Scotland go into their final Round One match at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup today knowing that only victory over hosts Oman will guarantee a history-making place in the next round of the competition.
For Shane Burger’s side, reaching the Super 12s has long been one of the primary goals in this competition and while wins over Bangladesh and PNG this week have put them in pole position in Group B, with net run rate the deciding factor if three teams finish the group with two wins each, a victory in this game would be their most important result yet.
“We know we’re probably going to need our best performance against this Oman team, who had a tough game against Bangladesh and they probably had several opportunities to win that match. So we know they’re dangerous, and all we can do is focus on our own performance,” said Burger, whose side beat Oman during their Cricket World Cup League 2 campaign last month.
“If we stick to our processes, our routines, and keep winning those big moments, which we’ve done so far in this tournament, then we know we can progress. Whichever group you get, I don’t think people can be too worried about that right now. We’ll worry about that when we get there.”
Focussing only on the next game has been key to Scotland’s success at the tournament so far, but the team is aware of the magnitude of the result and the huge impact that reaching the next stage of the competition would have on the sport in Scotland.
“All the players know what’s on the line. We’ve prepared for it. We’ve spoken about it. If there’s any team that understands that there’s a must win game, it’s probably going to be a team like Scotland that often goes into competitions knowing that every game is a must win game.
“We spoke about topping the group. That was certainly a goal and something we wanted to achieve before we arrived here. We spoke about it. We’ve planned for it. It wouldn’t surprise me if we didn’t do that because the mindset is there and the belief is there.
“So it’s huge among Scottish cricket, but also it has the ability to inspire a nation, and being the first Scottish team to go and create history and do something we’ve never done before is certainly on the back of every player and support staff’s mind, for sure.
“To be the legacy of being the first Scottish team to do that is certainly a motivation of ours, and to inspire all those young cricketers, not only in Scotland but around the world to take up the game and play a brand of cricket that Scotland plays is ultimately the goal we want to be achieving.”
The match today starts at 3pm UK time with coverage on Sky Sports beginning at 2.30. Commentary will also be available on BBC Radio with regular updates on the Cricket Scotland Twitter feed.