Preston Mommsen hails ‘proud’ performance against Blackcaps

18 Feb
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Q. Preston, can you give us your initial thoughts on your team's performance today?
PRESTON MOMMSEN: Yeah, my initial thoughts are very proud of the performance. Proud of the fight back and character we showed in the second half. Very disappointed with the first half performance by Richie and Matthew. I thought they batted beautifully in the middle there and unfortunately they couldn't go on to get us a more respectable total. But I think the fighting character, that's something that we're proud of, and overall I think we're happy with the performance today.

Q. Could you just, what were the conditions like early on? It looked like the Kiwi bowlers were looking for a bit of movement?
PRESTON MOMMSEN: Yeah, they were getting a fair bit of movement. We didn't anticipate it to move around that much, but I think they showed they're world class performers. I think from a batting point of view, it's good we've been exposed to that sort of skill this early in the tournament. So it's a massive learning day for us, especially for the top six. Hopefully we can use that to our strength as we look to improve as this tournament goes on.

Q. What were you thinking at the innings turnaround? Were you worried they might come out and pop up runs very quickly and it could be a bad day at the office for you guys?
PRESTON MOMMSEN: I was pretty confident they'd look to build on their net run rate and try to knock the runs off quickly. At the same time, I knew that could provide opportunities and it did provide opportunities. We obviously had Brendon dropped early on in his innings, but fortunately had a late run. And I think it showed throughout the innings they were looking to score and that provided opportunities. I think we showed we have a skillful attack there, and when they put the ball in good areas, they got rewards. That was obviously very pleasing for us. That shows one of the strengths of the side is our attack and able to take wickets consistently through the innings.

Q. Preston, what would you have done with the toss if you had one?
PRESTON MOMMSEN: Yeah, our thinking was to have the bat. I think we thought it was a good wicket on the surface and overhead conditions were pretty good. It was nice and warm. But hindsight tells us that was probably the wrong decision. So fortunately we lost the toss, but as I said, we didn't really anticipate it to provide that much assistance for the bowlers early on. But at the same time, you still have to put the ball in good areas and they did exactly that and they got rewards.

Q. From being four down to actually nothing to where the match finally ended, do you think you have issued a threat for England and maybe if you can win that there can be a quarterfinal in the offing? How do you think probably this is a serious threat that you have issued for England?
PRESTON MOMMSEN: We're not thinking about anything too far ahead. I think going on today's performance, yes, we're very proud of the performance and fight we showed. England, we'll take a couple days break and look to prepare for that fixture. But obviously coming off the back of a heavy defeat and we'll look to pressurize them and keep them down utilizing our strengths.

Q. Preston, the Blackcaps have been talked up as one of the favorites for this tournament. You've pushed them very close here today. What sort of confidence do you think other teams might take away from what they've seen here?
PRESTON MOMMSEN: I think it showed that their batters were vulnerable if you're able to keep them under pressure consistently and put the balls in good areas, as any batter is. But at the same time, chasing out a small total might have been a little bit tricky for them, and it might have changed the way their natural game would usually be. So I'm not sure what other teams will make of it, but from a Scottish point of view, we're very proud.

Q. Do you feel like you exposed them somewhat today?
PRESTON MOMMSEN: I'd like to think so. I think having them 140 after 7, we showed good skill from our bowlers. I'm not really going to comment on their batting, but they're still a quality team, and they will go very far in this World Cup.

Q. Preston, you mentioned the assistance for the bowlers. First off, do you think that was because of the pitch or was that more just what it was doing in the air rather than what it was doing off the surface?
PRESTON MOMMSEN: I think a combination of both. I think Trent Boult and Tim Southee showed incredible skill there and class. These guys play a lot of cricket and a lot of red ball cricket as well. So if there's any assistance there, they know exactly how to exploit that and they did exactly that.

Q. Preston, I know this team sort of prides itself on fielding. What do you put the dropped chances, is it nerves first game in the World Cup?
PRESTON MOMMSEN: Yeah, that is one slight disappointment of that second half is those couple of chances that didn't go to hand. All in all, I think from my point of view I'm pretty happy with the fielding display bowlers two chances. In order for us to beat a team like New Zealand, England, Sri Lanka, we need to hang on to every chance we get. If we create 10 chances, we need to take 10 chances. I feel that's one way we're going to be able to beat a full member nation. So we do pride ourselves in our fielding. I think we're at about 85% today. So there is some room in the tank, and hopefully in our next game against England we can show a red hot display.

Q. From the point of view of the self-belief of the side, was Ireland's victory over West Indies yesterday, does that give you guys belief that you can turn over full members?
PRESTON MOMMSEN: Absolutely. Ireland have been doing it consistently. I've always said I think it's brilliant that they're able to do that consistently on the world stage as an associate nation. Obviously, we recently beat them quite heavily, so we do take a lot of confidence from their performance yesterday.

Q. Preston, there is a lot of fear around World Cups that the associate nations won't be able to compete with full member nations. Yesterday and today are probably some of the closest games so far. Do you feel you've emphasized the point that Ireland made yesterday?
PRESTON MOMMSEN: Yeah. From my point of view, I don't feel we have anything to prove here. We're just here to play cricket. We've qualified. We actually have to work harder. We have to go through the whole process of playing in a pressurized tournament to win eight games in a row to qualify for a World Cup. So for us being here, it's about playing our cricket and enjoying it, and that is something that's a major focus of this team. At the same time we realize the importance of showing in a good performance for associate cricket, and hopefully the performance we put on today it gets people talking and shows people that associates belong at World Cups.

Q. Given the start that was made, was there any particular message to Matt and Richie about how they should go about their batting?
PRESTON MOMMSEN: Yeah, I think it was a natural process to consolidate and they did exactly that. When they got in the ball was doing a fair bit and they showed great skill to build a platform there. Then once both of them got in, I think they showed the skill that we're capable of as a batting unit. They're both pretty disappointed that they couldn't go on, because they knew it was potentially 100 on the cards for one of them, which would have been a great thing for Scottish cricket. But it wasn't to be today. A great partnership, however, and disappointed as well that we couldn't scrape together a few more runs from the bottom order.

Q. When you were six or seven down, did you think you could actually snatch victory at that point?
PRESTON MOMMSEN: Absolutely. I think when we dropped Corey Anderson I thought that was a huge moment. But the boys kept coming back, we kept coming back. Then to get Corey out eventually and then obviously Luke, we were right in the game. All it takes is one or two good balls, two and two balls and then nine down. So we were very close today. As I said, I'm very proud of the performance.

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