CRICKET: SCOTS MUST IMPROVE AGAINST PAPUA NEW GUINEA
Chad Soper impressed with bat and ball as Papua New Guinea took control of the ICC Intercontinental Cup cricket match against Scotland at Amini Park.
The bowler added a crucial 60 with the bat before striking twice in the Scotland reply to leave them 177 for four at the close, still 227 runs behind.
Soper, who was unbeaten overnight, put on 93 for the eighth wicket with Norman Vanua (64) before he was caught behind off Chris Sole, while Damien Ravu (32) helped PNG reach 404 with some crucial lower-order runs.
Scotland made a confident start through skipper Kyle Coetzer and George Munsey but lost the key wicket of their captain with the score on 64.
Soper followed that up by having Munsey caught behind after bringing up his halfcentury before Mahuru Dai had Calum MacLeod trapped in front for 49 to make it 146 for three.
Matthew Cross fell cheaply just before the close of play to give Jason Gillespie’s side control, with Soper and Dai claiming two wickets apiece and leaving Scotland in need of a strong start today.
Rangana Herath made history as the first left-arm spinner to reach 400 Test wickets as Sri Lanka bowled Pakistan out for 114 to pull off a remarkable 21run win in Abu Dhabi.
Sri Lanka’s hopes of inflicting a first ever defeat on the hosts at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium appeared slim after they were bowled out for 138 and could therefore set Pakistan only 136 to win.
But veteran Herath (six for 43) and his fellow finger spinner Dilruwan Perera (three for 46) had other ideas.
Sri Lanka resumed on 69 for four on the final morning and doubled that total for the loss of their last six wickets as leg-spinner Yasir Shah (five for 51) did most damage.
Niroshan Dickwella remained defiant, however, and when Pakistan’s batsmen then hit almost immediate trouble it became clear the Sri Lanka wicketkeeper’s unbeaten 40 could well be significant. So it proved as Herath finished the match with his 400th wicket when number 11 Mohammad Abbas was last out lbw, and it will be Sri Lanka who start the second and final Test with a 1-0 lead in Dubai on Friday.
South Africa made short work of Bangladesh early on the final day of the first cricket Test to complete a 333run victory in Potchefstroom yesterday.
Faf du Plessis’ men were without injured seamer Morne Morkel but ran through the tourists nonetheless as left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj (four for 25) and fast bowler Kagiso Rabada (three for 33) did the damage in a total of 90 all out.
Bangladesh resumed on 49 for three in notional pursuit of 424 but were able to summon precious little resistance.
“Soper, who was unbeaten overnight, put on 93 for the eighth wicket”
ON STRIKE: Kyle Coetzer in action for Scotland