|ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, Dubai International Cricket Stadium|
|New Zealand 172-5 (20 overs): Guptill 93 (56), Phillips 33 (37); Sharif 2-28|
|Scotland 156-5 (20 overs): Leask 42* (20); Boult 2-29|
|New Zealand won by 16 runs|
Scotland were eliminated from the Men’s T20 World Cup by a 16-run defeat against New Zealand.
Opener Martin Guptill hit a terrific 93 off 56 balls as New Zealand recovered from 52-3 to post 172-5 in Dubai.
In a spirited reply, Scotland were going well at 100-3 after 14 overs but fell short despite Michael Leask’s brutal unbeaten 42 off 20 balls.
Victory renewed New Zealand’s hopes of qualifying for the semi-finals from Group 1 of the Super 12s.
Wins over Namibia and second-placed Afghanistan – who were thrashed by India in Abu Dhabi later on Wednesday – will take the Black Caps into the last four.
Positives to take for Scotland
While Scotland have lost their three Super 12 games, they had arguably exceeded expectations by topping Group B in the qualifying round, which included a superb win over Bangladesh.
Poor performances against Afghanistan and Namibia in the Super 12s suggested it could be another one-sided contest against New Zealand, but Scotland held their own.
Seamer Safyaan Sharif’s hard work and disciplined bowling was rewarded with two wickets in the fifth over, including New Zealand captain Kane Williamson for a four-ball duck.
Spinner Mark Watt has also impressed this tournament – he has gone at 5.22 runs per over in six matches – and he enjoyed another fine spell with the ball, finishing with 1-13 from four overs.
It was also a much better display by Scotland’s batters, and perhaps their most memorable moment of the competition came in the fifth over of their chase when Matthew Cross hit New Zealand fast bowler Adam Milne for five consecutive four.
Scotland face India in Dubai on Friday and Pakistan in Sharjah on Sunday in their final two games.
Guptill powers New Zealand to glory
Having beaten pre-tournament favourites India on Sunday, this was another solid win for New Zealand with opener Guptill leading the way.
He hit six fours and seven sixes and shared a 105-run fourth-wicket partnership with Glenn Phillips.
Guptill struggled in the heat at times, kneeling down between deliveries on several occasions, but became only the second man to reach 3,000 runs in T20 internationals, after India’s Virat Kohli.
Having lost to Pakistan in their opening game, New Zealand’s fate is now in their own hands and they may just be peaking at the right time.
‘Scotland can take a lot of pride’ – what they said
Scotland coach Shane Burger: “It was so close, but just not quite good enough in the end. We know that we could have done enough and should have done enough to get over the line.
“We put on a good show but we also know that there are areas we need to be better in.
“There’s quite a few areas where we just weren’t quite on the money but, given more opportunities in environments like this, it’s the only way you can see our players getting better.”
Former Scotland bowler John Blain on BBC Test Match Special: “A great performance from Scotland, getting a bit of pride back after the first two defeats.
“It was important they came back full of confidence and belief. To get within 16 runs of New Zealand is more than respectable.”
Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer: “Off the back of two losses prior to today, it was about going out and trying to perform as best we could against a really strong New Zealand side.
“If we had been able to restrict Guptill earlier in the innings that might have changed the game.”
Player of the match Martin Guptill: “I was pretty cooked. We’ve got a day off so I won’t be doing much tomorrow.”