SCOTLAND coach Craig Wright believes his players have matured over the course of the World Cup qualifiers after they booked their place at the 2015 finals.
Scotland secured their seat on the plane to Australia and New Zealand with a nervy three-wicket win over Kenya, which sealed their place in the top two of the Super Six.
Needing 261 for victory, Scotland were struggling at 169 for six before captain Preston Mommsen (78) and Rob Taylor (46no) pushed them to victory.
The pair put on 53 for the seventh wicket before Taylor, who scored his runs off 37 balls, pushed his side over the line once his skipper had fallen, with the key hit a six off Nehemiah Odhiambo in the penultimate over.
Opener Alex Obanda was Kenya’s top scorer with 89 as they were bowled out for 260 in exactly 50 overs.
Scotland have won seven of their nine games in New Zealand this month with the final of the tournament to come at the weekend against fellow qualifiers United Arab Emirates.
Wright and former England all-rounder Paul Collingwood assumed joint control of the team on an interim basis just over a month ago after Peter Steindl paid the price for his failure to lead them to the ICC World Twenty20 finals.
And Wright has been delighted with the players’ response.
“It has been a fantastic to see individuals in the team as a whole grow over the period of this trip,” he said on the Cricket Scotland website.
“We challenged the players to embrace pressure and be inspired by the fact there was a lot riding on this competition. They have passed the test with flying colours and should be proud of their efforts.
“We hope this is the beginning for this team in terms of their development and potential.”
Mommsen, who was deputising for the injured Kyle Coetzer, was delighted with the way his side handled the pressure to prevent a second consecutive World Cup without Scottish representation.
“I’m absolutely ecstatic, it was an incredible team performance,” Mommsen said. “We showed huge amounts of character and we are proud that we could deliver under that amount of pressure. It bodes well for the future.
“We’ve had a bit of an absence, so to get back in there is unbelievable. The dressing room is very, very happy to say the least.
“The guys at the end were unbelievable, they held their nerve, there was still a lot of work to do, and it was a massive team effort in the team. Some good partnerships won us the game.”
Mommsen added: “The final is a massive game for us. We want to leave this tournament as the number one team, so we will be going full on for that.”