Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer explained their six-run win over Bangladesh in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup on Sunday is a result that has been a long time in the making. The Scots booked their place at the tournament back in 2019 but have spent much of the COVID-19 pandemic having to readjust their plans as tours and matches have been postponed.
“It's a huge win for us, it’s something we’ve been planning for a long time. It’s been a long two years since the qualifying tournament, said Coetzer, who was a part of the Scotland team that beat Bangladesh back in 2012.
“Until a month ago we had played two games of cricket as a group so there was a lot of planning behind the scenes, a lot of guys working hard and it sometimes seemed you were working for nothing because our tours kept getting cancelled. So that was really hard for us to manage,” he added.
Batting first, Scotland were in a spot of bother when Bangladesh reduced them to 53/6 before Chris Greaves inspired the team with his fine knock to propel them to 140/9. In reply, Scotland restricted Bangladesh to 134/7 that put them in a strong position in Group B.
For Coetzer, it was also important to remember just how many sacrifices the team has had to make simply to get here. “We’re reaping the rewards of keeping the faith that this tournament would come around and we would be a better team for it when we arrive out here,” he said.
“There have been a lot of sacrifices for many players, associate cricket is very hard and to get the opportunity we do when we get out here, it’s important to take it because otherwise if you get brushed aside people don’t appreciate how hard associate cricket is.”
Besides his 28-ball 45, Greaves also took two Bangladesh wickets as the chase fell short with Coetzer impressed by the belief of his side, who he knows are capable of more. “It’s a special feeling to beat Bangladesh. It’s not the first time we’ve beaten them but we know the strength in depth in their squad.
“I think they gave us a lesson at the start of the innings with the skill that they put on show. It took a real fighting effort today. I was saying to our guys that we’re never out of the game and always believe. We’ll be looking for a more wholesome performance next time.”
Next up for Scotland is a clash with Papua New Guinea, who were well beaten by Oman in their opening game. For Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah, it was their batting that faltered in this encounter, with Mushfiqur Rahim’s dismissal for 38 proving the crucial moment in the match.
“I think Mushy’s (Mushfiqur) wicket was the turning point because Mushy was looking good today. Probably a set batter has to stay but I think as a batting unit, we are disappointed so it’s a concern. We need to see where we made those mistakes and try not to repeat those mistakes in the next game,” Mahmudullah said after the match.
“I think the bowlers were on the right track, we picked up six wickets before they had scored 60 runs but after that, they had a good partnership. I have to give credit to those batters who built the partnership for Scotland, they played better cricket than us. We were just not good enough tonight,”
(With ICC inputs)