Brad Wheal says strong performance against England has given Scotland belief

Brad Wheal says going to toe to toe with reigning champions England has strengthened Scotland’s belief that they can cause a stir at the T20 World Cup.

Openers Michael Jones and George Munsey laid down a marker by sharing an unbeaten stand of 90 in 10 overs against a high-quality English attack on Tuesday, with rain delays raising the target to a formidable 109 on DLS.

Scotland’s chances of bowling their way to a famous win never got off the ground as the heavens opened and left the sides with a point each but, as a statement of intent, it was mission accomplished for the associate nation.

“Those two guys, Munns and Jonesy, going out there and putting the right foot forward has given the rest of the squad some good confidence to go on through the rest of this tournament and believe that we’re good enough to be here,” said Wheal.

“We believe we’re good enough to compete and beat the best teams in the world. We feel like we’re in a good position to win some games out here.

“I think we showed a small glimpse of what we could have done against the current world champions. It was definitely a defendable target, I mean they would have been chasing 11 an over. That’s definitely something that our bowling line-up could have defended.”

Scotland do not have long to wait to work their frustrations out, with Namibia next up at the Kensington Oval on Thursday.

The Africans won their opening game against Oman on a super over and have a 3-0 record against the Scots in the 20-over format. But Wheal insists they are in no mood to play second fiddle as they look to qualify from Group B as one of the top two teams.

“Realistically our best chance of getting into the Super 8 stage, competing and turning some big teams over is looking at the next game and then the Oman game after that. One game at a time, but we’ll take the belief in what we’ve done against England.

I think in our eyes, we definitely see ourselves as favourites because we know that these are games we can and we should win.”

“We’re going into the game with the belief that we’re going to win. Namibia have obviously come off a win in their first game, so they’ll be riding hard. They’ve got a really good, strong squad but I think in our eyes, we definitely see ourselves as favourites because we know that these are games we can and we should win.”

Scotland’s attack is missing the experienced Josh Davey after he was not released for duty by Somerset, but Wheal had no such issues after a frank discussion with Hampshire over his availability.

“It’s a bit of a tricky one…but I was pretty open and honest with Hampshire. I said, ‘listen, I want to go to the World Cup’,” he explained.

“I wanted to be available for selection and they were pretty happy with that. They understand that it’s an opportunity to go out there and play against the best of the best. It’s a learning experience.

“Every opportunity to put the Scotland shirt on is an incredible one and one that I’ll cherish forever.”