Abu Dhabi: Hong Kong started the United Arab Emirates (UAE) Tri-Nation series on a high, beating Scotland by 7 wickets in the opening match, at Abu Dhabi on Sunday. Hong Kong first bowled out Scotland for 205 in 48.4 overs, led by their left-arm spinner Nadeem Ahmed, who took 4 for 33.
The Hong Kong response was set up by a brisk 43 by Christopher Carter. Batting at No. 4, captain Babar Hayat saw off the rest, guiding Hong Kong to a win with 34 balls to spare. Babar was named Man of the Match for his 110-ball unbeaten 79, an innings studded with 7 fours.
Earlier in the day, Babar had put Scotland in. Wicketkeeper Matthew Cross and captain Kyle Coetzer got them off to a brisk start, adding 49 in 11 overs before Coetzer was beaten by a straight delivery from Tanveer Ahmed and was bowled.
Unfortunately for Scotland, this was followed by a double-blow from left-arm spinner Nadeem: Calum MacLeod went first, trying to cut and playing it to point; soon afterwards, Josh Davey tried to hoick one over mid-off and mistimed. The score read 68 for 3 at this stage. Cross and debutant George Munsey resisted for a while before both fell in quick succession, leaving Scotland reeling at 110 for 5.
At this stage Craig Wallace joined Con de Wet de Lange, one of those rare men with two infixes. There was another double blow when de Lange retired hurt, and Safyaan Sharif hit Tanveer back to him next ball.
There was resistance from Mark Watt, who helped Wallace add 32 before trying to cut Nadeem, missing it completely, and being adjudged leg-before. Chris Sole committed the same error, trying to cut Nadeem, missing completely and getting bowled. The score read 181 for 9 when Brad Wheal was run out for a duck. De Langer walked out again.
Wallace cut loose in the 48th over, driving, cutting, flicking, and scooping Tanveer for four consecutive boundaries. Unfortunately, he lost his wicket in the next over, trying to reverse-sweep Aizaz Khan, missing completely, and falling for a 69-ball 53. Scotland were bowled out for 205, eight balls before the stipulated 50 overs. Nadeem bowled with guile to finish with 4 for 33, his fourth four-wicket haul and third in four matches.
Debutant Cameron McAuslan started cautiously in response, playing second-fiddle to Carter. McAuslan lost his middle-stump to Davey, but Babar eased into the situation, letting Carter do the scoring. Carter played his shots, and the pair kept milking the Scotland attack for singles.
Scotland - 205 (Wallace 53, Nadeem 4-33)
Hong Kong - 206 for 3 (Hayat 79*)
Result - Hong Kong won by seven wickets