MUSCAT: Scotland coach Shane Burger says his team is ready to “create history” by reaching the T20 World Cup’s second round for the first time.
The Scots defeated Bangladesh by six runs in their tournament opener, despite being 53-6 at one point, and then defeated Papua New Guinea by 17 runs in their second match.
On Thursday, they will defend their unblemished record against hosts Oman, with a third win propelling them into the Super 12s.
“By winning two games in this tournament, we’ve already made history.” That is more than any previous Scottish team has achieved. “We want to take it a step further,” Burger said.
Scotland entered the 2021 tournament having never advanced past the first round in their previous three appearances, winning only one game in seven.
“Every goal we’ve set has gone above and beyond this group stage.” We’ve talked a lot about getting into round two and what we want to accomplish in round two. “We’re still in third gear. I don’t think we’ve put together a full game of cricket yet – we’ve only shown snippets so far.
“We’ve had glimpses with the bat, glimpses with the ball, glimpses in the field, but we’ll have to bring it all out against Oman and go again.”
Defeat would leave Scotland and Oman tied on four points, but the Gulf team has a higher run rate, which would be the deciding factor in who advances to the second round.
If Scotland wins and tops the table, they will join Afghanistan, India, New Zealand, Pakistan, and the runners-up from qualifying Group A in Group 2 of the Super 12.
“The magnitude of the game is tremendous in terms of the bigger picture, not only for Scottish cricket but also, I believe, for associate cricket,” Burger added.
“Belief exists within the group and the unit, which is huge in terms of Scottish cricket.”
“It also has the potential to inspire a nation, and being the first Scottish team to make history and accomplish something we’ve never done before is certainly on every player’s mind.”
“Leaving a legacy of being the first Scottish team to do that is certainly a motivation of ours, as is inspiring all those young cricketers – not only in Scotland but all over the world.”
Oman defeated Papua New Guinea before falling to Bangladesh, but skipper Aqib Ilyas believes his team’s superior net run rate will be crucial.
“The thing is, they have won two matches, they may be optimistic, but cricket is such a strange game that even after winning two games, they are still in a position where if they lose, they could be out,” said Oman’s captain.
“We’re positive because they’re under pressure, but we’re not because it’s just a game that we have to win.” They might have thought they were qualified after winning the previous game.
“But our run rate is now so high that if we just win the match, we’re through and they’re out.”