In a match that was going to have no bearing on the future of the competition, Scotland defeated Hong Kong by eight wickets. Hong Kong won the toss, and decided to have some batting practice against in the game, at Jamtha, Nagpur. However, they failed to impress too much, managing an underwhelming 127 for 7 in their 20 overs. Mark Chapman, with a 41-ball 40 was the only one who stood up to the Scotland bowling challenge. Rain intervened before Scotland could begin their innings. And when they resumed, they needed 76 in 10 overs, and got there without too much trouble. George Munsey raced away to 19, while Kyle Coetzer and Matthew Cross registered breezy 20s as Scotland got home in eight overs.
In the very first over of the chase, Munsey smashed Ryan Campbell into the cover boundary for four. Another four came through a thin bottom edge through fine leg. In the next over, Munsey heaved Tanwir Afzal to deep midwicket, and then hit one down the ground to long-on. He fell soon after, but opener Coetzer continued the good work. He lofted Nadeem Ahmed for a four over the bowler, and then pulled a long hop over midwicket. Cross came in and instantly blasted Campbell for a six over deep midwicket. He went on to blast another maximum over the sightscreen against Champan. The formalities were soon completed as Matt Machan slog swept Ahmed over the boundary ropes.
In what was arguably his last international game, 44-year-old Campbell fell for a duck. His eyes lit up seeing a wide delivery from Gavin Main, and he only managed to slice one towards third man. Babar Hayat punched and thumped fours through point and cover. But, his antics did not last long as he scooped one to deep midwicket, unable to get to the pitch of the ball, and thus checking his stroke. Hayat’s wicket made matters worse for Hong Kong since they had already lost Jamie Atkinson in the previous over. The keeper-opener gave a caught and bowled to Josh Davey as a ball bounced awkwardly from a length area.
Champan gave Hong Kong something to cheer about as he slammed Mark Watt for a six, sweeping him over deep square, and then finding the gap between deep midwicket and long on, against Rob Taylor. Anshuman Rath was beginning to give him good support, rotating the strike. But, a wild swipe against Machan brought the curtains down on his innings, as he was easily stumped. Skipper Tanwir Afzal then ran him out for a duck, failing to beat a diving stop and throw from Main. The only reason Hong Kong managed to get close to 120 was courtesy a couple of mighty sixes by Nizakat Khan off Machan.
Rath chipped in with a hard-fought 21, devoid of any boundaries, a rare occurrence in T20s, as Hong Kong struggled from start to end. Machan claimed two wickets for the Scots even as most others chipped in as well.
--By A Cricket Correspondent