Edinburgh : After securing a 3-0 series victory over Ireland, New Zealand continued their winning run, crushing Scotland by 68 runs in the T20I series opener at the Grange Cricket Club in Edinburgh.
It was a stroll in the park for the tourists who posted 225-5 in their 20 overs, on the back of opener Finn Allen’s maiden T20I century, 101 off 56 balls, laced with eight fours and six sixes.
In reply, Scotland never really got going in a mammoth chase of 226 and lost wickets in quick succession to end up at 157-8 in their 20 overs.Pushed into batting first, Scotland thought they had Martin Guptill out early in the innings off Chris Sole.
But he was adjudged to have bowled a no ball despite having Guptill caught at cover point.Guptill and Allen put on 85 runs for their opening partnership before the former was caught behind off a top-edge on the pull by wicketkeeper Matthew Cross off the bowling of Richie Berrington for 40.
Glenn Phillips then made 23 off 16 balls before he fell to Hamza Tahir when Michael Leask took a smart catch.Allen continued on his merry way though and brought up a brilliant century before he was stumped by Cross off the bowling of Mark Watt.
His 101 had come off just 56 balls and he hit 14 of New Zealand’s 29 boundaries in the innings. Allen also became the fifth New Zealand man to hit a T20I century. Daryl Mitchell made 23 not out and Jimmy Neesham smacked 30 off just nine balls as the Black Caps reached a daunting total.
For the hosts’, Berrington took 1-13, Tahir took 1-28, fellow spinner Watt 1-32 and Sole took a wicket, but leaked 72 runs. In reply, Scotland openers George Munsey and Calum MacLeod put on 62 for the first wicket before the former was caught by Allen in the ninth over off the bowling of leg-spinner Ish Sodhi.
Scotland then endured a batting slide as Ollie Hairs, MacLeod, Berrington and Cross fell to leave the hosts’ at 88-5 in the 13th over. Although Chris Greaves made 31 off 22 balls, Michael Leask chipped in with 12, Watt made 17 not out off 12 balls and Safyaan Sharif chipped in with 14, it was not enough for Scotland to avoid a crushing loss at home.
Sodhi was the star bowler for New Zealand, picking 4-28 and equaling his best-ever bowling figures in T20I cricket. The visitors will now play the second and final T20I of the series at the same venue on Friday, followed by a one-off ODI on Sunday.
Brief Scores: New Zealand 225-5 in 20 overs (Finn Allen 101, Martin Guptill 40; Hamza Tahir 1-28, Mark Watt 1-32) beat Scotland 157-8 in 20 overs (Calum MacLeod 33, Chris Greaves 31; Ish Sodhi 4-28, Mitchell Santner 2-23) by 68 runs.