Scotland stunned Bangladesh with a six-run victory on the opening day of the Twenty20 World Cup in Al Amerat on Sunday. Chris Greaves shined with bat and ball.
Greaves’ 28-ball 45 helped Scotland to 140-9, and he then claimed two vital wickets with his leg-spin in the second first-round encounter of the day in Muscat, reducing Bangladesh to 134-7.
Greaves, who had earlier helped Scotland recover from a 53-6 deficit with his batting, dismissed Shakib Al Hasan for 20 and Mushfiqur Rahim for 38 to put the brakes on Bangladesh’s chase.
Brad Wheal, the world No 6 pace bowler, bowled 3-24 as a world No 6 pace bowler. Bangladesh’s bid to qualify for the Super 12 stage was derailed early.
Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer remarked after the win, “We’ve got a big belief in our squad, and any player coming in has the capacity to hit the ball over the ropes, as Chris Greaves and Josh Davey demonstrated at the end.”
“It only goes to prove that we can win a game from any location. We are even more certain that we can continue to push and challenge teams.”
Scotland is in second place in Group B, just one point behind hosts Oman, who beat Papua New Guinea by ten wickets earlier in the day.
The top two teams will advance to the following round, when they will face the heavyweights in the seventh edition of T20’s international extravaganza.
WICKETS IN THE REGULAR STYLE
Bangladesh’s spinners Mahedi Hasan and Shakib backed up their captain’s choice to bowl first by taking regular wickets, but Greaves’ 45-run cameo provided Scotland critical runs.
After losing Coetzer for nought, Scotland attempted to regroup, but Mahedi struck twice in an over to dismiss Matthew Cross for 11 and opener George Munsey for 29.
Shakib combined with another double strike to dismiss Michael Leask for zero, putting him above of Lasith Malinga of Sri Lanka as the highest wicket-taker in T20 internationals.
Shakib, the only player to score 1000 runs and take 100 wickets in T20 cricket, had stats of 2-17, while Mahedi was the wrecker-in-chief with 3-19.
Greaves, batting at No. 7, fought back with four fours and two sixes in the last 30 deliveries as Scotland scored 53 runs.
“The bowlers performed a fantastic job, but the batting unit wasn’t up to the task,” Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah Riyad remarked.
“Their hitters deserve credit for a strong finish. We still need to stay positive and figure out where we went wrong so we don’t make the same mistakes again.”
Bangladesh lost their openers early on, but Shakib and Mushfiqur put together a 47-run third-wicket stand to resurrect the chase.
Greaves bowled Mushfiqur at the start of his second over, breaking the stand with his first ball, catching Shakib at the boundary.
Wheal shook Bangladesh’s middle order with critical strikes such as Mahmudullah for 23, but even a late burst by Mahedi couldn’t get them over the line.
Liton Das, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Mushfiqur Rahim, Mahmudullah (capt), Afif Hossain, Nurul Hasan (wk), Mahedi Hasan, Mohammad Saifuddin, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman, Mahmudullah (capt), Afif Hossain, Nurul Hasan (wk), Mahedi Hasan,
SCOTLAND: George Munsey (captain), Kyle Coetzer (wk), Richie Berrington, Calum MacLeod, Michael Leask, Chris Greaves, Mark Watt, Josh Davey, Safyaan Sharif, Bradley Wheal