Black Caps see off brave Scots
Scotland went close to registering the second major shock of the ICC World Twenty20 before slumping to defeat against New Zealand in a rain-hit match at The Oval.
A day after Holland rocked the tournament by beating England at Lord's in the opening match, Scotland delivered an impressive batting display but eventually were outclassed.
Put in to bat in a match reduced to just seven overs a side by steady morning rain, Scotland raced to a competitive total of 89 for four despite losing three wickets in the last three balls of the innings.
Although New Zealand lost three wickets in successive overs after making a good start, they went on to clinch their seven-wicket triumph with an over to spare.
Scotland opener Ryan Watson took the attack to New Zealand and signalled his intentions with an attempted pull off the first ball of the innings from Iain O'Brien, which flew over the wicketkeeper for four.
It was the start of a stunning cameo from Watson, who scored 27 from 10 balls and provided the impetus for Scotland’s batting display.
New Zealand did not begin to assert control until they introduced seamer Ian Butler in the third over.
Butler struck with his first first delivery to dismiss Watson, who was caught in the deep attempting to hit over cover.
Kyle Coetzer and opener Navdeep Poonia added 50 in just 22 balls to leave New Zealand, one of the dark horses for the tournament, starting to panic about the target they would face.
Durham batsman Coetzer was given one reprieve when he was dropped on four by acting New Zealand captain Brendan McCullum, filling in for Daniel Vettori while he recovers from a slight shoulder problem.
He went on to hit a brilliant 33 from 15 balls, which included three fours and two sixes, before edging Butler to wicketkeeper Peter McGlashan with just two balls of the innings remaining.
Poonia was run out off the next ball attempting a quick single and then Butler bowled Colin Smith to finish with three for 19 and prevent Scotland exploiting the last over as they would have liked.
Needing a tight first over from young Warwickshire seamer Calum MacLeod, drafted into the squad following the walk-out of John Blain last week, his inexperience showed and McCullum hammered him for 19.
That gave New Zealand the early momentum and openers McCullum and Jesse Ryder took full advantage by racing to a 51-run stand in only 19 balls which effectively settled the contest.
Scotland at least provided a battling response with Ryder caught on the boundary after hitting two fours and two sixes off the previous four balls from Craig Wright.
Perhaps the most bizarre dismissal of the match came in the next over, however, with seamer Gordon Drummond handing New Zealand a free hit after being penalised for over-stepping and McCullum drove to extra cover where Coetzer missed a regulation catch.
His fumble persuaded the New Zealand captain to take a run, but Ross Taylor misunderstood and McCullum was run out attempting to return to his crease.
Jacob Oram fell in the next over, caught in the deep off impressive off-spinner Watson, but Taylor guided New Zealand home with an over to spare with a hard-hitting 21 off 10 balls.