International Cricket

Eng vs Sco, T20 World Cup – Scotland captain admits ‘frustration’ as rain wrecks finely poised contest

In the first meeting between the two countries in the T20I format, Scotland seized the initiative between rain breaks to set the defending champions a DLS-adjusted target of 109 from 10 overs. Alas, a further shower after their innings had concluded on 90 for no loss proved terminal, with both sides settling for a point in Group B.

Having won the toss, Berrington’s decision to bat on an uncertain Kensington Oval pitch was vindicated as openers Michael Jones and George Munsey struck 51 in 6.2 overs before a long break in play. With the match subsequently reduced to 10 overs a side, the pair returned to the middle to add 39 more from their remaining 22 deliveries.

“I think we certainly gave ourselves a chance there,” Berrington said, on the prospect of an upset. “It would have been interesting to see how the weather would have affected the pitch because it did look a little bit of uneven bounce, as we expected during the day. I think if we bowled and fielded well, we certainly had an opportunity there.

“I think everyone’s frustrated, not being able to get a game in there. Some positives to take, at least. The guys who went out to the middle I thought did a really good job. Now looking ahead, they’ve had some time out there and we can take some things from that. But certainly we’re frustrated we couldn’t get a full game in.”

Matthew Mott shared Berrington’s disappointment at being unable to complete the match. However, England’s limited-overs coach had his side as favourites at the halfway stage, given the power hitters within the line-up and the fact Scotland would have had to bowl with a wet ball on a surface that would have skidded on, given the extra moisture.

“I think we had all the advantage in that,” Mott said. “I think it was going to be a wet ball, 10 wickets in hand, only 10 overs. I think if we got back out there, I thought it would have been tough on Scotland given the start that they had.

“But I thought it was well within our grasp to achieve that. I think the way we’re looking to play, we’d look to be at that mark in a 20-over game. So, yeah, I think we were very confident.

“Those who’ve watched a lot of T10 cricket, I think that was certainly an achievable chase and we probably would have had all the things in our favour. It was frustrating not to get back out there, but that’s the way it is.”

While full of praise for Scotland’s approach to their innings, Mott rued what he felt was a nervy effort from England. Not only were there a handful of fielding errors, but England also missed out on dismissing Munsey for 16 – via a top-edge – after Mark Wood overstepped the front line. The left-hander went on to score 41 not out from 31 balls.

“I thought we were a little bit sloppy in the field a couple of times, probably just a bit of nerves at the start of a tournament,” Mott said. “There’s definitely areas we want to improve on, but there was a lot of good stuff in there as well.

“It’s something we spoke about at the break, about just tidying up. And I think we did that really well after. I wouldn’t be reading too much into it – it happens in T20. But we’ve already seen how challenging these conditions are going to be and how they can flip so quickly.”

Both teams will return to Bridgetown for their next matches. Scotland face Namibia on Thursday while England are back in action on Saturday when they take on Australia in a repeat of the 2010 final at this venue. Mott has urged his team to go full throttle at their Ashes rivals to set their World Cup campaign in motion.

“Yeah, we’re looking to do that, definitely,” he said, when asked if he was looking for a statement performance against Australia. “I think we showed that. I think, you know, Mark Wood steaming in their first over, I think it’s exciting. Him and Jofra together is something that we’ve not been able to have for a while.

“We were really keen to make a statement there. But you know, equally, I think we bat deep, we’ve got good options around there. We match up really well against Australia, and whatever the result of this game, it was going to be a big game the next one, and we’re really looking forward to it.”

Vithushan Ehantharajah is an associate editor at ESPNcricinfo

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