Dubai: Scotland's sporting October suffered another setback on Friday when their cricket team slumped to defeat at the hands of Singapore on the opening day of the 2020 T20 World Cup qualifying tournament.
The 12th-ranked Scots were set a target of 169 for victory but stumbled to a two-run loss despite needing just eight off the final over. Singapore, ranked 21 in the world, made 166-8 off their 20 overs with Surendran Chandramohan making a top score of 51.
The Scots were well-placed at 123-3 with the best part of five overs still to face before Singapore's bowlers slammed on the brakes. George Munsey (46) and Calum MacLeod (44) scored the bulk of the runs but a tight last over by Amjad Mahboob sealed a surprise win for the Asian side.
Defeat for Scotland comes in the same month that their rugby team was knocked out of the World Cup in the first round and their footballers suffered an abject Euro 2020 qualifying defeat in Russia.
"Before the second-last over, we had 19 to defend," said Mahboob. "But I had self-belief and confidence and I did it," he added.
In all, 14 nations are vying for six places at next year's World T20 in Australia by playing in the round-robin qualifiers. The United Arab Emirates went into the tournament without captain Mohammed Naveed, batsman Shaiman Anwar and right-arm pace bowler Qadeer Ahmed who have all been charged with corruption.
The team's mood darkened further when they slipped to a seven-wicket loss to Gulf neighbours Oman. The UAE crawled to 108-9 in 20 overs before Oman reached their target with 10 balls left. Elsewhere on Friday, Ireland beat Hong Kong by eight wickets with 16 balls to spare while the Netherlands saw off Kenya by 30 runs.
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