Dunedin: Scotland captain Preston Mommsen said he hoped the memory of his side’s heartbreaking loss to New Zealand last year would spur on his side when they face the World Cup co-hosts on Tuesday.
The Scots will be playing their first World Cup fixture for eight years, having failed to win in their previous two campaigns, in 1999 and 2007.
New Zealand cemented their status as one of the favourites for this World Cup with a dominating 98-run win over Sri Lanka in the tournament’s opening match.
But October saw Scotland, a non-Test nation, go down by just one run to a New Zealand side which included eight members of the Black Caps’ World Cup squad.
“We watched a video this morning of that game, and we took a huge amount from that game,” Mommsen said.
“We took them very close, and really we should have won that game,” he added of a match where only a last-ball run out prevented Scotland from recording what would have been a memorable victory.
“A lot of the guys playing tomorrow played in that game, so we’ve got that to call upon, and hopefully we can produce a similar performance tomorrow and take the game deep,” Mommsen said.
“Obviously New Zealand are a quality team, and the form they are currently in, they’re going to be a difficult team to break down.
“I think we’ve got to play smart cricket to have any chance,” added Mommsen, whose side did just that in their warm-up matches when scoring 310 against the West Indies and cruising to a 179-run win over fellow associates Ireland.
Scotland will be looking to utilise the local knowledge of coach Grant Bradburn, the former New Zealand off-spinner, who is one of several team chiefs coming up against his native country at this World Cup.
“He’s got huge experience with playing in New Zealand and coached probably a lot of the guys in that New Zealand team. He’s given us some valuable insights in our prep for the game tomorrow,” Mommsen added.
Dunedin, nicknamed the ‘Edinburgh of the south’ because of its historic links to the Scottish capital, has proved a home away from home for Mommsen’s men.
“It’s been an awesome couple of days,” said the skipper. “We really felt like we were a part of it, and the World Cup had started for us.”(AFP)