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Scotland cricket team on exciting journey, says captain Kyle Coetzer after T20 World Cup exit

Pakistan's Hasan Ali, left, celebrates the dismissal of Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer
Pakistan's Hasan Ali, left, celebrates the dismissal of Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer

Kyle Coetzer hopes cricket in Scotland realises an exciting future after defeat to Pakistan ended their T20 World Cup campaign.

Scotland’s campaign ended in disappointing fashion in Sharjah, as they were beaten by Pakistan by 72 runs.

After winning all three of their qualifying group games, this stage has proved a step too far Scotland with five defeats in a row.

Skipper Coetzer, who has been a consistently strong voice for Scottish cricket throughout the tournament, takes pride in their performances and believes the future should be bright for the game back home.

“Hopefully there’s a lot of exciting things ahead,” he said. “We’ve got a World Cup to prepare for and a lot of World Cricket League series in between.

“I’m extremely proud of how we’ve played and what we’ve achieved. We’ve got an excellent group and the guys are trying to learn as fast as they can.

“Being exposed to what we have been in the Super 12 is only going to make us stronger. We’ve shown on a couple of occasions what we’re capable of but we’ve got plenty left in the tank.

Scotland batter Richie Berrington, right, celebrates with partner Chris Greaves after hitting a six against Pakistan
Scotland batter Richie Berrington, right, celebrates with partner Chris Greaves after hitting a six against Pakistan

“Hopefully from the seven weeks or so, we’ve been able to inspire as many associate nations as we can and certainly young cricketers back in Scotland. That’s why we’re here, to give it all for our country and be able to inspire as many as people as we possibly can.

“That’s how I started many years ago, watching Scotland play in a World Cup and hopefully a few more boys and girls will come through that want to play for their country.”

Scotland made two changes for their final game, handing Dylan Budge and Hamza Tahir their first appearances of the tournament in place of Calum Macleod and Ali Evans.

Scotland spinner Hamza Tahir, left, celebrates the dismissal of Pakistan's Mohammad Rizwan.
Scotland spinner Hamza Tahir, left, celebrates the dismissal of Pakistan’s Mohammad Rizwan.

Tahir and fellow spinner Chris Greaves struck in the opening 10 overs to remove Mohammed Rizwan and Fakhar Zaman, leaving Pakistan on 60-2.

Mohammad Hafeez’s impressive 31 came to an end when Safyan Sharif trapped him LBW but Babar Azam (66) and a wonderful cameo from Shoaib Malik (54 off 18 balls) helped carry Pakistan to 189-4.

Scotland lost Coetzer early and were never close to the run-rate, which had already climbed well above 12-an-over by the seventh.

Richie Berrington’s half-century offered some optimism but Pakistan were comfortable victors, as Scotland finished on 117-6.

Shoaib Malik played a destructive innings against Scotland
Shoaib Malik played a destructive innings against Scotland

Pakistan won all five of their Super 12 games and will face Australia in the semi-finals. In a rematch of the 50-over World Cup final from 2019, England will play New Zealand in the other semi.

“It’s a huge achievement to get through the Super 12 and puts us in a better place moving forward,” added Coetzer. “We have to find a way to improve our A team structures at home and keep developing this squad of players; we’ve got a long journey to go on but it’s an exciting one to be part of.

“Who wouldn’t want to be part of Cricket Scotland right now, after following this tournament and seeing how well these guys have done? Look at Richie Berrington, showing the class that he has. Mark Watt throughout the tournament has been outstanding, Hamza Tahir came in and did a fantastic job.

“Safyan Sharif has been fantastic with his early skills with the ball and at the death. Chris Greaves has got to have a mention, for the way he bowled against Bangladesh and for putting his hand up to bowl the last over against Pakistan.

“I want to thank everyone back home for all their support. It’s been outstanding.”

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