SCOTLAND'S tourists came up short as the world's best Twenty20 team proved just too strong at Senwes Park, Potchfestroom, yesterday.

Pete Steindl's men went into their meeting with the Indian Premier League champions Kolkata Knight Riders aiming to improve on Tuesday's 20-run loss to the Highveld Lions but, despite another spirited display, the Scots went down by 24 runs.

Steindl said: "Our guys deserve a lot of credit; we came up against a well-oiled machine but competed pretty well. Most of our players have been on holiday for a month and we've had very little preparation, so we are clearly rusty in some areas."

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Scotland again found themselves fielding first as the Riders warmed up for their Champions League opener against Delhi Daredevils.

Gautham Gambhir and Manvinder Bisla set the tone by hitting 18 from the first two overs. Gordon Goudie made the breakthrough to dismiss Gambhir but Bisla went on to make 40 from just 25 balls before retiring to give his team-mates some practice. Manoj Tiwary took advantage with a half-century before he, too, opted out. However, the punishment did not stop for the Scots as Yusuf Pathan's 18-ball 31 propelled the Knight Riders to an imposing 176 for seven. Richie Berrington and Goudie took two wickets apiece.

In reply, the Saltires lost wickets at crucial periods to fall behind the rate and, at 84 for four from 14 overs, their hopes had realistically gone although some spirited late hitting led to 68 runs being scored in the final six overs.

Preston Mommsen, the captain, led the way with an unbeaten 58, featuring seven 4s and one 6, while Ryan Flannigan gave support with a 23-ball 36.

Steindl added: "Preston and Ryan batted really well but we were always playing catch-up. It's been a great experience playing against the IPL champions and they can learn a lot from it."

The Scots continue their tour today by playing a two-day match against North West Dragons.