It was again in the hands of the rain gods that thwarted a Scottish win over a Full member as Afghanistan escaped with a 2-run, 7-wickets win (DLS) over their host’s in the 2nd ODI match at the Grange in Edinburgh and win the series 1-0, after the 1st match was washed out due to, guess again, well, rain.
Powered by 2018 ICC Associate player of the year Calum MacLeod’s 8th ODI, Scotland posted a challenging 325/7 in their 50 overs and were in a neck-to-neck fight with Afghanistan, as the tourist’s were placed at 269/3 after the fifth ball of the 45th over, before rain stopped play. Asghar Afghan and Hashmatullah Shahidi did just about enough to keep Afghanistan ahead by 2-runs under Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method to win the contest.
Gulbadin Naib, Afghanistan’s new ODI captain, was the pick of the bowlers as he picked up 3/72 in his 10 overs, while Hamid Hassan took 2/55, playing his first ODI after 2016. Aftab Alam too picked up wickets at the death as Afghanistan made a good comeback to prevent Scotland from scoring more than 325.
Afghanistan’s innings revolved around Rahmat Shah’s 4th ODI century off 106 deliveries, as he controlled the chase after a good start by Mohammad Shahzad, who scored a half-century and Shahidi, who remained unbeaten on a half-century of his own, when the game ended abruptly.
Afghanistan now travel to Ireland to play a 2-match ODI series while Scotland will host Sri Lanka for a 2-match ODI series in this month. Both Afghanistan and Sri Lanka are in their final phase of preparations before the start of 2019 ICC Cricket World Cup.
Scotland 325/7 in 50 overs (Calum MacLeod 100, Kyle Coetzer 79, Richard Berrington 33, Matthew Cross 32, George Munsey 28, Gulbadin Naib 3/72, Hamid Hassan 2/55, Aftab Alam 2/66) lost to Afghanistan 269/3 in 44.5 overs (Rahmat Shah 113, Hashmatullah Shahidi 59 n.o, Mohammad Shahzad 55, Tom Sole 1/47, Alasdair Evans 1/45) by 7 wickets (2 runs in DLS method)