Chris Greaves, Matt Wheal, Mark Watt help Scotland beat Bangladesh
Scotland 140 for 9 (Graves 45, Munsey 29, Mahedi 3/19) beat Bangladesh 134 for 7 (Mushfiqur 38, Mahmudullah 23, Wheal 3/24) by six runs
The second match of the first round under group B of ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021 was played between Bangladesh and Scotland at Al Amerat Cricket Stadium in Muscat on Sunday.
Bangladesh skipper Mahmudullah won the toss and opted to field.
Saifuddin strikes first blow for Bangladesh
Bangladesh speedsters Taskin Ahmed and Mustafizur Rahman bowled an intimidating spell to Scotland openers with the new ball although first change bowler Mohammad Saifuddin picked up the first wicket of Scotland by shattering the stumps of skipper Kyle Coetzer for a duck with a toe-crushing yorker.
Second opener George Munsey who was the top run-scorer for Scotland in the 2019 World Cup qualifiers, played some beautiful strokes against Mustafizur and Saifuddin. However, off-spinner Mahedi Hasan took back-to-back wickets of George Munsey and one-down batter Matthew Cross to put Scotland in trouble.
Scotland middle-order falters on the big stage
The next batters also couldn’t stop the collapse in front of the experienced spin duo of Bangladesh - Shakib Al Hasan and Mahedi Hasan. Atif Hossain caught Richie Berrington at long-on off the delivery of Shakib while Michael Leask returned to the dugout for a duck as Liton Das took his catch at long-off.
Chris Greaves and Mark Watt bail out their side from a dubious situation with a partnership of 51 (34)
Scotland were in a precarious situation after 12 overs after losing six wickets for just 55 runs. But the Scottish lower-order batters Chris Greaves and Mark Watt had other ideas as they stitched a vital partnership of 51 runs off just 34 balls to help their side reach the three-figure mark.
After Watt got out on the team score of 104, Greaves smashed two fours and one towering six to Taskin to accumulate 15 runs in his over. Greaves lost his wicket in the last over of innings but he had done his job with a quickfire 45 runs off just 28 balls, comprising of four boundaries and two huge sixes.
Scotland managed to register a respectable total of 140/9 in 20 overs, considering the precarious situation they were in after the first twelve overs.
Bangladesh suffered an early scare
Bangladesh opener Soumya Sarkar slashed a boundary on the second ball of the innings though he got out in the second over of the innings, as he got caught at deep mid-wicket by Munsey, off the delivery off Josh Davey.
As Scottish bowlers kept check on the flow of runs, second opener Liton Das tried to play a lofted drive with an intent to clear the ropes off a delivery bowled by Bradley Wheal but the ball found its way into the safe hands of Munsey at mid-off.
Mushfiqur and Shakib add 47 runs for third wicket but waste 46 deliveries
As Bangladesh looked in trouble at 18/2 in the chase of 141 runs, the experienced duo of Shakib and Mushfiqur Rahim tried to rescue their side from the slump to record a partnership of 47 runs. But it came off 46 deliveries and made the task of the lower order batters tough to say the least.
Bangladesh made only 25 runs in their powerplay overs but sporadic hitting by Mushfiqur gave a semblance of momentum to the Bangladesh innings. He hammered two back-to-back sixes against off-spinner Michael Leask in the ninth over.
Right-arm bowler Chris Greaves became the Brahmastra for Scotland on the opening day of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021 as after making a brisk 45 off 28 balls, he took two important wickets in his first two overs.
Shakib lost his wicket while smashing the first ball of leg-spinner Greaves over mid-wicket as Calum MacLeod took a fine running catch. The set batter Mushfiqur tried to play a paddle scoop but got bowled by Greaves.
As Bangladesh lost their two most experienced batters, the opponents looked favourite to clinch their first game in the ICC T20 World Cup 2021. Although skipper Mahmudullah and Afif Hossain played some good strokes, the increasing asking rate forced them to play risky shots. MacLeod took a miraculous catch to send back Nurul Hasan off the bowling of Brad Wheal. Also, he caught Mahmudullah (23) off the same bowler to nearly finish the resistance of Bangladesh.
As Bangladesh could make only 134 runs in 20 overs by losing seven wickets, Scotland made a huge upset by defeating a Test team on the first day of the ICC T20 World Cup 2021.
What lies ahead
Ireland take on Netherlands in the third game of the ongoing event in a Group A fixture of the first round at the Zayed Cricket Stadium in Abu Dhabi on October 18. The fourth game will see the 2014 T20 World Cup champions Sri Lanka take on Namibia at the same venue.