Cricket Scotland: Matt Machan eyes major improvement

By Kenny CrawfordBBC Sport Scotland
Cricket Scotland's Matt Machan
Matt Machan scored 86 against Ireland

Batsman Matt Machan reckons Scotland need to raise their game by as much as 30% as they prepare for the World Cup in February.

Monday's one-day warm-up defeat by Ireland followed a loss to Afghanistan last Thursday.

"We're not playing our best cricket at the moment as a team," Machan told BBC Scotland.

"I still think there's about 20 to 30% that everyone could lift in their game, and that showed."

Sussex player Machan's knock of 86 was the highlight in a contest which, at times, seemed to be swinging in Scotland's favour after they had batted first and scored 216-9.

Ireland had looked in trouble at 105-5 and 143-6 before Niall O'Brien and John Mooney put them back on course for their eventual three-wicket victory.

"It's always pleasing to get some runs personally, which is nice," said Machan, who was born in Brighton to a Scottish mother.

"I've worked on a few technical things over the last three months and it's nice that they've paid off. But obviously it's bitterly disappointing to lose and not get a substantial partnership with anyone really throughout the order.

"Against Ireland we dropped a few chances and that's ultimately what cost us at the end of the day. These little one or two percenters are frustrating. But come the World Cup on 17 February, another 40 days away, we'll be ready."

Remaining tri-series games
Afghanistan v Scotland, Abu DhabiWednesday 14 January, 10:00 GMT
Afghanistan v Ireland, DubaiSaturday 17 January, 06:00 GMT
Ireland v Scotland, DubaiMonday 19 January, 03:30 GMT

Scotland continue their triangular ODI warm-up series against Afghanistan in Abu Dhabi on Wednesday.

Machan, 23, sees it as an early chance to right the wrongs from their previous meeting.

"The games come pretty thick and fast now, which is probably a good thing," he said.

"People know what they did well and what they did wrong, so it's about putting that right on Wednesday. It's more of a mental switch than anything really.

"I just think it's doing the basics for longer. You know, holding line and length for as long as possible, taking our chances in the field and when you get in with the bat, taking it as deep as possible.

"It's as simple as that, really. You can try to look at all the intricate details but at the end of the day you need one more run than the opposition."

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