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If Scotland’s two clashes against the United States over the last week are anything to go by, it could be a rivalry that will produce plenty of brilliant cricket over the coming years as the two sides played out another thriller, this time in Dubai but Scotland came out winners with a thrilling chase at the ICC Academy Ground.

Scotland perhaps surprisingly chose to bowl first having failed to chase down USA’s total earlier in the week but with a green tinge to the pitch Josh Davey struck with just the 8th delivery of the innings to remove Monank Patel for a duck. That brought Steven Taylor to join Xavier Marshall and they put on a fluent partnership of 87, both were dismissed just after passing their respective 50s.

With Aaron Jones failing for the first time on the tour and Ian Holland being bowled by Mark Watt, USA had gone from 93 for 1 to 123 for 5 and were in big trouble.

A crucial partnership between Akshay Homraj and Nisarg Patel rescued the innings before some lusty late blows from Cameron Stevenson drove the innings up beyond 200 and to a score that looked right around par at 249 for 9 from 50 Overs.

The fine form of USA’s seamers continued as Netravalkar and Stevenson removed Scotland’s openers inside the first dozen overs but it was Calum MacLeod again that looked to hold the key to the Scottish chase. His impressive 50 combined with solid contributions from Jones and Berrington had Scotland in the ascendancy.

Team USA’s never say die attitude in the field found the breakthroughs they needed, as Nisarg Patel trapped Berrington LBW before Stevenson bounced out Munset, and when Kenjige ran out MacLeod, USA had swung the whole game back in their favor.

Scotland at this point still needed 58 runs at more than a run a ball with just 4 wickets in hand, but the game swung again on the back of a versatile partnership between the all-rounders Davey and Sharif.

USA fought as hard as they could but couldn’t find the breakthrough they needed as the Scots held their nerve to grind out a nervy 4 wicket win with just 7 balls to spare as they closed the gap on USA at the top of the table.

So for USA it’s 3 wins from 4 in Sharjah and Dubai, James Pamment and his men will be happy with their returns but will be thinking of what could have been in the final match of the week which could have extended the lead at the top of the points table even further. USA will enter 2020 with a 3 point cushion on the ‘Road to India’ as all 7 teams try to gain one of the 3 automatic qualifying spots at the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2022.

Team USA’s schedule in the UAE was as follows:

December 8 USA vs United Arab Emirates, Sharjah Cricket Stadium – Won by 3 wickets
December 9 USA vs Scotland, Sharjah Cricket Stadium – Won by 35 runs
December 12 USA vs United Arab Emirates, ICC Academy Ground, Dubai – Won by 98 runs
December 14 USA vs Scotland, ICC Academy Ground, Dubai – Lost by 4 wickets

See the full series of results and scorecards by clicking here.

Team USA squad:

Saurabh Netravalkar (C – Marin 1, Northern California Cricket Association)
Steven Taylor (VC – Sheffield Cricket Club, New York Metropolitan Cricket League)
Karima Gore (Antigua)
Ian Holland (Hampshire, England)
Akshay Homraj (Galaxy Cricket Club, Eastern American Cricket Association)
Elmore Hutchinson (Caribbean CC, Southern California Cricket Association)
Aaron Jones (Atlantis Cricket Club, New York Metropolitan Cricket League)
Nosthush Kenjige (Atlantis Cricket Club, New York Metropolitan Cricket League)
Xavier Marshall (Triggers Cricket Club, Houston Cricket League)
Monank Patel (Freedom Cricket Club, Cricket League of New Jersey)
Nisarg Patel (Vijayta Cricket Club, Southern California Cricket Association)
Timil Patel (Vijayta Cricket Club, Southern California Cricket Association)
Cameron Stevenson (Carlton Cricket Club, Australia)
Rusty Theron (Potomac Cricket Club, Washington Cricket League)