SCOTLAND laid down a marker ahead of the T20 World Cup with a resounding victory over Papua New Guinea in Dubai.
The Saltires will take on the islanders in the first round – Bangladesh and hosts Oman are the other teams in the group – and demonstrated their intent as they ran out winners by eight wickets in this warm-up encounter.
George Munsey was the match-winner for the second time in a week, clouting another half-century from 33 balls to send Scotland on their way as they comfortably chased down 155.
After Oli Hairs was forced to retire hurt with a shoulder injury, Richie Berrington (41 not out) and Calum MacLeod (27 not out) saw Shane Burger’s men over the line with more than two overs to spare. Berrington underlined his terrific individual form by smashing a six to seal the win.
The victory extends Scotland’s undefeated sequence during this Middle East tour to six games, with the rained-off one-day international game in Oman the only one not to end in a win.
“I’m really happy to get another victory,” said Burger. “Winning becomes a habit and we’re certainly finding ways of getting over the line at the moment.
“At times we do make it pretty tough for ourselves and we’re still searching for that perfect game where we can put all our skillsets together, but that will hopefully come together in the World Cup.
“We are getting better and better and the belief is building. A couple of highlights today for me were the way the spinners bowled on a surface that probably helped them at times but could also be really challenging as our batters showed if you were willing to be ruthless. And then the way our batters just finished the game off.”
PNG had elected to bat and made a positive start, with captain Assad Vala leading the charge with a half-century before being caught and bowled by Hamza Tahir.
Sese Bau (38 not out) showed decent resistance in an innings that also included a debut wicket for leg spinner Chris Greaves who impressed with figures of 1/17 from his four overs.
PNG’s total, though, looked reachable and Scotland chased it down with plenty to spare ahead of today’s friendly against Namibia.
Munsey said: “It was a fantastic win for the lads. It’s still pretty hot out here, so to keep getting over the line is testament to the group, not only on the park but off it.
“I thought everyone really mucked in and it was another good day’s work – it was a good all-round performance. I think they had the better of us in the power play but for the bowlers and fielders to come back and keep them to what was probably just below par was a really good effort.
“It was a really good day and I’m really chuffed to contribute a few runs.”