An unbeaten 82 by Calum MacLeod and three wickets apiece for Safyaan Sharif and Gordon Goudie guided Scotland to a surprisingly emphatic eight-wicket win over Nepal in their ICC World Twenty20 qualifier in Dubai on Monday.
Nepal were favourites coming into the match, topping Group B with two wins from their two games while Scotland had lost both their matches.
However, Sharif finished with three for 19 and Goudie took three for 29 – both off four overs – to set up a target of 138 which they reached with four balls to spare.
MacLeod propelled the run chase, his innings coming off 64 balls and including five fours and three sixes ably supported by Kyle Coetzer (20 not out) and Matt Machan (28) with stands of 73 and 48 respectively.
Scotland won the toss and chose to field although MacLeod was given a rude awakening when he was hit for eight off the first over including a six over midwicket by Subash Khakurel.
However, Khakurel was quickly removed from just the ninth delivery of the match when he lofted Sharif’s full delivery outside off stump straight into the hands of Rob Taylor at mid-off having made just six.
Gyanendra Malla joined Sagar Pun at the crease and they moved the score along to 30 when the latter was needlessly out for 11 off the bowling of Goudie, his top edge going to Majid Haq at fine leg.
Just five more runs were added when Goudie claimed his second victim of the over, Malla stumped by David Murphy and out for 14 to leave Nepal wobbling on 35 for three.
It called for some stability which Binod Bhandari and Paras Khadka provided, guiding the team to 82 when the former was caught by MacLeod off Sharif for 28 off 25 deliveries, his innings including two fours and two sixes.
Goudie claimed his third wicket when Khadka was caught by Murphy for 27 with Nepal now 102 for five.
Anil Mandal was lbw to Wardlaw for eight and Sharod Vesawkar was caught by Kyle Coetzer off Sharif for 16 in the final over as Nepal set Scotland an attainable target.
MacLeod hit successive fours off Jitendra Mukhiya as Scotland started their run chase but Richie Berrington (5) was removed with the score on 17, stumped by Khakurel off Basant Regmi.
MacLeod was joined by Machan and the pair put on 48 when the latter was out, attempting to sweep to square leg only for the bowler to claim the catch.
Machan had made 28 off 19 deliveries including a six and three fours.
Scotland reached the halfway stage needing 72 runs off 60 balls and entered the final over requiring two and a Regmi delivery to Coetzer which went for a leg bye steered them over the line.