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23 March 201507:35

Scotland CWC15 Wrap

We leave this tournament as a stronger and better team, says Scotland captain Preston Mommsen

Scotland CWC15 Wrap - Cricket News

Playing in a World Cup had also given Scottish cricket a level of exposure back home it was not accustomed to.

The maiden World Cup victory Scotland yearned for may have eluded it at this tournament, but the men in tartan proved they had the mettle to mix it with the world’s best on the biggest stage.

There are not many tougher tasks in cricket at the moment than playing Australia on its home turf but before Saturday’s match in Hobart, the Scotland players were excited, not intimidated, relishing the opportunity to take on the No.1 ranked one-day international team.

Although they might be disappointed not to have pushed Australia harder and although Scotland walks away from a World Cup winless for a third time, captain Preston Mommsen spoke at length before Saturday’s match about the benefits his side had reaped from the World Cup experience.

“We know we haven't won a game, which is very disappointing for us. But we know we still are relatively young when it comes to World Cup experience, and apart from Majid, no one had played in a World Cup before,” Mommsen said.

“You have good discussions about how you're going to approach things, but when you actually arrive here everything is amplified when you are playing in a World Cup.

“It's not just on match days. It's everything in between, the day to day, commitments, et cetera, et cetera. There is a lot going on.

“So for us, it's been hugely, hugely valuable just being here and gaining those experiences. So I think that the guys feel in a much better place with all of those experiences.

“Better cricketers, much stronger mentally definitely. And I think we leave this tournament as a stronger and better team.”

Throughout the tournament, the Scotland side has never laid down and looked increasingly confident as the pool matches wore on.

Vice-captain Kyle Coetzer said being part of the World Cup had been “hugely exciting”.

“We’ve had a lot of mixed emotions, we’ve been up high and then down low, not managing to get over the line on a few occasions. But the experience has been second to none for every single one of us,” Coetzer said.

Scotland would be better for the experience, he agreed, having gained the belief it could compete on the same arena as top-ranked teams.

“We don’t get a huge amount of fixtures throughout our season and so it’s that belief factor that we maybe don’t have.

“You come up against the best in the world and you wonder whether you are actually capable of managing yourself.

“I think we’ve shown throughout the tournament that yes, we are capable and the only thing we’re lacking is more fixtures.”

After a disappointing start with the bat in Dunedin against New Zealand in its first match – one that looks far better in hindsight given the Black Caps dealt out the same treatment to England and Australia – Scotland fought back to take seven of the host nation’s wickets.

“I think when we ran New Zealand fairly close in that first game, it was a definite highlight,” Coetzer said.

“There was that sense of belief that we were only three balls away. It wasn’t to be on the day but it was exciting.”

Scotland came agonisingly close against Afghanistan in a match that went down to the final over, while it also came close against Bangladesh after scoring more than 300 runs.

“Unfortunately, we just haven’t been able to get over that line. That might be the thing that haunts us as we go away from this tournament,” Coetzer said.

Coetzer provided one of Scotland’s highlights of the tournament when he became the first Associate player to score 150 against a full member nation.

“It was definitely one of the best innings I’ve ever played and it wasn’t a typical Kyle Coetzer innings,” Coetzer said.

“It as a slow build up and but fortunately I had the partners at the other end doing an excellent job and the rest just clicked into place.

“We had spoken about trying to see through the fifties and hundreds and it came off for me on the day.”

Allrounder Josh Davey, who until Friday led the wicket-taking table, agreed he was proud of the fight Scotland had shown against higher-ranked opposition.

“It’s been fantastic to get the opportunity to come over here and showcase our skills on the world stage,” Davey said.

“We’ve pushed teams. It’s been disappointing not to get the win but I think we’ve really shown fight when we’ve been playing.

“For me personally, it’s been nice to take a few wickets and get on top of the wicket-taking table.”

Scotland produced its fair share of other highlights through the tournament, not least of all wicketkeeper Matthew Cross’s stumping of England’s James Taylor.

“His stats are very, very impressive if you look at his catches and stumping behind the wickets,” Mommsen said.

“I think if you look at his overall career and his strike rate, so to speak of dismissals per innings is very good. You know, up there with the best in the world.

“So I think his stumping against England was up there with one of the best players in the tournament. So that is something that he can he be very proud of and something that we can be very proud of.”

Around Australia and New Zealand, the Scotland team has been welcomed and had more than its fair share of fans.

“Turning up to Dunedin for our first game, it was quite emotional actually with all the support and the welcome we got from the local people,” Coetzer said.

“Everywhere the fans have been amazing. We’ve had a good group of fans who followed us everyone but the fans in the local areas have also been amazing.

“We’ve never seen so much Scottish support, it’s amazing to see that overseas when we’ve away from home.”

On a larger scale, playing in a World Cup had also given Scottish cricket a level of exposure back home it was not accustomed to.

Coetzer believes it will be crucial for the future growth of the sport in Scotland, where it generally plays second fiddle to football and rugby.

“We’ve just played five games that have been live on TV at home and the amount of messages of support or comments flying around have gone through the roof,” Coetzer said.

“If we’re lucky, we play one game on TV each year so without a doubt (the World Cup) has been huge for cricket in Scotland and it’ll be nice to see the impact it has over the coming years.”

Next on the agenda for Scotland, Mommsen said, would be the ICC World T20 Qualifiers in June.

“We have to go back to associate cricket and look to dominate every game we play,” Mommsen said.

“You look at what Ireland have done; I think the reason that they compete so well at these tournaments is purely through the experiences that they've had when they've got themselves to these tournaments.

“There's so much for us to grow in the next 12 months.”