New Zealand v Scotland

World Twenty20, 2009

At The Oval, June 6. New Zealand won by seven wickets. New Zealand 2 pts. Toss: New Zealand. Twenty20 international debuts: C. S. MacLeod, J. H. Stander.

After England's humbling the night before, it briefly looked as if New Zealand might be ambushed by a Scotland team missing three of their fastest bowlers. Rain delayed the 10 a.m. start by over two hours, allowing only a seven-over slog on what remained a true pitch. Watson greeted the first ball with an edged four over the keeper, and finished the over with three more boundaries. When the shortened powerplay ended, six balls later, Scotland were flying at 30 without loss. Butler's off-cutter deceived Watson, but Coetzer maintained the tempo against Ryder's inviting medium-pace. Scotland, however, lost three wickets from the last three balls - two for Butler sandwiching a run-out - as themomentum shifted. Ryder reverted to his stronger suit, hammering the ball so hard the Scots risked life and limb in the field; New Zealand passed 50 from the fourth ball of the third over. That base was enough to bring victory, despite slapstick running that saw Brendon McCullum run out off a free hit, and a stand-out over by Watson, whose off-spin was Scotland's only variation on military-medium. He conceded just one scoring shot - and that a dropped catch. What havoc might Vettori, absent with a sore shoulder, have wreaked?

Man of the Match: I. G. Butler. Attendance: 18,731.

© John Wisden & Co.