Even victories do not ease the pressure significantly in this intensely frenetic World Cup qualifying tournament. Scotland, with two wins from their opening two matches, are in good shape to finish in the top three in their group and advance to the Super Six stage but there is still plenty riding on their two remaining games, and in particular today’s meeting with Oman.

A defeat could potentially open the door for Ireland to progress at their expense, especially with the Scots finishing their group fixtures against Sri Lanka who have won their first two matches with comparative ease.

The convoluted nature of the event means that only points gathered against teams that also make it through to the Super Six phase carry forward. With Ireland and UAE both heading for the exit, that leaves Scotland with potentially nothing to their tally at this point. A win over Oman, then, could well be vital in a tournament that squeezes teams to the point of claustrophobia.

“We’re taking every game like the first game of the tournament, to be honest,” said Michael Leask, whose batting heroics led the Saltires to that dramatic, final-ball win over Ireland. “The ball is rolling and every win we can get is points going forward potentially depending on who goes through.

“Oman are a very good side. We’ve had some very close games against them in the past. They’re a very competitive side, a very passionate side. We expect another close game against them. They’re a very good side with good batters and very clever bowlers so we’re expecting a tough game.

“If we can take a win from every game that’s an absolute bonus. If we can take another one from Oman then the ball will keep rolling for us.”

Scotland have twice had to rely on all-rounders like Leask, Mark Watt and Chris Greaves putting in sizeable scores to rescue them after many of the top order struggled. That could be seen as a negative in some eyes but Leask believes it shows how deep the Scotland batting goes.

“It probably comes down to depth in batting and bowling as, yes, teams have lost guys early, but knowing you’ve got guys batting at six, seven, eight or nine who can potentially make 50-odd makes a difference,” he added. “Mark Watt got 40-odd again against UAE, Chris Greaves has been in the runs and myself too. These are the situations where someone has to capitalise in every game.

“It’s one of these where you’ve got to ride your luck a little bit at times. When it’s going with you, you just try to keep it going. Unfortunately I didn’t stay with Richie [Berrington] for very long [against UAE] but going forward it’s nice to be in touch for the rest of the tournament.

“And then with the ball it’s about someone getting wickets and grabbing the momentum as we’ve seen with [Chris] Sole, Saf [Sharif] and Watt. Fielding is going to be massive, too. It’s a bumpy outfield at one ground but lush as can be at the other so it’s about who can field better in those conditions.”

To make things even more complicated, some of the Scotland squad in Zimbabwe have been struck down with a sickness bug that saw batter George Munsey miss out on the UAE game. Leask, though, played down the seriousness of it.

“There’s been a little bit of a stomach bug floating around but the boys are in full health,” he said. “A few little niggles floating around too although when isn’t that the case in sport? The boys are raring to go and you can see that with the way everyone is going, a couple of guys doing running sessions as well just trying to tick over. The boys are in great shape to be honest.”

As well as impressing the locals with their start to the tournament, Scotland have been making friends away from the pitch as well. Some of the squad went to visit a school in Bulawayo – twinned with Edinburgh – set up by Our Neighbours Project that provides support with food, medication and education.

The players spoke with the children about their studies and joined a school assembly before hearing about what the pupils had learned about Scotland before leading them in a game of cricket. Ahead of the visit, the squad had organised a collection of basic clothes, medication, band aids and stationery, all of which the community desperately needs. Even if they fail to qualify for the World Cup, this has been a fruitful trip on and off the field.