Scotland v Nepal, WCL, Ayr August 1, 2015

Scotland cruise after all the rain

Scotland 111 for 1 (Cross 51*, Munsey 40*) beat Nepal 167 (Vesawkar 30, Evans 3-18) by nine wickets on D/L Method
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details

Matthew Cross hits out on the way to his unbeaten half-century © Donald MacLeod

Matthew Cross carried over his excellent work from behind the stumps on Friday to in front of the stumps on Saturday as his unbeaten 51 propelled Scotland to a nine-wicket win over Nepal via the Duckworth/Lewis method. Resuming on 15 for 0 on the reserve day, in pursuit of a reduced 22-over target of 110, Scotland made it across the line with 49 balls to spare.

Kyle Coetzer was the only wicket to fall for Scotland. He fell four balls into the morning, bowled by Sompal Kami for 7. George Munsey and Cross took Scotland the rest of the way with an unbroken 91-run stand.

While defending the low target was always going to be difficult, Nepal's fast bowlers did not help themselves by bowling three no balls inside the first three overs when play resumed. Shortly after Coetzer was dismissed in the third over, a Kami no ball allowed Munsey to crack a free hit for six. Cross then seized on an overstep by Avinash Karn in the following over to send the ensuing free hit to the boundary as Scotland moved to 38 for 1 after four and never looked back.

Munsey brought up Scotland's 100 with his fourth boundary in the 13th over and Cross reached his 50 in 36 balls to take Scotland within one shot of victory. After a single by Cross, Munsey hit Basant Regmi for his fifth four to clinch the win.

On Friday, a gritty batting effort from the Nepal middle order helped them to a total of 167 in 49.1 overs, before a nearly four-hour delay at the innings break. Only 10 balls of the chase were played before rain halted play for the day.

Nepal were reduced to 41 for 4 in the 11th over after being sent in, but Sharad Vesawkar set the example to bat for time in the 50-over contest with 30 off 66 balls as Nepal lasted until the 50th before they were bowled out for 167.

Alasdair Evans made the most of tricky batting conditions, with on and off drizzle throughout the morning at Cambusdoon New Ground adding moisture to the pitch. His opening five-over spell went for 11 runs and claimed the wicket of Mahesh Chhetri, bounced out offering a tame hook that landed in Munsey's hands near the square-leg umpire for 3 in the third over.

As they did on Wednesday, Nepal had trouble piercing the infield during the Powerplay. Their only two boundaries in the opening 10 overs came off the bat of Gyanendra Malla, and Wednesday's centurion Anil Mandal fell for 9 after slicing Safyaan Sharif to Craig Wallace on the third man boundary.

Malla chose to attack debutant left-arm spinner Mark Watt's first delivery in the 10th over and paid the price for a missed sweep, being trapped leg before for 16. Captain Paras Khadka counterattacked to start the 11th with back-to-back drives to the cover rope off Gavin Main's first two deliveries but the medium-pacer adjusted his length to snare Khadka three balls later, stuck on the crease edging a back-of-a-length ball to Cross for 10.

With rain scheduled to get heavier by the afternoon and for most of Saturday as well, Vesawkar and Pradeep Airee wisely dug in to stretch out the innings. The pair combined for Nepal's most profitable stand - 33 runs across 12.2 overs. It took an extraordinary effort from Cross behind the stumps to break the partnership. Seeing Airee shape to paddle sweep offspinner Michael Leask, Cross moved to his left and timed a lunge perfectly to snare a ball that was headed down leg side in his gloves.

Cross claimed his third catch in far less theatrical fashion in the 31st over when Vesawkar's vigil finally ended, fishing outside off to give Evans his second wicket. Kami followed two overs later for Main's second, flashing an edge to Preston Mommsen at slip to make it 103 for 7.

Prithu Baskota kept Scotland on their toes by smacking Leask for six over wide long on and a four over mid off in the 36th, but otherwise Nepal's tail committed to a stubborn defense to keep Scotland in the field. Evans rounded off his 3 for 18 by trapping Baskota on the back leg for 16 in the 39th. Basant Regmi, the No.9 batsman, lasted the second-most deliveries behind Vesawkar, hanging around until the 46th over before he was bowled swinging across the line to Sharif for 19 off 43 balls to make it 145 for 9. Last man Karn and Shakti Gauchan added 22 for the final wicket to help Nepal finish on 167.

Munsey cracked two fours through the off side in the opening over of the chase before rain starting coming down at the start of the second over. The umpires hesitated before allowing play to continue as Coetzer clubbed the second ball of the second over past mid on through a steady rain. After two more balls, the umpires had enough and called a stop to proceedings on Friday as showers became increasingly heavy.

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

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