Scotland pulled off a major upset against Bangladesh with a six-run victory on the opening day of cricket’s Twenty20 World Cup.
In the other Group B game Sunday, co-host Oman thrashed tournament newcomer Papua New Guinea by 10 wickets.
Chris Greaves first lifted Scotland to 140-9 after Bangladesh won the toss and its spinners had reduced the Scots to 53-6 in the 12th over.
He then picked up the key wickets of Mushfiqur Rahim (38) and Shakib Al Hasan (20) with his leg-spin bowling, eventually restricting Bangladesh’s chase to 134-7.
“It was a great game,” Greaves said. “I’m just glad I could contribute in the way I did. Incredible.”
The top two teams from each of the two groups in the first round will advance to the Super 12 stage that starts in the United Arab Emirates next Saturday.
Bangladesh, a favorite to qualify for Super 12, struggled against Scotland’s seam and spin and could hit only eight boundaries and four sixes.
Medium pacers Brad Wheal (3-24) and Josh Davey (1-24), along with spinner Mark Watt (1-19) combined well, but it was Greaves’ two wickets in the middle overs which completely unsettled Bangladesh.
Calum MacLeod took a brilliant running catch at deep mid-wicket to dismiss Shakib and Mushfiqur played a reckless ramp shot and his leg stump was knocked back by Greaves’ googly.
In a match-winning allround performance, Greaves had earlier revived Scotland’s innings with four boundaries and two sixes after Mahedi Hasan (3-19) and Shakib (2-17) picked up five wickets in the space of eight runs and reduced Scotland to 53-6.
Shakib also became the world’s leading wicket-taker in T20 internationals by claiming his 108th wicket when he removed Michael Leask for a duck. He surpassed the previous mark of 107 set by ex-Sri Lanka pace bowler Lasith Malinga.
The “bowlers did their job really well but (our) batting unit wasn’t good enough,” Bangladesh skipper Mahmudullah said. “Credit goes to their batters, they had a good finish. We still need to be positive and figure out where we made mistakes, and not try to repeat them.”
Group A comprises Ireland, Namibia, Sri Lanka and the Netherlands.
OMAN THUMPS PNG
Co-host Oman’s openers Jatinder Singh and Aqib Ilyas smashed unbeaten half centuries in their team’s thumping win over PNG.
Singh scored 73 off 42 balls and Ilyas made 50 as the hosts eased to 131-0 with more than six overs to spare.
Earlier, skipper Zeeshan Ashraf (4-20) registered Oman’s best figures in a T20 international and pinned down PNG to 129-9.
“These are our home conditions, we knew even 140 could be chased easily,” Ashraf said. “We knew the wicket was playing very well, we needed to make sure we didn’t give away loose balls and easy boundaries.”
PNG captain Assad Vala (56) and Charles Amini (37) did well to share an 81-run stand after openers Tony Ura and Lega Siaka had played Oman fast bowlers back onto their stumps without a run on the board.
But Amini’s run-out was followed by Singh taking a brilliant running catch at long-on before Ashraf, the left-arm spinner, grabbed three wickets in an over to derail the PNG innings.
Singh played several impressive reverse sweeps, hitting seven fours and four sixes without any of the seven bowlers used by Vala able to trouble the batsman. He reached the victory with a six over mid-wicket in the 14th over.
The 131-run stand was Oman’s best partnership for any wicket in a T20 and the chase, without losing a wicket, was the third-highest in men’s T20 internationals.
“On that wicket, 129 was never going to be enough,” Vala said. “We were looking at 160-plus to give ourselves a chance. (First) Charles got run out, then myself getting out, (and) we lost our way. I think a lot of credit goes to Maqsood and his boys.”