Matthew Mott says England had advantage when T20 clash with Scotland abandoned

Head coach Matthew Mott claimed England held “all the advantage” when rain wiped out their T20 World Cup opener against Scotland, adding an optimistic gloss to a game that could easily have ended in a shock defeat.

The defending champions started the day as overwhelming favourites against their northern neighbours, who they had never before faced in the format, but were staring at the possibility of a serious upset when the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern calculations left them chasing a steep target of 109 from 10 overs.

Scotland openers George Munsey and Michael Jones had taken the initiative with a confident score of 90 without loss, scoring 51 from 6.2 overs and 39 from 22 balls either side of a lengthy delay.

England’s attack lacked wicket-taking bite as their only real opportunity of a breakthrough came when George Munsey was caught off a Mark Wood no-ball. Scotland, meanwhile, attacked with verve and bravery as their top-order pair shared four sixes and eight fours.

Munsey, one of six survivors from the side that stunned England in a one-off ODI when they last faced each other in 2018, struck 41no off 31 balls and Jones – who only arrived in the Caribbean three days ago after his last-minute release by Durham – crashed an unbeaten 45 from 30 deliveries.

Mott is well aware a strong showing is needed from his side after the disappointment of their 50-over trophy defence last year and was unwilling to give up ground in his post-match assessment.

He insisted the slippery conditions, which made it difficult for bowlers to grip the ball, allied to his own side’s powerful batting line-up, left them well placed to take the win.

“We’ve waited a long time to be able to put our best foot forward and we didn’t get that opportunity today. It’s incredibly frustrating for both teams,” he said.

“We had all the advantage in that. A wet ball, 10 wickets in hand, 10 overs. If we’d got back out there, it would have been tough on Scotland.

“I think it would have been well within our grasp to get that so we were very confident. We were desperate to play.

“Scotland batted incredibly well, they played quite unconventionally at times and really took the game on but I was really pleased the way we came back out and shut it down pretty well.”

While Mott was keen to lean into the positives from a game that could easily have gone awry had England’s power-hitters faltered, he did find room for one note of frustration as he admonished his side for some “sloppy” fielding work in the initial stages.

Jones made it clear Mott’s view was not shared in the Scottish dressing room, where spirits were riding high before the heavens opened for the final time.

“Possibly if you’d asked us before the game ‘do you want a point?’ we might have taken it, but to take on England and be in that position, knowing we had a really good chance of winning, is really frustrating,” he said.

“Scotland have been done by the rain a few times now at big tournaments. Matthew Mott thinks they were confident, we think we were confident, so it probably would have been a really good game for the spectators. We felt we were in a strong position, that’s why it’s so frustrating we didn’t get to finish.”

Had the umpires opted to send England in for a reduced five-over thrash, rather than pushing for a longer game, there may have been just enough time to force a result. And Scotland were ready for any eventuality.

“The game was more in our favour if it was shorter. We would have been in a strong position,” said Jones.

“We do what we’re told. In hindsight it would have been nice to get a game in any way but those are the cards that were dealt.”