Scotland strike another World Cup blow for cricket’s minnows
DUNEDIN, New Zealand (AP) — Scotland struck another blow for the ‘associate’ nations at the Cricket World Cup when it briefly threatened to beat co-host New Zealand on Tuesday, and captain Preston Mommsen said it shows the second-tier countries belong on the world stage.
The Scots may have suffered a ninth loss from nine World Cup games, but took succor from taking seven New Zealand wickets as the Black Caps chased down a modest Scottish total of 142.
Combined with Ireland’s victory over the West Indies on Monday, Scotland’s competitive performance has given further volume to calls for cricket to give its non-test nations a fair go.
The reduction of the World Cup from 14 to 10 teams in 2019 will close the door on some of the smaller cricketing nations whose giant-killing peformances have added luster to previous world tournaments.
“Hopefully the performance we put on today will get people talking and shows associates belong at World Cups,” Mommsen said.
“Ireland have been doing it consistently. I’ve always said it’s great that they are able to do that consistently on the world stage as an associate nation. We recently beat them quite heavily so we do take a lot of confidence from their performance yesterday.”
Next on the agenda for Scotland is England; the first time the neighbors will play on the World Cup stage. England is coming off a heavy defeat by Australia in its opening game, and Mommsen was aiming to exploit any fragile confidence in the English camp.
“We’re very proud of the performance and the fight we showed and now England,” Mommsen said. “Coming off the back of a heavy defeat we’ll look to pressure them and keep them down utlizing all of our strengths.”
Scotland rued two dropped catching chances that could have swung the match in its favor. Brendon McCullum, on 5, and Corey Anderson, on 3, were both lucky to survive.
“For us to beat a team like New Zealand, like England, like Sri Lanka we need to hang onto every chance we get,” Mommsen said. “If we get 10 chances we need to take 10 chances.
“That’s one way we’re going to be able to beat the full member nations. We do pride ourselves on our fielding and I felt we were about 85 percent today so there’s still some room in the tank and in our next game against England we can show a red hot display.”