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John Ward in Belfast
August 4, 2008
Scotland 107 for (Watson 54, Coetzer 48*) beat Kenya 106 for 9 (Nel 3-10) by nine wickets
Scotland at last showed their true form as they ran to a convincing nine-wicket victory over a disappointing Kenya. They began with a fine bowling performance, spearheaded by Dewald Nel, and then their opening batsmen Ryan Watson and Kyle Coetzer gave the other teams in the tournament an object lesson in how to bat in such circumstances. They put on 102 together, taking their team to the verge of victory, and completing it with eleven balls to spare. Should Zimbabwe confirm their withdrawal from the Twenty20 World Cup, Scotland will replace them.
Kenya batted despite their nasty experience after being put in by Ireland this morning and decided on a discreet start, but this approach still failed them at the first, Maurice Ouma departing lbw to Nel. Gordon Drummond, coming on for the sixth over, beautifully yorked Nehemiah Odhiambo for 11; 27 for 1. Four runs later, Kennedy Otieno was bowled by Berrington for 14, trying to work a straight ball down the third man.
Steve Tikolo began carefully, and after ten overs the score was 47 for 3. But in the next over came the major blow, Tikolo lbw to Berrington for 19, with Thomas Oboyo (6) following, relucantly, also lbw to Gregor Maiden in the next over. Kenya were 56 for 5, and with little batting to come.
Ragheb Aga did his best, and hit a six over long leg off Gordon Drummond, but could not find a capable partner. He reached 28 off 25 balls but, in the penultimate over, he holed out to long-on attempting another six. That made the score 89 for 8, but unexpectedly Kenya brought up three figures. They scored 12 off the final over, bowled by Drummond, and including a huge six well over the long-off boundary by Peter Ongondo, who ran himself out next ball.
The final total was 105, an almost certain loser in a normal Twenty20 match - or a quality match of any sort - but in this tournament, who knew? Nel, with 3 for 10, returned excellent figures, continuing a fine event, while Berrington took 2 for 21.
Watson and Coetzer finally displayed the type of batting required for success in these situations, which no other partnership in the tournament to date had been able to achieve. Naturally some risks needed to be taken, but they were well-calculated ones, proper 'percentage' cricket, instead of the wild heaves that so often had ended other partnerships prematurely over the past three days.
They were 50 without loss after ten overs, well on their way to victory, with only five fours - showing their ability to hit the loose ball, but not to be obsessed by the boundary - and a great many well-run ones and twos. The bowling was fair enough in quality; it was just the batting that for once was so much better.
Watson, the dominant partner, reached his 50 off 54 balls; this was only the second fifty of the tournament, following that of Netherlands' Ryan ten Doeschate in the first match. The team hundred came up in the 17th over, and this made it the first century partnership of the tournament. At 102, though, Watson tried to win the match with a six, but instead skied a catch to mid-off, departing for 54. But it did not take long for Coetzer, finishing on 48, to complete a victory that would be very satisfying in every way, except that it failed to win them a place in tomorrow's final.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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