Scotland’s Richie Berrington has revealed how a post-match team meeting, in the aftermath of defeat against Nottinghamshire last weekend, acted as the catalyst for the Scots to gain a famous victory over ICC Full Members, Bangladesh, in The Hague on Tuesday.
Berrington, the 25 year-old Greenock all-rounder, was the architect of his side’s triumph, hitting a superb, boundary-studded century from just 55 balls, as he and compatriots eventually recorded a 34-run success in the Twenty20 format.
Yet he admitted that the transformation in Scotland’s fortunes had only happened after some plain speaking between the players and national coach, Pete Steindl. “We were disappointed with our recent performances in the CB40 competition, because we should have done a lot better against Somerset and we had a lengthy chat after we had gone down to Notts, because we understood we needed to turn things round,” said Berrington, whose flamboyant innings featured ten 4s and five 6s.
“We knew that we had a big chance against Bangladesh, because we back ourselves to give anybody a good game, but the one thing which we realise we have to improve upon is our consistency.
“Obviously, it was special to hit a hundred, but the main thing was winning the game and we were aware they had some dangerous players, so we had to work hard to put pressure on them in defending our score . I thought Josh and Maj[id Haq] both bowled outstandingly [in picking up three wickets apiece], but they were backed up by the others, we held our catches, we secured a vital run-out with a direct hit, and the fielding was excellent. So it was a good team display and that was crucial.”
Berrington did not attempt to pretend that the outcome meant everything was suddenly rosy in the Scottish camp. On the contrary, he was honest in confessing that beating the Bangladeshis had been slightly diluted by the recognition that the latter will be at the World T20 event in Sri Lanka later this summer, whereas the Scots will not.
And he subsequently explained his frustration that next month’s scheduled clash with England in Edinburgh has fallen victim to freakish weather conditions in the capital.
“We were disappointed with where we finished up in the qualifiers, but this was a big game and the aim now is for us to build on the victory in what is left of the summer,” said Berrington.
“Of course, it’s a shame that we won’t get the opportunity to meet the English, because it was going to be our biggest match of the year, and these are the occasions where you can try to put on a show, in front of your home supporters.
“But we still have several CB40 fixtures left and it is important that we build on what happened in Holland and take it into our next meetings with the counties. We are still a young side, but we have played a lot of cricket in the last two or three years, and we are really looking to kick on. There is talent in the squad, but we know we have to be more consistent and we will be trying our hardest to achieve that in the weeks ahead.”
Berrington has never lacked natural ability and, twice in the last 12 months, he has destroyed opponents in steering his country to glory against Ireland and the Bangladesh brigade.
The hope has to be that the industrious approach of this quietly-spoken character is the fulcrum for the Scots to maintain their momentum in the future.