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Page last updated at 19:38 GMT, Monday, 4 August 2008 20:38 UK

Third for Scots in Twenty20 bid

By Mark Woods
BBC Sport at Stormont

Ryan Watson scored 54
Ryan Watson led from the front for Scotland with a half-century

Scotland secured third place in the 2009 World Twenty20 qualifiers with an impressive nine-wicket win over Kenya.

Dewald Nel took 3-10 as the Kenyans, led by 28 from Raghed Aga, made 106-9 from their 20 overs.

But Ryan Watson (54) and Kyle Coetzer (48 not out) produced an opening partnership of 102 that set up victory with 11 balls to spare.

The Scots' place in England still depends on confirmation that Zimbabwe will not take part.

Yet there was relief that Watson's men had rebounded after their disappointing semi-final loss to the Netherlands to provisionally book a spot in a group in next June's competition that also includes South Africa and New Zealand.

BBC Sport's Mark Woods

"I'm just glad to be there after a couple of tough games against the Dutch and the Irish," said Watson, the man of the match.

"I thought we played well over the tournament. But we stuck in."

After the Saltires were put in to field first, they made an early breakthrough, courtesy of Nel, although the former Worcestershire seamer made no appeal prior to the decision from umpire Darrell Hair to give Morris Ouma out lbw.

Gordon Drummond threaded a clever ball that crept between Nehemiah Odhiambo's pad and bat to capsize middle stump that sent the 24-year-old packing on 11.

Then Richie Berrington began to pick away at the middle order en route to figures of 2-22. Elijah Otieno had made 14 before finding only air with a loose straight drive, but Steve Tikolo hung around, providing a captain's resistance.

He put on 25 in partnership with fellow veteran Kennedy Odoyo before Berrington took the prize scalp with a straight and true ball, and at the outset of the next over, the recalled Gregor Maiden triggered the exit of Odoyo with Smith taking a simple catch.

I'm just glad to be there after a couple of tough games against the Dutch and the Irish

Scotland captain Ryan Watson

The Kenyans were in trouble but they put up the barricades, Ragheb Aga deftly holding the Scots at bay with a battling knock of 28 off 25 balls.

Although John Blain was rewarded for his tireless endeavour with a wicket from his final over, a perfect yorker sneaking past young left-hander Rakep Patel, Tikolo's troops pushed towards the century mark.

However, their progress was slowed when Nel elicited a punt to Watson at midwicket by James Kamande and he claimed a third wicket moments after when Aga attempted to blast a full ball over long-off but found Nav Poonia lurking.

Three figures eventually came up in the final over, although there was time for late confusion which saw Peter Ongondo stifled on eight after he and Tony Suji were stranded at the same end.

Chasing 107 for victory, Watson and Kyle Coetzer did what they had done against the Dutch hours earlier, planting themselves in the firing line and resisting as best they could. This time, they were utterly stoic.

The Durham batsman played the foil, allowing Watson - ignoring an ankle injury - to build an innings of timing and patience.

"It was important not to lose early wickets and give Kenya a sniff," the Forfarshire stalwart admitted.

Both men were helped by loose fielding from the Kenyans that left ample holes to exploit as the Scots reached 50 for no loss at the conclusion of the tenth over.

That sparked Coetzer to demonstrate the kind of tranquillity under pressure that saw him take a key role in Durham's successful Friends Provident Trophy campaign of 2007.


Battling still to regain his county spot, the Aberdonian underlined his worth in this return for his country, tearing into Aga on his introduction with a delicious flick to the square-leg boundary, and then a powerful drive to long-on.

Their centurion stand, the first of the tournament, came from 102 deliveries, just after Watson had sealed his half-century with a cover drive pair off Suji.

When the Scottish skipper drove Aga for four, it left his team in need of just six from the last 18 balls to romp home.

Watson narrowly failed to carry his bat when he was caught by Varaiya at mid-off, but his skilful stint, which included six fours, had already proven fatal to Kenyan hopes.

Poonia added a single but fittingly, Coetzer turned a full delivery through mid-wicket to seal the triumph, the ball agonisingly halting just short of the ropes to deny what would have been a deserved 50 for the Durham player.

see also
Ireland book World Twenty20 spot
04 Aug 08 |  Cricket
Ireland defeat Scots at Stormont
03 Aug 08 |  Cricket
Scots & Irish eye World Twenty20
01 Aug 08 |  Cricket
Zimbabwe to miss World Twenty20
04 Jul 08 |  Cricket
County players back for Twenty20
03 Jul 08 |  Cricket

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