Scotland pull off impressive thrashing of West Indies in T20 World Cup | T20 World Cup
Phil Simmons condemned his West Indies side’s batting after the two-time T20 World Cup champions were thrashed by Scotland in their opening match of this year’s competition in Hobart. Chasing 161 to win, West Indies slumped from 53 for one, 62 for four and 79 for eight as Scotland pulled off the greatest win in their World Cup history.
“Too many soft dismissals,” said Simmons, the West Indies coach. “As batsmen you have to pay a bit more attention to your wicket. We need to wake up and start being professional when we’re batting. The bowlers seem to be working hard and putting us in good positions, but the batters continue to be at fault.”
West Indies, seventh in the world, had gone into the game as overwhelming favourites against a Scotland side that sits 15th. Their defeat, the day after Sri Lanka were resoundingly beaten by another associate nation in Namibia, means the tournament has sprung into life with shocks on its first two days and leaves the top-ranked teams in both first-round groups fighting for their lives.
“The main thing to take away from this is the fact that Scotland, since the last World Cup, we’ve only played two games,” said their spinner George Watt. “We don’t get an awful lot of fixtures where we can try things out. These guys play I don’t know how many fixtures a year, so the fact that we’ve played two T20s and come in and beat [former] world champions is a bit of a surprise – but in our dressing room we believe that we can beat anyone on our day.”
This was emphatically Scotland’s day, the game played in breezy, chilly, overcast and, for a while, wet conditions. After being put in to bat George Munsey top-scored with an unbeaten 66, helping his side to 52 without loss off 5.2 overs when play was suspended because of rain.
Though they scored less freely after the resumption they reached a score that looked perhaps slightly under par, at least until Evin Lewis’s dismissal in the sixth over of West Indies’ reply started their collapse and it swiftly fell out of reach. Watt’s spin did the serious damage, with his four overs bringing three wickets and costing 12 runs; Michael Leask was not far behind with two wickets for 15.
“The pitch didn’t offer a lot to spin but I just varied the pace. If people want to go across the line it’s a bit of a gamble,” Watt said. “So I just did what I do well, varied the pace , mixed it up as much as I can. Sometimes I don’t even know what’s coming next and definitely the batter can’t know.”
Coming next for Scotland is a game against Ireland on Wednesday, while West Indies play Zimbabwe knowing any more slip-ups would condemn them to first-round elimination.
“The boys in the field put in a hell of an effort, diving about on a lovely, greasy surface,” Leask said. “Pretty much a typical Scottish day – a bit of rain, what else could we ask for? I don’ t think they’d have enjoyed the cold too much, we embraced it and played our best cricket.”