Scotland made it two wins from two at the T20 World Cup and took a big step towards the Super 12 stage as Richie Berrington and Josh Davey fired them to a 17-run win over Papua New Guinea.
Having upset Bangladesh in their opening fixture, the Scots condemned the tournament first-timers to an early exit in Oman. Berrington was the star turn, striking 70 off 49 deliveries to push his side towards 165 for nine and later contributing a wonderful one-handed catch.
Scotland should have scored more but lost six wickets in the last 11 balls of their innings, a rapid collapse that included four batters dismissed in Kabua Morea’s final over. Somerset’s Davey then claimed career-best figures of four for 18 as Papua New Guinea were bowled out for 148.
Kyle Coetzer chose to bat first but Scotland lost both openers cheaply, their captain bowled by a slower ball and George Munsey skying a top edge to make it 26 for two. From there, Berrington and Matt Cross took charge and racked up 92 for the third wicket. At halfway the score was still contained at 67 but Scotland piled on another 42 in the next three overs to jumpstart the scoring in style.
There was a steady stream of boundaries as the third-wicket pair sized up PNG’s spin-heavy attack, both batters adding a pair of sixes apiece, with Charles Amini treated particularly harshly, eventually conceding 41 from his four overs. Cross was looking for another maximum when Simon Atai dropped short and launched the ball straight to Amini at deep midwicket. He was clearly furious with himself for giving his wicket away having raced to 45 off 36 balls.
Berrington pushed on after passing 50, finishing with six fours and three sixes, but the wheels came off in the closing stages with only 19 runs scored and six wickets lost in the last three overs. Chad Soper removed Callum MacLeod and Berrington, the latter caught on the long-on ropes, before Morea salvaged what had threatened to be modest figures by removing Chris Greaves, Davey and Mark Watt in quick succession alongside Michael Leask’s run-out – the seamer finished with four for 31.
Any optimism created by that fightback evaporated quickly as Scotland reduced their opponents to 35 for five in the powerplay. Davey prised out two in his new-ball spell – aided by Berrington’s one-handed grab at point to see off Atai – while Brad Wheal and Alasdair Evans picked up one apiece and Amini’s poor day continued with a sloppy run out.
Norman Vanua brought a sense of intrigue to what had seemed a foregone conclusion, coming in at number seven and swinging hard on his way to an entertaining 47 from 37 balls. At one stage it looked as though he might inspire a remarkable lower-order fightback but Davey had him caught behind in the 18th over and returned to close things out with the final wicket, Soper feathering through to mean wicketkeeper Cross had a hand in five dismissals.
The result means Scotland will automatically progress if Oman beat Bangladesh later on Tuesday, or if Bangladesh win and Oman are defeated by the Scots on Thursday.