Afghanistan's pace bowlers, ably supported by captain Mohammad Nabi's gentle off-spin, produced a superb bowling effort to dismiss Scotland for 210 in their World Cup Pool A clash in Dunedin on Thursday.
Majid Haq (31) and Alasdair Evans (28) ground out a 62-run ninth-wicket partnership to ensure the Scots lasted the full 50 overs and had something of a target to defend against an Afghanistan side whose primary strength is their bowling.
Scotland's innings was one of fits and starts as they lost wickets in bunches, consolidated with promising partnerships, only to again lose batsmen in quick succession.
Nabi won the toss and chose to bat on a University Oval pitch that had a bit more grass on it than those used in the two previous World Cup matches in Dunedin.
Opening bowlers Shapoor Zadran (4-38) and Dawlat Zadran (3-29) were right on target from the beginning, putting pressure on Scotland's batsmen with their accurate line and length even if there was little movement in the air or off the pitch.
Kyle Coetzer was the only player in Scotland's top three to really settle as he quickly moved to 25 from 27 balls with five boundaries but then got bogged down and fell shortly after Hamish Gardiner to leave Scotland 40-3 in the 12th over.
Matt Machan (31) and Preston Mommsen (23) then put on a 53-run partnership before they fell within six balls of each other, while Richie Berrington and Matt Cross (15) added 37 runs before their partnership was broken.
Josh Davey followed two overs later before Berrington was well caught by wicketkeeper Afsar Zazai for 25 off another superb delivery from Dawlat that left the bowlers to see out the remaining 13 overs.
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Updated Date: Feb 26, 2015 07:51:36 IST