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Page last updated at 12:42 GMT, Saturday, 6 June 2009 13:42 UK

New Zealand given scare by Scots

ICC World Twenty20, Group D, The Oval
New Zealand 90-3 beat Scotland 89-4 by seven wickets

Match scorecard

New Zealand's Jesse Ryder

Highlights - New Zealand survive Scotland scare

By Oliver Brett

New Zealand were given an almighty scare by Scotland's batsmen before eventually easing to a seven-wicket win in their ICC World Twenty20 opener.

Rain reduced the match to seven overs per side, and Scotland were in with a chance after hammering 89-4 on a terrific batting deck at The Oval.

But three no-balls, and a dropped catch which disappeared for four, cost the Scots dearly as New Zealand got home.

They won by seven wickets with an over to spare, Ross Taylor unbeaten on 21.

Scotland captain Gavin Hamilton praised his batsmen's efforts but said the team were not good enough in the bowling and fielding department.

"If you'd told me we'd come here today and get 90 against New Zealand I'd have bitten your hand off but in the end we just weren't up to it.

Sharma's Adam's Apple

"We got our first half right but that's not good enough at this level.

"We were well aware of what they were going to throw at us. We had plans but the execution wasn't quite right."

The game finally got under way at 1220 BST, more than two hours behind schedule because of rain, and New Zealand were happy to win the toss and put their opponents in.

But Ryan Watson came out with guns blazing, smashing Iain O'Brien for four boundaries from the opening over.

Twelve runs came off the second over, bowled by James Franklin, and the Black Caps were under serious pressure.

Even after Watson finally fell to Ian Butler, holing out in the covers, Kyle Coetzer smashed his first ball for four and the onslaught continued apace.

The gentle medium pace of Jesse Ryder, who was called on to bowl the fifth over, could not staunch the flow: Coetzer drilled a wonderful six over wide mid-off either side of two further boundaries.

Ryan Watson
Ryan Watson ended up on the losing side despite some fine hitting

Then Navdeep Poonia hammered Jacob Oram high into the stands, and with three balls left of the innings Scotland were 89-1.

Back came Butler, who had Coetzer caught behind before clean-bowling Colin Smith. In between, Poonia was run out so the last three balls had failed to move the total.

Nevertheless, New Zealand began their chase with an eye-watering required run-rate of 12.86.

Skipper Brendon McCullum, deputising for the injured Daniel Vettori, was given an inviting unprotected offside boundary for the first over, bowled by Gordon Drummond.

He calmly gave himself room and cleared the in-fielders for four balls in succession and New Zealand were in the hunt.

Ryder took slightly longer to warm up, but spectacularly took 20 runs off the first four balls off Craig Wright's over, the third of the innings, before holing out at long-off.

Despite the needless subsequent run-out of McCullum, New Zealand needed just 26 from the last three overs and were suddenly cruising home.

Watson came up to bowl the only over of spin in the match, and should have had Oram caught by Drummond. But the nervous fielder failed to get his hands under the chance, and ended up drop-kicking it in absurd fashion over the boundary.

No further runs were scored in an excellent over from Watson, but Jan Stander's first ball was a no-ball, and the resultant free hit was deposited over long-on for six by Taylor. Two more sixes in the over settled the issue.

Afterwards McCullum said: "It was a tight one. We got an incredible game of cricket inside 14 overs.

"At half-time we were pretty nervous as the Scottish boys played incredibly well with the bat.

"Our bowlers didn't perform as we would have hoped and we'll have to work on that.

"Jesse Ryder hit the ball incredibly well and we've shown how dangerous our batting can be and hopefully we'll see more of it in the rest of the tournament."

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see also
World Twenty20 tables
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Rampant Windies overpower Aussies
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India too strong for Bangladesh
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Scotland aim for Twenty20 upset
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England deny Scots in warm-up win
02 Jun 09 |  Cricket
Hamilton plays down Twenty20 row
02 Jun 09 |  Scotland
Scots make changes for Twenty20
06 May 09 |  Scotland

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