RICHIE Berrington is backing Scotland to rekindle their T20 World Cup qualifying hopes with victory against Kenya today.
After weekend defeats by both the Netherlands and Afghanistan, Scots’ hopes were also dealt a blow yesterday when Kenya were handed a surprise point after their clash with group leaders Afghanistan was washed out at Stirling.
Scotland had hoped to move above the Kenyans on net run-rate with victory at The Grange today but they can now only close to within one point and will remain in fourth place providing Netherlands beat Oman.
However, Berrington said: “We haven’t got time to think about anything except preparing for an important game against a good Kenya team. In this format the games come thick and fast and it’s important to move on quickly. We have played a few games against Kenya in the last couple of years so we know a bit about them.”
Berrington says Scotland will take confidence from last year’s win in New Zealand when they qualified for the 50-over World Cup, but they are wary of the Kenyans’ T20 prowess having lost to them in the last qualifying tournament two years ago.
Kenya are now coached by Steve Tikolo who produced a remarkable bowling spell to claim four wickets for just two runs in that game, virtually ending Scottish hopes of playing in last year’s T20 World Cup.
“We’ve got good memories and bad memories of Kenya and obviously we’ll be looking to repeat last year’s 50-over success,” added Berrington. “But as always the important thing is to focus on our own game and concentrate on executing our skills.
“The defeats at the weekend were extremely disappointing but we have to take the lessons from these games and move on.”
With Afghanistan almost certain to win Group B and clinch automatic qualification to next year’s World Cup in India, Scotland have been left facing a desperate scrap for the remaining places. The tournament’s play-off format means the second and third-placed sides in their groups will have two chances to qualify whereas the fourth-placed team will have just one sudden-death opportunity.