Skipper Kyle Coetzer heaped heavy praise on Chris Greaves who played a massive role in Scotland’s six wicket victory over Bangladesh in their first game of the T20 World Cup Qualifiers in Al Amerat. The allrounder first scored 45 off 28 deliveries to get his team to a respectable total and then scalped two crucial wickets of Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim in the second innings, as Scotland emerged victorious by six runs.
“I am really proud of Greaves. He really sacrificed a lot. He was delivering parcels for Amazon not too long ago, and now is getting Player of the Match against Bangladesh. I am not sure if he will appreciate me saying this. Seeing the performance from Mark Watt and Chris Greaves with the bat today, they are lesser-known people who had to make many sacrifices to get to where they are today,” Coetzer said
"Greaves isn't a contracted player in Scotland. He was on the fringes. He put his hand up, worked extremely hard and put himself in the picture. Going back a month, he wouldn't even start in one of these games. Look at what he has done. It is just proof in the pudding that there are some quality players around Associate cricket. They just need the platform to show it.
“It was an incredible day for him. It certainly wasn't a surprise for us. We knew he had the ability. He showed some exciting skills on this tour. It was so nice to see him take on the Bangladesh bowlers. He chanced his arms at times, but these were shots that we believed that he is capable of playing."
Asked to bat, Scotland lost their top-six batter inside 12 overs but that’s when Greaves put on a crucial 51-run stand with Mark Watt (17-ball 22) and got his team past the 100-run mark. Greaves smashed four fours and two sixes during his stay in the middle as Scotland managed 85 runs in the last eight overs.
“We were in a tough situation obviously. We had to rebuild the innings, and see where we go from there. It was unbelievable that I could be that person to be a part of that rebuilding. Incredible,” said Greaves.
Meanwhile, Coetzer termed this win ‘special’. “It is a great feeling. We believed we can achieve this win. It didn't quite go all our way, but it is a special feeling to beat Bangladesh. We have been planning for this tournament for a long time. We only played together as a group two months ago, after waiting a long time following the qualifiers,” he said.
"Guys were working hard behind the scenes, but it seemed sometimes we were working for nothing. Our tours kept getting cancelled. It was hard to manage, but this is reaping the rewards of keeping the faith that we will be a better team when this tournament comes around."
Talking about how they managed to keep Shakib and Mushfiqur in check, Coetzer said: “The plan was to keep them out of their hitting zones. We knew that they are extremely dangerous and very experienced players, so part of the challenge was to keep the ball spinning away from them or keep it underneath the bat.
"We knew Bangladesh's depth. They gave us a lesson at the start with their skills. It took a real fighting effort today. I kept on telling our guys that we are never out of the game."