Scotland moved to four wins from four games today at the European qualifier for next year's Men's T20 World Cup after a comprehensive win over Austria. Elsewhere, Italy beat Denmark whilst Jersey beat Germany.
Put into bat at Goldenacre, Scotland’s opening pair of George Munsey and Ollie Hairs took apart the Austrian bowling attack with a partnership of 96 in only seven overs before Hairs fell for 23. Munsey kept going though, dominating the strike as he completed a century from only fifty balls as rain started to fall.
The rain didn’t get heavy enough to send the players from the field and Munsey accelerated. After reaching his century with a single, the next five balls all went to or over the boundary for a total of 26 to take him one short of his own record, equalled by Ollie Hairs yesterday.
He went on to score a Scottish record 132 before finally being trapped lbw by Abdullah Akbarjan. The runs kept coming and Scotland passed 200 for the third time in the tournament, eventually reaching a total of 232-2, with Richie Berrington hitting an unbeaten 40 from 19 balls in the final overs.
Austria offered very little resistance in reply, with Jaweed Sadran’s 15 their only score in double figures. Michael Leask was the pick of Scotland’s bowlers with 3-11 as they bowled their opponents out for just 66, winning by 166 runs.
Over at the Grange, Italy were put in to bat after they lost the toss and scored 150-8 from their 20 overs, Harry Manenti top scoring with 51 from 35 balls. Surya Ahmed and Saif Ahmad both took two wickets for Denmark.
After losing three early wickets, Denmark were looking in good shape as Taranjit Singh and Shangeev Thanikaithasan took the score from 24-3 in the fifth over to 104 when Thanikaithasan was run out for 29 in the 16th over.
Gareth Berg then bowled the 17th over and removed Lucky Ali, Saran Aslam and, crucially, Taranjit Singh for 52, leaving Denmark’s hopes in tatters. Berg picked up another wicket in the 19th over to finish with figures of 4-14 and Denmark were bowled out for 124 after being 104-3, losing by 26 runs.
In the afternoon game at the Grange, German captain Venkatraman Ganesan won the toss and asked Jersey to bat first, with the opening pair of Harrison Carlyon and Nick Greenwood putting on 36 before Carlyon mistimed a shot with the ball looping into the grateful hands of Dieter Klein.
Jersey moved Jonty Jenner up the order and it had the desired impact as Jenner began to score rapidly, with Greenwood being inspired and busting out some big hits of his own. Greenwood reached his fifty from 31 balls, whilst Jenner scored 46 from 24 balls before he reverse swept the ball to Faisal Bin Mubashir with the score on 111.
Greenwood added another 33 with Charlie Brennan before Brennan holed out to Sahir Naqash at long on. He would eventually end the innings unbeaten on 85 from 55 balls as Jersey recorded their highest T20I total – 189-5. There was concern for Jersey though as Ben Ward was forced to retire hurt after top edging the ball into his face.
The one bright spot in Germany's reply was the batting of Faisal Bin Mubashir who scored 57 from 50 balls. Julius Sumerauer took 4-22 as Germany were restricted to 139-8, losing by 51 runs.
The teams have a rest day tomorrow before action resumes on Thursday. Scotland will play Denmark at the Grange in the morning whilst over at Goldenacre, Ireland take on Germany. Austria will play Italy in the afternoon session at Goldenacre.