New Zealand sink Scotland in Dunedin

Kiwis

New Zealand made it two wins out of two in Pool A with a bizarre three-wicket victory against Scotland in Dunedin.

The Scots were reduced to 12-4 in the fifth over before Matt Machan (56) and Richie Berrington (50) put on 97.

Four batsmen fell first ball, a World Cup first, and only the third such instance in a one-day international, as they were 142 all out in the 37th over.

But New Zealand had more alarms than expected in a curious run chase, before winning with 25.1 overs to spare.

The Scots are in their third World Cup campaign and are yet to win a match in nine attempts, but came closer at the University Oval than anyone could have believed after such a destructive start.

They thrashed their higher ranked fellow qualifiers Ireland by 179 runs in a recent warm-up game yet it quickly became apparent they would not be emulating the Irish team’s victory over West Indies on Monday.

Facing an in-form New Zealand on their own patch was a rather different proposition to a fragmented Windies, and the co-hosts, semi-finalists six times, justified their position as one of the leading contenders for the trophy with a fine display in the field after winning the toss.

Left-arm seamer Trent Boult expertly exploited the conditions, swinging the ball back into the right-handers at pace to claim wickets with his opening two deliveries in the second over.

Tim Southee also struck with consecutive deliveries and there was concern the lowest World Cup total of 36 by Canada was in jeopardy.

But Sussex left-hander Machan played with calm assurance in a 79-ball innings to restore some respectability with the purposeful Berrington.

However, wily spinner Daniel Vettori wrapped up the innings with successive wickets and the Kiwis had almost 40 minutes of batting before the official lunch interval.

Skipper Brendon McCullum and opening partner Martin Guptill appeared to want to reach the target in the nine overs bowled before the break, with number of wickets lost not affecting a team’s overall run-rate in the group table, and both were caught behind in the mini-session.

The prolific Kane Williamson top-scored with 38 but edged seamer Josh Davey in the 18th over, one of four wickets to fall for 31 in a surprisingly ragged batting display from the Kiwis, who next face England in a day-night fixture in Wellington on Friday.

Scotland captain Preston Mommsen said he was “very proud” of his side after they ran the co-hosts so close.

Scotland’s next match is against England, in Christchurch on Monday.