Scotland v Zimbabwe, 2nd ODI, Edinburgh June 17, 2017

Zimbabwe level series courtesy Cremer's five-wicket haul

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Zimbabwe 171 for 4 (Raza 58*, Sole 3-36) beat Scotland 169 (Coetzer 61, MacLeod 58, Cremer 5-29) by six wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball updates

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'Maybe we needed to lose first game' - Cremer

Zimbawe's spin-bowling attack capitalized on an overeager batting approach with captain Graeme Cremer's 5 for 29 doing the bulk of the damage to wipe out Scotland for 169 in 42 overs. Sikandar Raza's composed half-century anchored the Zimbabwe chase to clinch a six-wicket win for the tourists at the Grange with 78 balls to spare. It meant the series finished deadlocked at 1-1, with hosts Scotland failing to complete a landmark series win against a Full Member team.

When Cremer had Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer stumped for 61 in the 22nd over, it seemed at the time to be a minor speed bump with Scotland comfortable at 106 for 2. But when Calum MacLeod was bowled six overs later by Sean Williams for 58 - while exposing his stumps on an attempted back foot punch - the floodgates were opened and Cremer raided the middle order for his second five-wicket haul.

Williams' figures might appear understated on the scorecard after he ended with 2 for 26, but he played a crucial role - coming on in the fourth over - after Zimbabwe's opening pace attack was battered by Coetzer for three fours and a six to race to 27 for 0. Williams began with a maiden to Matthew Cross, thereby foreshadowing the role that spin would play to reel Scotland's scoring rate back under control. Cross continued to struggle, trying to get Williams away in the sixth, but the pressure resulted in him backing away for a carve to the off-side only to see his off-stump sent cartwheeling.

Coetzer and MacLeod added 71 for the second wicket as Williams came off once the Powerplay concluded. The pair milked Chris Mpofu's medium pace for easy runs and Coetzer soon reached his eighth ODI fifty off 45 balls in the 15th over. His innings ended soon after though, when he stepped down the pitch to flick Cremer through the leg side, only to miss it completely and the wicketkeeper Peter Moor did the rest. MacLeod carried on to notch his third ODI half-century in the 25th when he cut Raza's offspin through point for back-to-back fours. But when MacLeod fell in the 28th to Williams, it triggered a collapse that saw Scotland lose their last eight wickets for 34 runs.

Richie Berrington first walked too far across his stumps before missing a flick as Cremer trapped him lbw in the 29th over. Then, a miscued flick to mid-off by Con De Lange, to start the 31st, put Cremer on a hat-trick and he completed the over gaining his second lbw decision, although the dismissed Preston Mommsen appeared to be struck quite high.

Rather than go into a shell at 141 for 6 in 31 overs, having just lost 4 for 6, Scotland kept the faith in coach Grant Bradburn's mantra of maintaining aggressive intent. But wickets fell regardless. The always adventurous Craig Wallace stayed true to form by going for a reverse sweep against Cremer but missed and the stumps were rattled once again to give Zimbabwe's captain his fifth scalp.

With Williams' quota done, Raza came back to help wipe out the tail. Josh Davey was lbw prodding forward before Alasdair Evans edged behind as the ninth wicket. Raza and Cremer were done with their bowling quota by the 41st, but the captain stayed with spin by tossing the ball to Ryan Burl to bowl his first over in ODI cricket. The over concluded with Burl's maiden scalp to end the innings as Chris Sole missed a swipe across the line to be bowled for 2, leaving eight overs unused and Michael Leask stranded on 11, the only player outside the top three to reach double-figures.

Zimbabwe were required to bat 45 minutes before lunch was taken and, like Scotland, got off to a hot start in their first few overs before Sole, who began his spell with 11 dot balls and two wickets - gave them a scare. With the score at 30 for no loss after four overs, Sole struck with his first ball, snaring Solomon Mire with a gloved pull for a leg-side catch to Cross. He then tested Hamilton Masakadza early in the seventh over with the short ball too, until the opener fell fending a catch at backward point to make it 31 for 2.

Sole prised out one more before the interval - the short ball working again - as Williams creamed a cut but picked out backward point to make it 44 for 3 in 10.3 overs. The break, though, arrived at the right time for Zimbabwe and they came out far more assured when play resumed with Craig Ervine and Raza adding 55 runs for the fourth wicket.

Sikandar Raza hit seven fours during his unbeaten 58 © Peter Della Penna

Scotland's chances of defending the total were severely hampered when vice-captain de Lange bowled just two overs before leaving the field after completing the 17th over. The left-arm spinner had taken his maiden five-for in the first ODI but Coetzer said after the match that de Lange could not continue due to a migraine headache.

With de Lange out, MacLeod was brought on to bowl part-time spin but was ineffective, finishing with 0 for 21 in five overs. Davey bowled a controlled spell of medium pace at the other end in a bid to keep pressure on and managed to beat Ervine driving for 30. But Raza continued on with Burl, teaming for a 72-run stand to seal victory. While Burl finished unbeaten on 30, Raza struck the winning boundary through midwicket to end on an unbeaten 58 for his seventh ODI half-century.

Zimbabwe leave Sunday morning for the Netherlands where the first of three one-dayers takes place in Amstelveen on June 20, before they continue on to Sri Lanka for the start of a five-ODI, single-Test tour beginning June 30. Meanwhile, Scotland's home summer fixture-list is over before the arrival of the June 21 solstice. Their next series isn't until October, when they tour Papua New Guinea for two ODIs in the WCL Championship and a four-day Intercontinental Cup match.

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

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Giridharan on June 18, 2017, 22:59 GMT

    Sorry to see Zimbabwe at this level. The days when flowers (Andy and Grant) used to bloom seems lost. We need that Zimbabwe to brighten up world cricket.

  • zafran on June 18, 2017, 8:02 GMT

    @Mohammad Zamin, associates are improving very rapidly. let your team play against Afghanistan, you will understand.

  •   cricfan85741717 on June 18, 2017, 7:41 GMT

    Uncle Chuck Tembo a very negative comment!

    Also unfair to target Sean Williams a star of the last world cup who has 25 50's (not bad for an all rounder) and an average of 32!

  • associate cricket fan on June 17, 2017, 23:08 GMT

    I feel Scotland has a better 1st class structure than ireland has. I hope icc will give more games to Scotland. A euro cup in cricket will be amazing to have.

  • Mohammad Zamin on June 17, 2017, 22:25 GMT

    Sorry to say but even the Bangladesh team which is dar newer has managed to reach the CT semi finals. Zimbabwe is still languishing with the Associates, why dont Zimbabwe players send their players to domestic leagues across the world to improve their game. They can and should play county in England or play the Ranji trophy in India or the Pakistan ODI cup or something else to improve their game. From a Pak fan

  • G on June 17, 2017, 20:38 GMT

    @CRICKETINGSTARGAZER weather is one valid reason for my comments , the other s are obvious to most , to be a cricket nation you need a following, kids playing in the streets , on the beaches , with makeshift equipment , everyday Scottish kids have no interest or desire to partake at this vital level , indeed as it is an English sport they probably avoid it at all cost...so it will be a sport with no grass roots and reliant on imports ...It is good to see Cricket in Scotland , however that is where it stops. Today they were outdone , Zim had a plan for losing the toss , Scotland had a plan too..spank the seamers....problem was the seamers were not there , and the Scots had not thought beyond this. Nice relaxed few days in Scotland for Zim , warming up for Major cricket.

  • Mark on June 17, 2017, 20:03 GMT

    @newgraahm You are kidding, aren't you? Obviously you don't live in the British Isles and aren't familiar with the climate... or the geography. Edinburgh has a much drier climate than Manchester or, I would suspect, Cardiff, as it is on the east coast. Cricket has been known to be played in Manchester! Of course, the odd game will get rained off, but that has been known to happen in Asia and Australia too. Dublin, I will admit, being further west, has bigger issues, but there is, as you will be aware, a 3-day First Class interprovincial competition in Ireland and so they obviously think that there is value in these matches and 4-day Intercontinental Cup games are played regularly to a finish in Ireland. There seems to be some conception that people in the British Isles can only move from place to place in arks! It's not true! It rains a lot less than most people who live outside the isles think!

  • G on June 17, 2017, 18:54 GMT

    @CRICKETINGSTARGAZER Scotland like Ireland will not progress beyond here...They have such climatic issues meaning 5 days of continuous play is unlikely.

    Zim popped into Scotland to prepare for much more important things a hard series in Holland and then Sri Lanka including a test. DLS did ruin the first game , just because a side is 4 down when it rains signals absolutely nothing, as any cricketer will tell you...You need a few games under your belt..please tell us what is Bizarre?

  • Shashank on June 17, 2017, 18:34 GMT

    Zimbabwe needs all the support it can get from other full members. They need more matches. Sadly the only way its possible for them as a full member would be to focus and win at least one series per year against a full member. That ought to bring them back in notice and pull them back in action

  • Mark on June 17, 2017, 18:28 GMT

    Bizarre comments about DLS! Zimbabwe were, until the late stand, well behind in the first match. That they came as close as they did to burgling it is probably as much to do with a little vertigo entering Scotland's game as it was to do with some wonderful desperation hitting. Everyone knows what has gone on in the Zimbabwe scene and the fact that they are still playing is a credit to the never say die attitude of the players who have stuck around but, as full members, they get positive riches in terms of fixtures and financial support compared to the Scots, who hardly get any fixtures at all with Full Members. The lesson of this series is that sides like Zimbabwe and Scotland need to play more series like this. I would love to see sides such as Afghanistan, West Indies, Ireland, Zimbabwe and Scotland playing more series and triangulars to raise standards all around.

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