Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer says his side will not fear anybody going forward after they made history by sealing a ‘Super 12’ phase spot at the T20 World Cup on Thursday.
Shane Burger’s men knew they had to triumph in the final Group B First Round match against Oman in Muscat to become the first Scottish side ever to make it to the second stage of a global event – and they did it in style.
Their third win from three – by eight wickets as 122 all out played 123-2 – saw them top the group and, fittingly, was ended when Richie Berrington hit a massive six in the 17th over.
The squad will now head to Sharjah in the UAE to take on world number eight side Afghanistan on Monday (3pm UK time) in their first Super 12 Group Two clash.
Matches with an as yet to be decided qualifier (October 27, Abu Dhabi), New Zealand (November 3, Dubai), India (November 5, Dubai) and Pakistan (November 7, Sharjah) then follow with the top two heading to the semi-finals.
Coetzer said: “This is a great feeling.
“For cricket in Scotland this is huge, for us it is the opportunity to play on the biggest stage and test ourselves against the best and grow the game back home because the following has been immense.
“I think this group has a real togetherness, we have been through thick and thin, a lot of these guys have played together for many years.
“The guys have put in a lot of work over the last couple of years to develop their own games while the coaching staff have done a fantastic job.
“We are now playing some excellent cricket and we are a pretty established outfit with bat, ball and in the field.
“Of course, it will be a mighty tough group we are going into, but as far as I was aware this was a mighty tough group we were already in, so we must take confidence from that.
“The next group will obviously be slightly tougher, but there is no reason to fear any teams in the group.
“It’s going to be exciting and we will go into every match full of hope and belief that we can win more games of cricket.
“We just cannot wait to play some of the world’s best.”
For the game Scotland made one change to the XI that defeated Papua New Guinea on Tuesday, Safyaan Sharif replacing fellow seamer Ali Evans.
Oman won the toss and decided to have a bat at the Al Amerat Stadium.
Scotland got off to a dream start when Jatinder Singh and opening partner Aqib Ilyas got in a terrible mix-up off the second ball bowled by Brad Wheal.
Good work from Mark Watt and wicketkeeper Matthew Cross saw the former run out to leave them 1-1.
Things got even better for the Scots in the third over when Kashyap Prajapati failed to middle one off the bowling of Sharif in the third over and spooned it to George Munsey who took the catch and it was 13-2.
By the end of the powerplay, with Josh Davey also having bowled, Oman were 37-2.
The spinners – Watt, Chris Greaves and Michael Leask then came into the action – and after the former nearly got a wicket in the ninth over, the latter did in the 10th.
Leask had Ilyas, a dangerman, caught by Munsey for 37 from 35 balls to leave the home side 51-3.
At the halfway mark of their innings they were 53-3.
Mohammad Nadeem and skipper Zeeshan Maqsood started to get into their stride before Watt had the former caught smartly close in by Richie Berrington for 25 in the 13th over.
In the next over Greaves thought he had taken the wicket of Maqsood, but the delivery was deemed to be over waist height by the TV umpire and the catch taken on the boundary counted for nothing.
With six overs to go Oman were 86-4.
Maqsood then skied the first ball off the 15th over up in the air, but the bowler Sharif and Coetzer had a bit of a mix up and the latter dropped the catch.
Four balls later he did get his second wicket of the day, Sandeep Goud being caught in the deep by Greaves for five and it was 93-5.
And Leask kept the squeeze on in the next over when he had Naseem Khushi caught by Calum MacLeod.
In the 18th over Davey had Suraj Kumar caught by Wheal and then, in the final over, MacLeod took an excellent catch in the deep to see Maqsood fall to the same man for 34 off 30 balls.
Off the third last ball of the innings Bilal Khan was run out before Fayyaz Butt hit a four and then Greaves caught him to give Davey figures of 3-25.
In the end Oman were 122 all out with Davey’s figures being backed up by 2-13 by Leask, 2-25 from Sharif and 1-23 from Watt.
Munsey and Coetzer, who had left the field late in the first half with a hand injury, started the run chase well, the former hitting four boundaries before he was caught on the leg side by off the bowling of Butt for 20 in the fifth over.
Scotland were 33-1 at that stage and by the end of the powerplay they were 45-1, Coetzer hitting a 91 metre six to end that period of the game.
The captain had his eye in and hit another maximum in the seventh over, this time 84 metres, as the Scots went up and over 50 and he then added a four for good measure.
He then hit the biggest six of the day, a 93 metre effort, to take him up to 40 and his team onto 72-1 off nine overs.
However, Coetzer was out just before the halfway point of the innings, being bowled for a well-made 41 off 28 balls.
It meant Scotland were 75-2 and needed another 48 runs to win off 60 balls.
Matthew Cross and Richie Berrington came together and were calmness personified, taking things along nicely until the latter smashed two sixes off Ali in the 14th over.
One of them went 99 metres and, Scotland were over 100, and had the finish line in sight.
And it was Berrington, for so long one of the mainstays of this side, who finished things off when he hit a brilliant six off Nadeem at the end of the 17th over to spark celebrations.
Head coach Burger said: “I’m just incredibly happy for this group.
“To win this game in the fashion that we did is testament to all the hard work that the boys have put in.
“This team has been nothing short of inspiring. The ability to top a group like we have done I think sends a really strong message not only to the Scottish public, but also the cricketing world.
“We’re incredibly happy and proud right now and we’ll just take a couple of days to let it settle in and just enjoy it because this is why we play the game, this is why we put all the hard work in to experience times like this and the guys need to enjoy it because they deserve it.
“I thought our bowlers were exceptional against Oman and I thought our fielding display bar one or two little slips here or there was excellent.
“And we really have put a full performance together, we’ve been waiting for it, and I think it’s fitting for Richie Berrington to get the winning runs in the fashion that he did.”