Scotland's George Munsey in action against Bangladesh in Oman
Scotland's George Munsey in action against Bangladesh in Oman Image Credit: AFP

Giant-killers Scotland are aiming to keep up their flying start to the T20 World Cup after they stunned Bangladesh on Sunday evening in Oman.

Next up is Papua New Guinea in the qualifiers on Tuesday and — despite the minnows’ 10-wicket thrashing by the World Cup co-hosts — Scotland all-rounder Michael Leask is taking nothing for granted as his side close in on a spot in the Super 12s in the UAE.

Chris Greaves’ all-round display — including 45 off 28 deliveries and two crucial wickets — helped Scotland snatch a six-run victory over Bangladesh in their opening clash. Scotland were in trouble following a collapse and were at 53-6 six before Greaves stepped in to lead a lower-order fightback.

“It is an honour to even be here,” said Leask from Oman. “We were very humbled by the result against Bangladesh. We did not expect it to pan out like that — we needed to do things the hard way. But Greaves’ stepped in with an unbelievable knock to show that every man from one to 11 gives everything for the cause. We did it the hard way but we held together as a team during the tough moments.”

Asked if Scotland are now favourites to top Group B, which includes Bangladesh, PNG and Oman, Leask urged caution. “We are keeping our feet firmly on the ground and just taking it a game at a time,” he said. “PNG will gives us their own challenges and T20 cricket can be so unpredictable — as you saw against Bangladesh, things can change quickly. We only focus on our own game but the guys are champing at the bit to get going again on Tuesday.”

Scotland is not known for its sunny weather and balmy temperatures, but Leask insists the team have acclimatise to the heat in the Middle East.

“We played two 50-over games here a few weeks back and have been training in the UAE also, so that has us in good stead and we are ready to go,” he said. “Bio-bubbles can also take their toll but our morale has been amazing and we are in a really good head space.”

The win over Bangladesh was extra special for Leask as he picked up his 100th Scotland cap for the match. “I am so honoured to have represented Scotland this many times,” he said. “Just to play once was a dream so to reach 100 is amazing. Every match is an honour and you see it on every player’s face — the pride that flows right the way through this team.”

Now that the dust has settled on the win over Bangladesh, Leask believes the hard work is now paying off for Scotland and they can continue to contend if they reach the Super 12s stage and the big guns such as England, India, Pakistan, West Indies and Australia. “It is another victory on the big stage and it shows how far we have come as a team,” he told Gulf News. “If we get to the UAE, and we firmly believe we will, there is no reason why we cannot continue to do this and take on anyone. When I look around the dressing room I see every guy ready to take on whoever we face. To a man they are ready to put their hand up for the cause.”

The backing of fans back in Scotland also help the side go the extra mile as the side continue to defy the odds.

“We are on a roll now and the support we get from back home gives us a lift,” Leask said. “Each little message from family, friends or fans gives us a little lift and a little something extra to take on to the field.”