Scotland’s Kyle Coetzer believes Capital batsman George Munsey has flourished since moving to No.4 in the batting line-up – and both men were at the crease as their team recorded a comfortable win over Canada in their latest ICC World Twenty20 qualifier yesterday.
Having played their first four Group B matches at The Grange in Stockbridge, the Scots were this time at Heriot’s Goldenacre ground.
In front of a decent crowd they put in a good all-round performance to prevail by eight wickets against the winless Canadians, and in the process boosted their own chances of a top-four finish in the group.
Ahead of today’s action which was due to see the Netherlands play Canada at Goldenacre and the UAE take on Oman in Stirling, Scotland sat third in the group behind Afghanistan and Kenya.
And by the time the group finishes on Saturday evening, Grant Bradburn’s men will want to have made sure of a place in the top four that will take them into the next phase of the tournament in Ireland next week and, importantly, leave them still in with a chance of being one of the six qualifiers for next year’s big event in India.
In the first three Scotland matches against Namibia, the Netherlands and Afghanistan Mazars Grange’s Munsey, pictured below, opened the batting. However, this week against Kenya and Canada the left-hander has come in at four – and it appears to have worked a treat.
The 22-year-old hit 35 off 21 balls against Kenya and 33 not out off just 12 balls against Canada and Coetzer, who led the way yesterday with an unbeaten half century, the Scots chased a victory target of 136 with ease, said: “We have changed the batting order slightly in the last couple of games and it is a bit of a tactical thing.
“I thought the other guys who were needed to bat against Canada all did a good job and George Munsey came in and did exceptionally well, he seems to enjoy being at No. four.
“In past qualifying competitions run rate has hurt us so this time around we have tried to make sure that we have taken care of that by scoring quickly.
“The guys at the top of the batting order have had the confidence to do that because we know there is plenty of good batters lower down the order should they be required.
“Personally it is always great to get a score and contribute to a team win. I am very happy with my innings and now we have to go on and make sure we defeat Oman on Saturday and see where that leaves us in the group.
“Oman are a bit of an unknown quantity and they have had some good results in this event, but we have to concentrate on our own game.
“There is a good buzz about the place, everyone in the squad gets on and I think, most importantly, there is a lot of competition for places.
“In the past maybe we haven’t had as much competition, but now we know there is a squad of 15 who are all more than capable of going out there and doing a job, so it keeps you on your toes.”
Coetzer is 13th in the table of tournament runs scorers now with 110 while Munsey is fifth with 136 and, despite being new at this level, the later is looking comfortable whenever he comes to the crease.
Yesterday Canada made 135-8 batting first, Navneet Dhaliwal top scoring for them with a gutsy 34 not out, but Scotland bowled well.
The recalled Josh Davey was the pick of the bowlers with 3-36 while Carlton’s Ali Evans continued his very good tournament – he is joint top in the wicket takers table with nine scalps – with 2-25. The 31-year-old Coetzer made 51 not out in Scotand’s reply and Munsey 33 not out including six 4s and a 6, while Calum MacLeod contributed an important 29 runs and Matt Cross hit 21.
Scotland’s final group match against Oman takes place at Goldenacre tomorrow at 10am while, for supporters on the other side of the Capital, the Netherlands play Kenya at Myreside at 2.15pm. Entry to both matches is free.