The BLACKCAPS collected two critical points in their second match of the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 against Scotland, winning by three wickets at University Oval in Dunedin.
After a terrific start to their campaign with a 98 run win over Sri Lanka, the BLACKCAPS were wary of not taking Scotland lightly. A ruthless bowling performance didn’t disappoint and Dan Vettori and Adam Milne successfully saw the BLACKCAPS across the line with the bat.
Swing kings Tim Southee and Trent Boult put Scotland on the back foot early and the visitors wouldn’t recover, eventually all out for 142 after 36.2 overs. The BLACKCAPS pursuit was far from faultless, but they got there by three wickets in the 25th over.
Having won the toss and opted to bowl, Southee and Boult terrorised the Scotland top order, reducing them to 12-4.
The onslaught began in the second over, with Boult trapping both Calum MacLeod and Hamish Gardiner lbw for nought in consecutive balls. His hat-trick ball was unsuccessful, but with four slips and a gully the BLACKCAPS were in full attack mode and it wasn’t long before they made further inroads.
Southee dismissed opener Coetzer on the first ball of the fifth over and then gave himself an opportunity for a hat-trick when he trapped Preston Mommsen lbw the following delivery. He too missed out, but the BLACKCAPS remained in a powerful position.
Scotland though would show plenty of fight, with a partnership of 97 between Matt Machan (56) and Richie Berrington (50) taking the BLACKCAPS momentum away. Unfortunately for the duo, both would fall shortly after bringing up their half-centuries, once again giving the initiative back to the home side.
Corey Anderson would make the breakthrough in the 28th over, drawing Machan into a hook shot, only to get a top edge and be caught by Brendon McCullum. It left Scotland 109-5 and was the beginning of the end of their innings.
Anderson collected a further two scalps and chimed in with three wickets as well, flying through the final six wickets for just 33 runs.
It had been a dominant display with the ball by the BLACKCAPS, with Anderson (3-18) and Vettori (3-24) leading the wickets column. However the early demolition by Boult and Southee had instigated the assault and left Scotland with a mountain to climb if they were to post a competitive total – and they’d prove to fall short.
Martin Guptill and McCullum got off to a speedy start, but both departed after a flurry of boundaries. Taylor then fell in the 11th over, to make the BLACKCAPS 66-3.
Kane Williamson steadied things nicely with 38 and Grant Elliott chipped in with 29, but wickets still feel at semi-regular intervals and at 117-5 a few fans might have started feeling a bit nervous.
Despite Anderson falling for 11, cool heads prevailed and Vettori clipped the winning runs over the slips in the 25th over to take the win, the two CWC points and put the team at the top of Group A. Improvements are needed for England on Friday in the capital, but no-one will be more aware of that than the BLACKCAPS.