Berrington was one of five players who were in the starting XI on March 21, 2018, when their World Cup dream ended with a defeat to West Indies ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/cricket-wc-qualifier-2017-18-1132997/scotland-vs-west-indies-31st-match-super-sixes-1133028/full-scorecard) at the same ground. It was Berrington’s wicket that changed the game ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/two-critical-moments-in-two-critical-games-have-potentially-cost-us-kyle-coetzer-1141125). With Scotland on 105 for 4 in the 32nd over, chasing 199, Berrington was given out lbw against offspinner Ashley Nurse and with no DRS available, could not request a review. Even to the untrained eye, the delivery appeared to be missing leg stump. Four overs later, the rain came down. Scotland were five runs behind the DLS target of 131 – which would have been fewer had Berrington not been dismissed – and lost the match, and along with it, a chance to appear at the 2019 World Cup.
This time, there was not a cloud in the sky as Scotland skittled West Indies for 181 and chased the target with 6.3 overs to spare. Poetically, Berrington played the shot that levelled the scores and was at the other end when the winning runs were scored; runs that will keep West Indies out of the World Cup ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/story/scotland-vs-west-indies-how-west-indies-botched-their-odi-world-cup-chances-1385211) for the first time in history and gives Scotland another chance of getting to the main event. “Thats’ a blueprint of how we want to play,” Doug Watson ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/doug-watson-47870), Scotland’s coach, said at the post-match press conference.
Scotland used the new ball well in helpful conditions and had West Indies in trouble at 81 of 6 in the 21st over. Although the seventh wicket partnership of 77 went on for longer than Scotland may have liked, West Indies never got away from them. Their chase, dented by the early loss of Christopher McBride, was clinical.
Brandon McMullen ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/cricketers/brandon-mcmullen-949473) starred with both bat and ball and is now Scotland’s leading run-scorer and second-highest wicket-taker in the competition. He is quickly becoming the star of the side, after being spotted by former Scotland coach Shane Burger at Durban’s Hilton College and making his debut just seven months ago. McMullen bowled an opening spell of nine overs in this match and has established himself as a go-to player for Berrington and Watson. “He is a lovely team man; gets in and helps everyone,” Watson said. “Just a beautiful human being to be around.”
The good vibes coming out of the Scotland camp extend beyond McMullen, with the squad as a whole feeding off their strong string of results in the World Cricket League Division 2, which saw them automatically qualify for this event, and a preparation period that included a training camp and playing in a domestic T20 tournament in West Indies. Against the backdrop of their own reckoning with racism ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.thecricketmonthly.com/story/1382342/how-cricket-in-scotland-has-stumbled-from-a-racism-scandal-to-the-brink-of-meltdown), Scottish cricket has not had a smooth ride over the last few months, but their performance at this campaign has given them reason to believe they can go one step further.
They have four points to their name and two matches left to play, which means they could reach eight points. Both Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka could end up on the same number, which will bring net run rate into play in the final calculation. For now, as Berrington said, Scotland just want to acknowledge “the importance of every game,” and be “clear in our plans.”
They have already overturned two Full Member sides, Ireland ^(https://lotus365.today/goto/https://www.espncricinfo.com/series/icc-cricket-world-cup-qualifier-2023-1377745/ireland-vs-scotland-7th-match-group-b-1377752/full-scorecard) and West Indies, and take on a third in Zimbabwe on Tuesday. Watson is confident that even with the home crowd behind them, Zimbabwe are fallible and that Scotland can give them a run for their money. “It shows that we can compete at this level,” Watson said. “Associate cricket is hard. Games like this are a real highlight for us. We see it as a privilege to play in them.”