Scotland pulled off a shock six-run victory over Bangladesh at the T20 World Cup this past Sunday thanks to a man-of-the-match performance from a former Amazon delivery driver, who was born and raised in Johannesburg, South Africa.
In the unlikely surroundings of a 3,000-seat stadium on the outskirts of Muscat, after the global showpiece was chased out of India by Covid-19, Scotland recovered from 53-6 to stun the Tigers, ranked six in the world.
Chris Greaves’ 28-ball 45 guided Scotland to 140-9 and he then took two key wickets with his leg-spin to restrict Bangladesh to 134-7.
Greaves (31) and playing just his second T20I, sent back Shakib Al Hasan (20) and Mushfiqur Rahim (38) to dent Bangladesh’s chase.
Durban-born pace bowler Brad Wheal returned figures of 3-24 as Bangladesh suffered an early setback in their fight to make the Super 12 stage.
“I’m really proud of Greaves, he had to sacrifice a lot. He was delivering parcels for Amazon not long ago and now he’s getting man of the match and playing against Bangladesh,” said Scotland skipper Kyle Coetzer.
Scotland are second on the early Group B table, just behind Oman, who handed debutants Papua New Guinea a 10-wicket rout. The top- two teams will advance into the next stage and join the heavyweights in the seventh edition of the T20 World Cup.
Greaves, who does not have a central contract with Cricket Scotland, said he was delighted with his all-round display.
“We were in a tough situation obviously and it doesn’t always go that way,” he said. “It was just to rebuild the innings at that stage and see where we could go from there. I was happy to be that person. With the score on the board, you’ve got something to bowl at.”
The only bright spot for Bangladesh was Shakib taking two wickets which allowed him to surpass Sri Lanka’s Lasith Malinga as the leading wicket-taker in T20Is. The 34-year-old all-rounder now has 108 wickets in 89 matches since his debut in 2006.
“The bowlers did their job really well but the batting unit wasn’t good enough,” said Bangladesh captain Mahmudullah Riyad.
© Agence France-Presse