Monday, May 27, 2024

ICC: Burger – Much more to come from Scotland’s trailblazers

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Photo Credit: Cricket Scotland

Shane Burger believes his Scotland trailblazers are only just getting started, insisting the history-makers have not even got out of third gear yet at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.

Shane Burger believes his Scotland trailblazers are only just getting started, insisting the history-makers have not even got out of third gear yet at the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup 2021.

Scotland came into the tournament having never progressed beyond the first round in their three previous appearances, winning just one game from their seven matches.

But they pulled off a stunning six-run victory over the highly-fancied Bangladesh in their opening game before seeing off Papua New Guinea by 17 runs to lead the way in Group B.

And while this Scotland team have already broken new ground in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, head coach Burger knows only victory – which would guarantee progress to the Super 12 – will do against Oman in their final group fixture.

“We’ve already created history in this tournament by winning two games. That’s more than any Scottish team has done previously. We want to go one step further,” he said.

“All the goals that we’ve set have been over and above this group stage. We’ve spoken a lot about getting into round two and what we want to achieve getting into round two.

“But we know we need to take it one step at a time. I’m just really proud of the calm this unit has shown. The ability to win really big moments has been key.

“We’ve actually done that while not really getting out of third gear yet. I don’t think we’ve put a full game of cricket together yet – we have only shown glimpses so far.

“Glimpses with the bat, glimpses with the ball, glimpses in the field, but we’re going to have to bring all of that out tomorrow [against Oman] and then go again.”

Having already improved on their previous best performance at the 2016 edition, by winning two games, Burger now wants Scotland to lay down a marker by topping their group – meaning they would advance as team B1 and go into Group 2 of the Super 12 alongside Afghanistan, India, New Zealand, Pakistan and the runners-up from Group A (A2).

“The magnitude of the game is tremendous in terms of the bigger picture, not only for Scottish cricket but just associate cricket as well I think,” said the 39-year-old.

“We spoke about topping the group, that was certainly a goal and something we wanted to achieve before we arrived here. We spoke about it, we planned for it.

“It wouldn’t surprise me if we do that because the mindset is there and the belief is there amongst the group and the unit so it’s huge in terms of Scottish cricket.

“It also has the ability to inspire a nation and to be the first Scottish team to create history and do something that we’ve never done before is certainly in the back of every player’s mind.

“To leave a legacy of being the first Scottish team to do that is certainly a motivation of ours and to inspire all those young cricketers – not only in Scotland but around the world.

“We want them to take up the game and play a brand of cricket that Scotland plays, that is ultimately the goal we want to be achieving.”

Standing in Scotland’s way of topping the group and qualifying for the Super 12 stage is co-hosts Oman, who can also still progress with a victory over the Group B leaders.

Oman defeated Papua New Guinea in their opening game before losing to Bangladesh but Aqib Ilyas is confident his team’s superior net run rate stands them in good stead.

“The thing is they have won two matches, they might be positive but cricket is such a funny game that after winning two games they are still in a position where if they lose, they could be out,” he said.

“We are positive because they feel pressure but we’re not under pressure because it’s just a game that we have to win. After winning the last game they might have thought they were qualified.

“But now our run rate is so higher that if we just win the match, we go through and they are out, so this happened to us before and the teams who are at the top are under more pressure.

“There was a time when we were thinking we were in, now if we lose we’re out of the tournament so we will be very positive and we’ll go in with a positive mindset.

“It doesn’t matter that they have done well. It’s in the past, it’s gone, tomorrow let’s see what we can do. When the home crowd supports you, everything is easier for you.”

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