ANYONE taking a drink every time someone mentions ‘net run rate’ tomorrow could quickly find themselves under the table in a stupor.

Scotland have done everything asked of them so far in their attempt to qualify for the second phase of the T20 World Cup with two wins from their opening two games but will likely still need to defeat hosts Oman in the group’s denouement to guarantee their spot.

A defeat coupled with a Bangladesh win over bottom side Papua New Guinea would leave three teams tied on four points, meaning net run rate – cricket’s equivalent of goal difference – would come into the equation to settle which two progressed to the Super 12s.

Had Oman beaten Bangladesh last night Scotland could have gone into their final group game already home and hosed but good fortune rarely shines so fortuitously on this nation in the sporting arena.

Head coach Shane Burger said: “We have always set the goal of wanting to top the group and in order to do that we knew we had to win a minimum of two games.

“But from the outset we wanted to win all three to make sure we did it in the fashion that we’ve done so far.

“We would like to finish by beating Oman and topping the group properly. If Oman bring their best game – which we know they can and they’ll be highly motivated for obvious reasons – then we will need to do the same.

“We’re confident we can get the job done but also aware that we need to be better than we have been already. But we know that there is still more to come.”

Scotland did their part in the day’s first game by claiming their second victory of the tournament but the 17-run margin of victory was closer than it should have been.

Richie Berrington’s knock of 70 – the country’s first ever half-century at a T20 World Cup – was the biggest contribution in a score of 165/9, Scotland’s highest ever T20 World Cup score.

It really ought to have been higher still, however, on the back of a 92-run third-wicket partnership between Matthew Cross and Berrington.

Both openers Kyle Coetzer (6) and George Munsey (15) had fallen relatively cheaply leaving Scotland up against it at 26/2.

That brought Cross, making his 50th T20I appearance, and then Berrington to the crease and together they resurrected the Saltires’ fortunes.

Berrington, in particular, looked in the groove, smashing one maximum for 97 metres and then belting another into the car park.

With Cross also keeping the scoreboard ticking over, the race was on to see which of the pair would get to their 50 first.

The wicketkeeper, though, would fall five short, his frustration evident after being caught at deep mid-wicket looking for another big stroke.

Berrington kept up the tempo and reached his half-century with another classy boundary, with Scotland seemingly on course to make around 180 or 190.

Berrington’s departure, however, saw the wheels come off, with Scotland scoring just 15 runs in the last two overs, losing six wickets in the process.

Four of those fell in the final over, including three in successive deliveries as the tail failed to wag, giving PNG a lifeline.

That placed the onus on the Scottish bowlers to do their bit and they responded to the challenge to leave their opponents on the precipice at 35/5.

Berrington was involved again, taking a brilliant one-handed catch to dismiss Simon Atai for the fifth wicket, the dismissal celebrated with a blast of Franz Ferdinand’s Take Me Out by the stadium announcer.

It looked for all the world at that point that Scotland would coast through to victory but some late resistance from the PNG’s batters provided a few nervy moments, with Norman Vanua making a dazzling 47 from 37 balls before being carelessly caught behind.

Just like Bangladesh on Tuesday, PNG needed to make 24 from the final over. And although one big six got the heart racing, Scotland saw it through fairly comfortably, taking the final wicket after a review. Josh Davey’s 4-18 from his 3.3 overs were the best bowling figures for Scotland in a T20 World Cup game.

Another victory will again help to raise the profile of a sport often cruelly overlooked back home, as Coetzer confirmed.

“The following we have had  since our win the other day has been incredible, a huge amount of thanks must go out to everyone who has sent messages.

“I know for a fact Chris Greaves had over 160 messages on his phone the other day, it was really nice to see and the following has been fantastic. Names pop out of the woodwork that you haven’t heard for a long time, but it’s still really nice to hear the support and all victories are really important and it would be nice to get one more.”