Chris Greaves was the hero as Scotland kicked off their T20 World Cup campaign on a dream footing with a six-point victory over popular Bangladesh in Muscat.
The 31-year-old all-rounder, in just his second T20 international, scored the best score in his side’s 140 for nine, then took two crucial wickets with his leg rotation as Scotland kept their cool in a stretch finish.
“We were obviously in a tough spot,” Greaves told Sky Sports. ” It was right [a case of] rebuild the sleeves at this point and see where we could go from there. It was amazing that I could be that person, to be a part of it is amazing.
“It was my day I think. There will be many more days when all of us on this team can be a part of it. I’m so glad I was able to contribute to what I did.
At bat, Scotland were turning 53 for six in the 12th before Greaves added 51 points with Mark Watt, who hit 22 of 17 balls, to post a respectable total that proved enough to earn them a result shock.
Bangladesh, fresh off of T20 wins against Australia and New Zealand, entered the game as favorites to win the group and it looked to be going forward when Scotland lost captain Kyle Coetzer for a duck in the third round, knocked down by Mohammad Saifuddin.
George Munsey, who hit two sixes on his 29th, and Matthew Cross stabilized the innings with a 40-point partnership at the second wicket before the two perished in a replacement for Mahedi Hasan.
Richie Berrington, whose Century helped the Scots beat Bangladesh in their only previous encounter, fell dead when he was trapped by Shakib Al Hasan, who also took out Michael Leask for a duck.
Greaves then came to the rescue, hitting two sixes and four fours in his 28-ball stroke to bring Scotland back into the game.
Previously, Shakib Al Hasan of Bangladesh became the biggest wicket taker in T20I men, surpassing Lasith Malinga’s total of 107 wickets. The versatile left-arm spin-bowling player is the first T20I player to score 1,000 points and take 100 wickets and he was just starting to enter his stream with the bat when he became Greaves’ first victim.
Greaves then struck out dangerous Mushfiqur Rahim for 38 and finished with two for 19 while Brad Wheal claimed three for 24.
Needing 24 on the last, Saifuddin and Mahedi combined for two fours and a six for Safyaan Sharif, but couldn’t cross the line.
In the tournament opener, Oman claimed a 10-wicket home win over Papua New Guinea at Al Amerat. Having opted for the stick, Papua New Guinea has never recovered from losing the first two games without a point on the board.
A valiant 56 captain, Assad Vala, helped his team escape total embarrassment, but four wickets of his counterpart Zeeshan Maqsood’s left arm rotation helped cap Papuans’ total at a paltry 129 for nine.
Oman, who scored a memorable victory over Ireland in their only previous T20 World Cup campaign in 2016, would ultimately reach their goal without losing a wicket.
Jatinder Singh hit 11 limits, including four sixes in his 73 stroke, while fellow opener Aqib Ilyas hit his half-century as the hosts claimed victory with 38 balls remaining.
The emphatic nature of Oman’s victory also means a healthy net run rate that could come into play later in their first group stage games.