Scotland take charge in Sharjah
Scotland took control on the first day of the inaugural ICC Intercontinental Cup final at Sharjah, bowling Canada out for 110 and taking a lead of 70 by the close
Scotland 180 for 3 (Lockhart 64, Hamilton 70*) lead Canada 110 (Billcliff 31, Blain 3-27, Watson 3-1) by 70 runs
Canada's captain Ian Billcliff on his way to 31 at Sharjah
Scotland took control on the first day of the inaugural ICC Intercontinental Cup final at Sharjah, bowling Canada out for 110 and taking a lead of 70 by the close. Gavin Hamilton, the former England Test allrounder, was unbeaten on 70 at stumps.
Canada won the toss but made a poor start, losing Ashif Mulla to the last ball of the first over of the match, bowled by John Blain. Wickets then fell at regular intervals - the best partnerships the Canadians could muster were a brace of 24s. Blain finished with 3 for 27, and Ryan Watson made sure the tail did not wag, picking up the eye-catching figures of 3 for 1.
Only Ian Billcliff, Canada's New Zealand-born captain, resisted for long. He made 31, before becoming the eighth man out and the first of Watson's three victims. Canada certainly missed their absent captain John Davison, who was forced out of the closing stages of this tournament as he was needed to play for South Australia.
When Scotland batted Fraser Watts was an early casualty, caught by Billcliff off Austin Codrington for 2, although there was some debate about whether it was a bump-ball. But Douglas Lockhart held firm, making a polished 64 with nine fours. He put on 40 with Cedric English, then 101 with Hamilton, who showed his county-cricket pedigree with a fine innings which has so far included six fours.
Scotland have displayed a deep batting order so far in this tournament, and a repeat performance tomorrow should put the match - and the trophy - beyond Canada's reach.
Canada 1 Zubin Surkari, 2 Ashif Mulla (wk), 4 Don Maxwell, 4 Ian Billcliff (capt), 5 Haninder Dhillon, 6 Sunil Dhaniram, 7 Austin Codrington, 8 Sanjayan Thuraisingam, 9 Umar Bhatti, 10 Kevin Sandher, 11 Ashish Patel.
Scotland 1 Douglas Lockhart, 2 Fraser Watts, 3 Cedric English, 4 Gavin Hamilton, 5 Ryan Watson, 6 Colin Smith (wk), 7 Kyle Coetzer, 8 Craig Wright (capt), 9 John Blain, 10 Paul Hoffmann, 11 Asim Butt.