New Zealand 102 for 2 (Taylor 61*) beat Scotland 101 (Oram 3-13, Elliott 3-14) by eight wickets
Scorecard and ball-by-ball details
The gap between the major cricket-playing countries of the world and the associate members remains large, despite occasional freak results, as New Zealand showed when they outclassed Scotland by eight wickets at Aberdeen today. First their pace attack tore apart the home side's batting, and then their batsmen hammered Scotland's main strength, their seamers, as the match was over in not much more than three hours' play.
New Zealand won the toss and put the home side in to bat under a grey overcast sky. Within an hour a steady and prolonged drizzle had started, but to their credit they opted to continue playing in the cold and rain - after all, they do play cricket at Dunedin. In any case, by then they were already well on top as the ball moved around considerably - Daniel Vettori said after the game the toss was major factor in the outcome - and Scotland's new batting confidence in recent months was crumbling rapidly.
Scotland's woes began in the first over. After a single by Gavin Hamilton, still wearing Fraser Watts' kit after his own had been stolen, the captain Ryan Watson again failed to score, playing a hesitant defensive stroke to a ball from Mark Gillespie and playing on to his stumps. Shortly afterwards Hamilton played over a low full toss from the same bowler, to be bowled for 6; the score was 12 for 2.
New Zealand moved in for the kill, resisted gallantly by the 'boys from the Hebrides', Qasim Sheikh and Navdeep Poonia. Sheikh dug in so firmly that he took 21 balls to score, while Pooniah, up from Warwickshire, was more aggressive before being caught down the leg side off Jacob Oram for 15. Colin Smith made 11 in positive mode, but his dismissal at 54 for 4 began a steady slide from which the team never recovered.
As the rain eased, John Blain and George Goudie, coming together at 75 for 8, finally brought a temporary halt to New Zealand's inexorable advance. But they only added 12 laborious runs before Blain went for 6. Goudie roused the crowd of about 200 from their depression when he lofted Vettori for six over long-on, and next over off-drove Michael Mason to the boundary to bring up the hundred.
Then another lbw decision, the fourth of the innings, from umpires who had been so conservative during the previous two days, brought it all to an end for 101, Dewald Nel being the victim to Vettori for 4. Goudie was left unbeaten on 17. Oram and Grant Elliott took three wickets each, Mason and Vettori two, and none of them conceded more than 20 runs. All that remained for Scotland was for their seamers to salvage some respect for their team as New Zealand faced an easy target.
Even this proved beyond their ability as they had the worst of the conditions, with the movement diminishing since the morning. New Zealand were out to waste no time in wrapping up the tournament and went for their strokes from the start, although they did get away with a few mistimed shots. Scotland had just one real feel-good moment when the opener Peter Fulton, after hitting a handsome four through midwicket, was trapped lbw by John Blain in the first over.
After that, though, it was more carnage. Ross Taylor was in murderous mood, although his fifty on this occasion dragged on for 34 balls, compared with the 19 he needed against Ireland, and included a six over third man off Nel. Brendon McCullum also hit Nel for an off-side six, over extra cover, but then his bat, with a strange cracking noise, lofted a catch to mid-on when he had made 22. He held it up with a chagrined look as he walked off, no doubt at the end of its useful life.
It took New Zealand two balls short of 15 overs to complete another overwhelming victory, with Taylor finishing unbeaten on 61 off 41 balls, and Scott Styris 14. Scotland had chance to use only their three frontline seamers, all of whom took a hammering. New Zealand came to Aberdeen, they saw, and they could scarcely have conquered more convincingly.