Scotland has opened the Desert T20 cup with a comfortable win against Hong Kong on the back of a record 127-run partnership between Calum Mcleod and Richie Berrington.
The Scots posted 3-189 from its 20 overs and restricted Hong Kong to 6-165 in reply.
Windy conditions greeted both sides as they arrived at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium in Abu Dhabi with the wind so strong that it carried the coin toss over the head of Scotland Captain Kyle Coetzer after he flipped the coin.
However the blustery conditions didn’t adversely affect the two sides as Scotland won the toss and elected to bat first.
Openers Coetzer and his partner Henry Munsy batted with composure and patience in the early exchanges before showing off an array of shots around the ground. The Hong Kong bowlers struggled with their line and length and only briefly found itself back in the contest with the ball.
That came in the 8th over when off-spinner Ehsan Khan removed both of Scotland’s openers to reduce it to 2-62.
This only seemed to cause more issues for Hong Kong as Berrington and McLeod combined for a masterful 127-run link.
McLeod played some unorthodox reverse sweeps and paddles to constantly frustrate the Hong Kong attack whilst Berrington played a more classical innings using his feet to drive and whip the ball square of the wicket. His first six not coming until the 16th over when he forcefully struck a ball wide of Long On.
Berrington finished unbeaten on 60 from 39 balls in an innings that included two fours and two sixes. Whilst Mcleod was at his swush-buckling best with 60 from 34 balls with three towering sixes.
Hong Kong made a good start to their mammoth run chase, but were undone but poor shot selection (both Nizakat Khan and Babar Hayat picked out fielders in the deep when Scotland had just the two men out during the powerplay). A pair of run outs from some marevllous fielding pretty much extinguished any hopes that Hong Kong had although its fans got some entertainment in the latter part of the innings in the form of off-spinner Ehsan Khan who slapped 42 from 22 balls with three sixes. He was well supported by wicket-keeper Shahid Wasif who struck 40 from just 25 balls to motor Hong Kong to a respectable 6-165 from its 20 overs.
In the second match of the tournament, Afghanistan defeated Ireland by five-wickets with eight balls remaining.