Scotland v New Zealand A, Tour match, Ayr August 15, 2014

Scotland crushed by Elliott, Watling tons

The Report by James Gray

New Zealand A 347 for 6 (Watling 119*, Elliott 109) beat Scotland 148 (Berrington 42, Henry 4-26, Kuggeleijn 3-47) by 199 runs

Hundreds from Grant Elliott and BJ Watling powered New Zealand A to a comprehensive victory in Ayr, as Scotland, without a number of their top-order batsmen, succumbed in the first of three matches.

Scotland had started well with the ball but lost the plot at the back end of the innings, conceding nearly 150 runs in the last ten overs as Watling and Elliott piled on the misery. In reply the home side never threatened, with only Richie Berrington and David Murphy displaying any fluency with the bat.

Without eight regulars due to injury and county commitments, including captain Kyle Coetzer, Scotland were forced to field a weakened side, handing a debut to 21-year-old Gordon Munsey; by contrast, the New Zealand A side featured six players with Test match experience.

Having won his first toss as Scotland captain, Matt Machan would have been delighted with the way his bowlers started, removing both openers inside the first ten, including in-form Hamish Rutherford

After the seamers' hard work, it was the introduction of spin from the Cottage End that broke the third-wicket partnership, when Dean Brownlie chopped the third ball of Majid Haq's first over on to his leg stump; seam struck an over later when Evans trapped Daryl Mitchell lbw to leave New Zealand A 92 for 4.

However, as the sun and stiff breeze dried the pitch, batting got easier and easier. Both Machan and Michael Leask were deposited over the boundary by Colin de Grandhomme, and had he not missed a straight one off Haq the No. 6 might have caused some real damage. But for Scotland, the worst was yet to come.

Once Elliott reached an obdurate fifty, he accelerated alongside Watling, who batted with total ease. Their partnership was eventually worth 185 from 19 overs. Elliott scored his second half-century off 26 balls, while Watling's second came off just 13, as they battered Safyaan Sharif's final three overs for 57 runs. Still 20 short of his hundred, Watling mistimed the ball over mid-off but Machan, running back, never quite settled under it; the drop seemed inevitable, as did defeat even at that point.

If Scotland's bowling was ultimately sub-par, their batting was dire. From the moment Hamish Gardiner became the first of Matt Henry's four victims, Scotland never looked like threatening the target of 348. There were bright patches for Grant Bradburn, Scotland's coach, to focus on: Munsey looked at ease with the pace and bite of the attack until he played a loose drive and Berrington once again showed form with the bat, although by the time he got into his groove the game was well done. In truth, it had the feel of a square practice for both sides after Henry and Scott Kuggeleijn blew away the top order.

"The first 35 overs, we bowled well, we fielded well, and then we let it get away from us," Bradburn said. "We've got a lot of high-level cricket between now and the World Cup, and we have to try and improve those skills, and try and be comfortable chasing. At the moment, we're more comfortable setting than chasing, and we have to be able to do both. We have the skills to go out and chase big scores, but what we need is the belief."

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Garry on August 16, 2014, 11:49 GMT

    Andy Parry of course SA will send their top team, why wouldn't they? We are not only on par with them in ODI's but for them this is a warm up and a chance to check out the conditions before the world cup.

    Snowbadger15 where is our most experience pace bowler? This would be my team if all available and fit - Guptil, Ryder, Williamson, Taylor, McCullum, Anderson, Watling, Vettori, Mills, Southee, Henry with N McCullum playing instead of Henry if it is a turning track. BUT if Neesham can get in form with the ball he would play instead of Henry.

  • Dummy4 on August 16, 2014, 9:38 GMT

    Well the Black Caps host South Africa for 3 ODIs at the end of October before they go to Dubai to play Pakistan. I would test Watling and Sodhi against SA so that the selectors could see how the 2 perform against a top 3 side (provided SA send their top team).

    Ronchi should not be in the team, like Chris Nevin he was toted as a fantastic wicket keeper/batsmen. I am not convinced at all about him. For a batsmen who turned into a wicketkeeper Watling is excellent.

  • Garry on August 16, 2014, 8:19 GMT

    So England steal overseas players and stop the rest from playing for their country, is it any wonder that the smaller nations are not getting any better.

  • Jon on August 16, 2014, 7:25 GMT

    Watling is probably the form keeper in the world right now. He should definitely be in the WC squad, although I suspect they might go with Ronchi or Latham.

  • Tom on August 16, 2014, 7:07 GMT

    @any parry understand what you say about watling but against teams like aus, sa, pak he will score too slowly, also Latham has somewhat proven his limited overs capabilities. He scored 86 off just 68 against sri lanka and 64 off 40 odd against england. He is also a better feilding option if Ronchi has the gloves. Still a massive fan of BJ in tests.

  • jared on August 16, 2014, 7:05 GMT

    i think watling is highly underated as an odi batsman, he is very very good, ronchi is in my opinion a good player but a bit over rated, people say he is the best gloveman in the country but he's looked sloppy behind the stumps at times where as watling has looked very solid, ronchi is good enough with the bat but watling is superior there as well, i'll take a constuctive innings over a quick cameo any day, there are enough power hitters in our middle order so there certainly is some room for a player like watling who is no slouch either, i'd have him in my odi team for the world cup. my odi xi 1.ryder 2.guptill 3.williamson 4.taylor 5.mccullum 6.anderson 7.watling 8.n.mccullum 9.southee 10.henry 11.boult 12th neesham, vettori would also be in the mix if fit and on certain pitches i'd drop a seamer and play both spinners

  • Dummy4 on August 16, 2014, 6:39 GMT

    Whats the point. This Scotland team is about as strong as the Otago second eleven.

  • William on August 16, 2014, 2:21 GMT

    good to see watling showing his limited overs capabilities. Ronchi will surely be feeling the pressure now as he has not done much for us since the west indies t20 series in January. Matt henry is just such a promising player that he should almost be guaranteed a place in the odi 11. odi team Guptill, Latham/Ryder (depending on behaviour and form), Williamson, Taylor, McCullum, Anderson, Watling, Henry, McCullum, Southee, Mcclenaghan. After the world cup Sodhi should have Nathan McCullums spot.

  • Dummy4 on August 15, 2014, 23:17 GMT

    Get Matt Henry in the Black Caps! He belongs there!

  • Dummy4 on August 15, 2014, 21:29 GMT

    Now do people understand my problem in choosing between Watling and Latham as keeper for the WC. Plus I believe Watling would have more maturity in dealing with the pressure situations that a World Cup always brings.

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