T20 World Cup: Munsey, Watt, Leask help Scotland secure shock 42-run win over West Indies

HOBART — Just 24 hours after Namibia kick-started the Men’s T20 World Cup with a stunning 55-run win over Sri Lanka, Scotland pulled off another major upset in the tournament with a shock 42-run victory over two-time champions West Indies in a Group B first round match at the Bellerive Oval on Monday.

After opener George Munsey carried his bat throughout the innings to slam an unbeaten 66 to help Scotland post an excellent 160/5, left-arm spinner Mark Watt led a fantastic bowling show with his brilliant 3/12 to bowl out West Indies for 118 all out in 18.3 overs.

The 42-run win for Scotland, ranked 15th in men’s T20I rankings, comes exactly a year after they defeated Bangladesh by six runs in their opening first round match of 2021 T20 World Cup at Al Amerat, Oman and entering the ongoing tournament on the back of playing only two T20Is this year.

The Scottish bowlers were spot-on with their lengths and change in pace and forced the West Indies to hit towards the bigger areas of the stadium as well as denying them the desirable hitting lengths as well as getting runs through short, square boundaries as only four batters reached double figures.

Chasing 161, West Indies were woeful with the bat and never had any rhythm or momentum at all. They were also confused over either hitting boundaries or rotating the strike as Matt and off-spinner Michael Leask (2/14) shared five wickets between themselves and bowled 27 dot balls.

Scotland were also backed by their fielders being impressive on the field and took their catches well in the outfield. Kyle Mayers hit the first four boundaries of the West Indies chase, before flicking straight to mid-wicket off a slower ball from Josh Davey.

Evin Lewis (14) and Brandon King (17) hanged around for some resistance, but from the time Brad Wheal took the former in the final over of power-play, West Indies batting order imploded.

Watt cleaned up King while Leask castled captain Nicholas Pooran. Rovman Powell and Shamrah Brooks holed out in quick succession, followed by Akeal Hosein’s unbelievable run-out and Alzarri Joseph nicking behind to be Watt’s third victim of the night.

Though Jason Holder cut loose for some boundaries in his 33-ball 38, the win was as clear as the Hobart night sky for Scotland, adding another chapter to glorious upsets in T20I cricket as West Indies lost seven wickets in 26 runs from overs 6 to 13.

Earlier, pushed into batting first, Scotland were off to a breezy start, making 54 runs for no loss inside the first six overs, including nine boundaries hit by Munsey and Michael Jones, before rain interrupted their fine opening partnership.

Post resumption after a 47-minute break, Scotland scored only 16 runs in their next four overs, but lost Jones and Matthew Cross to Jason Holder, who hit the deck hard with his hard lengths to get West Indies back in the match.

But Munsey kept going through to get his first T20 World Cup fifty, even if he was not at his fluent best as he was at the start of the innings, and held one end up to get Scotland a total they would be confident of defending.

He failed to find a single boundary between overs five to 19 before hitting three fours in the last over off Smith for Scotland to reach the 160-mark. Scotland skipper Richie Berrington chipped in with 16 while Calum MacLeod made 14-ball 23 and Chris Greaves remained unbeaten on 16.

For West Indies, Holder was the pick of the bowlers with 2/14, while Joseph picked up 2/28 while Odean Smith finished with figures of 1/31.

Brief scores: Scotland 160/5 in 20 overs (George Munsey 66 not out, Calum MacLeod 23; Jason Holder 2/14, Alzarri Joseph 2/28) beat West Indies 118 all out in 18.3 overs (Jason Holder 38, Kyle Mayers 20; Mark Watt 3/12, Michael Leask 2/14) by 42 runs. — (IANS)