‘We have to win – it will bring out best in Scots’

Dates: 16 October-13 November Venue: Australia
Coverage: Ball-by-ball Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, BBC Sport website & app; live text commentary with clips on BBC Sport website & app

Vice-captain Matthew Cross expects Scotland to be inspired by the crucial match against Zimbabwe and reach the Super 12s of the Men’s T20 World Cup.

Scotland’s six-wicket defeat by Ireland in Hobart on Wednesday means all four teams in Group B are on two points.

Scotland must beat Zimbabwe on Friday to qualify for the next stage.

“It’s the last game of the group so there will be a lot on the line, which will hopefully bring the best out of us,” Cross told BBC Scotland.

“Before the tournament if you’d had given us one game to win to go through then we’d have taken that.

“We just have to win – there will be no net run-rate. This is the exact same position we were in at the World Cup 12 months ago, so we have that experience to draw on.”

Ireland face West Indies in their final group game on Friday (05:00 BST) before Scotland take on Zimbabwe (09:00), with all four teams knowing victory sends them through.

The top two sides from each group will qualify for the Super 12s, which start on Saturday. The runner-up from Group B will go into a group featuring England.

Scotland are 15th in the International Cricket Council T20 rankings, with West Indies seventh, Zimbabwe 11th and Ireland 12th.

Scotland reached the Super 12s at last year’s T20 World Cup in the United Arab Emirates but progressed from an easier preliminary group containing Oman, Bangladesh and Papua New Guinea.

Cross says the Scotland players can “walk away with our heads held high” no matter what happens on Friday.

“We’ve been blessed with a pretty tough set of games so I expect another tough game,” said the wicketkeeper, who made 28 off 21 balls on Wednesday.

“They have to win as well, so I’m sure they’ll be right up for it. We got the tough end of the draw and I think to get through this group would be an exceptional effort.

“I firmly believe we deserve the opportunity to play in the next round already based on what we’ve done, but that means nothing if we don’t turn up on Friday.”

Scotland appeared to be closing on a victory on Wednesday with Ireland 61-4 in the 10th over in pursuit of 177, but Curtis Campher and George Dockrell shared a thrilling unbroken stand of 119 to see Ireland home with an over to spare.

The winners of Group B will face India, Pakistan, South Africa, Bangladesh and the Group A runner-up in the Super 12s.

The runner-up in Group B will play England, Australia, New Zealand, Afghanistan and the Group A winners.

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