innings from him," he told the Scotsman. "After the first day we had, it was important to get the guys making runs in the middle and Ryan [Watson] and Neil did that. Macca's batting was just excellent. He keeps improving all the time and you saw it out there, how he flourishes at this level and in these kinds of situations."
Scotland's opening match against the UAE was washed out, but they did very well to grab six bonus points on first-innings lead and add 14 more for an outright victory. Boosted by the return of Gavin Hamilton after a five-month gap, Scotland travel to Belfast this week to take on Ireland.