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Scotland go closer to the League 2 summit with a victory over UAE

A century stand between Calum MacLeod and Matthew Cross set the stage for a third Scotland victory in their final home tri-lateral series. Scotland’s winning streak in CWC League 2 was extended with a convincing victory over the United Arab Emirates in Aberdeen. This victory enabled Scotland to extend their winning streak to three consecutive matches. In the 100th one-day international of the competition, the visiting team was bowled out for 86 runs short after Mark Watt got 5 for 33. With this victory, Scotland has closed the gap with Oman at the top of the standings, and they now trail the Omanis by only four points with nine matches left to play.

After being put into bat, the home team appeared to be in a precarious position early on as both of their openers were dismissed for low scores. Kyle Coetzer was bowled by Junaid Siddique in the next over, and Craig Wallace’s second attempt to scoop Kashif Daud resulted in a top edge that was caught by the keeper. MacLeod and Micahel Jones got Scotland past fifty in the thirteenth over, but then Jones popped a return catch to Ahmed Raza, and at 54/3 the UAE appeared to be in command of the game.

They were made to pay for missed opportunities however, as Macleod brought up his half century by glancing Zahoor Khan to deep fine leg for one in the 28th over, and then Vritya Aravind, who had already missed a stumping opportunity, dropped a difficult bottom edge off Zahoor Khan. Macleod brought up his half century by glancing Zahoor Khan to deep fine leg for one in the 28th over. After putting up 113 runs for the fourth wicket together, the two batsmen were separated when MacLeod was caught by Basil Hameed for 77 runs. Cross persisted despite the fact that wickets were falling around him, and he found help in number eight Mark Watt. Together, they brought Scotland as far as 252/7 until Rohan Mustafa sent Cross out for 85 runs in the penultimate over.

Aravind’s courageous fifty from number four kept the UAE in the game even as Watt deprived him of partners. The objective of 255 appeared to be fully chaseable, but while all of the Emirati top order earned starts, none of them reached 25. Aravind was the only one. The youthful wicketkeeper-batsman reached his half-century by running Sharif down to deep third in the 35th over with his team still in the hunt at 145/6. However, he became Watt’s fourth victim in the following over and was caught by MacLeod for exactly fifty runs. After that point, the innings went downhill very quickly, as Watt finished up his five-wicket haul by taking a return catch to dismiss the captain Ahmed Raza. As a result, the United Arab Emirates were bowled out for 168 with nine overs left to play.

Oman having already played all of their matches, Scotland now look well on course to surpass them and earn the League 2 championship, albeit the possibility of promotion that was going to go with it has become irrelevant due to the upcoming cancellation of the CWC Super League. However, they are virtually guaranteed to place in the top three, and will therefore advance to the next round of the World Cup Qualifier. The defeat for UAE, who are currently in third place, lowers their standing in comparison to competitors for the third qualifying spot like Namibia and Nepal as well as the United States, whom they will compete against once more tomorrow.

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