With this victory, Scotland are currently No. 3 position in the Group B points table © Getty Images
With this victory, Scotland are currently No. 3 position in the Group B points table © Getty Images

Scotland remained on course to progress to the knock-out stages of the ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2015 following a straightforward eight-wicket victory over Canada in Edinburgh on Thursday. The host team is now well placed in third position in Group B, ahead of Oman on net run-rate and just one point behind Afghanistan and Kenya. Having previously lost two matches, Scotland was in a precarious situation and desperately needed a strong performance against the Canucks. For Canada, it was their fourth successive lose in this event. Their qualification hopes are almost over. READ: ICC World T20 Qualifier 2015: Points Table

Having been invited to bat first, Canada got off to a good start and put on 24 runs at a brisk rate before losing the big-hitting Ruvindu Gunasekara in the third over for 19. From there it was a steady procession of Canadian batsmen to and from the middle with the best partnership ending up being an unbeaten one for the ninth wicket, when Navneet Dhaliwal (34*) and Junaid Siddiqui (28*) added 48 in just less than five overs to give their team something to defend. Blog: ICC World Twenty20 Qualifier 2015, July 16, SCO vs CAN

As it turned out, 135 never looked like a winning total as Scotland openers Kyle Coetzer and Calum MacLeod went after the Canadian bowling from the start. MacLeod was dismissed for a 15-ball 29 (three fours, two sixes) and it was clear the home batters had no intention of using the full 20 overs to knock off the runs. Matthew Cross has been in good form with the bat during the tournament so far and he made 21 before being caught behind by Hamza Tariq off the bowling of Satsimranjit Dhindsa. Cross’s replacement George Munsey was in no mood to hang around, either, and hit 33 off just 12 deliveries with Coetzer (51*) carrying his bat at the other end to make sure the target was reached with minimum fuss.

Afterwards, man of the match Coetzer was pleased with the performance and highlighted the opportunities that come with the congested nature of Group B. He said: “Our group is wide open with each team beating each other so it’s important we got that result today. From a personal point of view, it’s nice to contribute. We have some guys who have really contributed and played some great innings so far in this tournament so it was nice to do one for the team today.”

With Oman next, Coach Grant Bradburn knows there is still a lot of work left to be done to make sure of remaining in this tournament. He said: “We’ve been following Oman’s games closely. We came down and had a little look at their big game against Afghanistan so we know them well. We’ll do our scouting as we do with all teams. We’ll look at them in depth.

“But I think most importantly, we have a nice feeling in our camp too and I think we have a lot of match-winners throughout the order who are all putting up their hands and taking turns to bring the game home. Today was Kyle’s turn and I know there’s a lot of other hungry individuals looking to play well at the sharp end of this tournament.”

With so many teams in contention in Group B, there is a good chance that places could end up being decided by net run-rates. That being the case, making sure not only of victory but also of a quick one was clearly something Coetzer and his batting partners were bearing in mind. Yes, run-rates have hurt us in the past so we have been very conscious of finishing these games as quickly as we possibly can to give us every chance possible,” he said.

Brief scores:

Canada 135 for 8 in 20 overs (Navneet Dhaliwal 34*; Josh Davey 3 for 36, Alasdair Evans 2 for 25) lost to Scotland 139 for 2 in 14.4 overs (Kyle Coetzer 51*, George Munsey 33*; Satsimranjit Dhindsa 2 for 27) by 8 wickets.

Man of the match: Kyle Coetzer