Afghanistan bowled Scotland out for 210 runs in a World Cup Pool A game at the University Oval in Dunedin on Thursday. After skipper Mohamad Nabi won the toss and decided to bowl first, Afghanistan’s opening bowlers Shapoor Zadran (4/38) and Dawlat Zadran (3/29) put up a fine display and never allowed the Scottish to break free.
Lower-order batsmen Alasdair Evans (28) and Majd Haq (31) put up a 62-run stand for the ninth wicket that ensured that Scotland cross the 200-run mark. Afghanistan bowlers maintained a tight line and length and with the support of a lively Oval pitch, they spelt trouble for the Europeans very early. Opener Calum McLeaod failed to open his account after facing 10 balls as the batsman offered a simple catch to Najibullah Zadran at backward point off a Dawlat delivery.
Another medium pacer Hamid Hassan (1/32) trapped new batsman Hamish Gardiner (5) in front of the wickets to leave Scotland in a spot of bother at 38/2 in 10.5 overs. It was a struggle for Gardiner as he couldn’t get it going despite staying at the crease for 20 balls.
Kyle Coetzer (25), who scored 71 against England in their last match, looked good but he also perished. Right-arm medium pacer Dawlat ran through his defence to leave them reeling at 40/3.
Matt Machchan (31) and skipper Preston Mommsen (23) were in a damage control mode and they put up a 53-run partnership for the fourth wicket before Nabi rattled the stumps of the former.
Gulbadin Naib forced an edge off Mommsen bat which was gleefully accepted by wicketkeeper Afsar Zafai to leave the Scottish in further trouble at 95/5 in 22.2 overs.
Left-arm pacer Shapoor started his wicket-taking spree, dismissing Matthew Cross (15), Josh Davey (1). Dawlat hunted back to take the wicket of Richie Berrington (25) that dismantled Scotland at 144/4 in 36.4 overs.
Evans and Haw came to Scotland’s rescue before both of them were dismissed by Shapoor. Iain Wardlaw remained unbeaten for 1. Brief Scores: Scotland 210 (Majid Haq 31, Alasdair Evans 28; Shapoor Zadran 4/38 and Dawlat Zadran 3/29) against Afghanistan. (IANS)