IF this is what Scotland can do with next to no preparation, just think how good they could possibly become once they get their eye in.

Shane Burger’s men had played just two T20 internationals since last year’s World Cup, their calendar instead dominated by a glut of one-day fixtures. Any notion, though, that they might be rusty when they lined up against the West Indies in their opening first-round game was quickly washed away in the Hobart drizzle as they chalked up one of the best results in the nation’s history.

The West Indies are not the force they once were now the likes of Chris Gayle and Dwayne Bravo have departed the international scene but they are still ranked seventh in the world and won this tournament just six years ago. This was still a mighty scalp as the sound of bagpipes filled the Tasmanian air.

Scotland dominated them with bat and then ball. Having lost the toss and being sent in, George Munsey blasted his way to 66 not out from the top of the order to lead his team to a total of 160. It looked a decent if not insurmountable tally, Munsey left to curse the Scottish-style mid-inning rain delay that interrupted his momentum.

It would still prove to be a match-winning knock, however, with Calum MacLeod (23), Michael Jones (20), Richie Berrington (16), and Chris Greaves (16 not out) all lending decent support.

Scotland had recovered from adversity to record a famous opening-day win over Bangladesh this time last year and when Matt Cross missed a first-over stumping and the West Indies started to get into their stride at 53/2 then it looked like it was going to be another test of Scottish resolve. Again, they did not wilt.

Mark Watt and Michael Leask were the star turns. The mercurial Watt, all quirks and tricks, claimed three wickets for just 12 runs, all bowled from around 24 yards to leave the West Indies batters looking foolish. At one point, the left-armer could be seen studying a piece of paper intently, although even Berrington had no idea what he was looking at.

“You’d probably have to ask him that one, I’m not even sure if it was anything to do with cricket if I’m honest!” said the captain. “But seriously, he is on top of his game and he is always looking to stay ahead and counter what the batters are going to do. So I’m sure he had a few notes on there in terms of who he was going to come up against and what he was trying to do.”

Leask would not be overshadowed, though, bagging two for 15, while also making a spectacular diving catch and executing – at the second attempt having missed the stumps with his first swish – a run out too.

Some of the catching was jaw-droppingly good too. Munsey got them under way with an acrobatic dive, and Jones, MacLeod, Leask and Greaves also showed solid hands in the deep. There was no way Scotland were going to let this one slip away from them.

Such was their devastating middle-innings performance that left the West Indies teetering on 79/8, the game remarkably was virtually done and dusted one ball into the 14th over. Only some massive clubbing was going to bail the Caribbean side out from that vantage point but Scotland kept their heads and eased through to a remarkable 42-run win. West Indies got to 118 but could manage no more, the game sealed with nine balls to spare.

What a moment this was for Berrington, pitched in as T20 captain only in the summer when Kyle Coetzer chose to stand down to focus on the 50-over game. It is only one victory, and Wednesday's “derby” with Ireland will be another taxing examination, but this was the perfect start to another World Cup.

“It’s a special win for us,” said the all-rounder. “A lot of hard work has gone in over the last 12 months to get us to this point. We took a lot of belief from some of our performances last year. I’m extremely proud of the boys going out there tonight and showing off our skills.

“We’ve not had as much T20 cricket as we would have liked but we’ve had a lot of 50-over cricket. So it was really important to transfer those skills over to T20 as quickly as possible. I’m extremely delighted we were able to do that.

“It’s right up there to get a win like that at a World Cup. It’s obviously pretty special to represent your country at a World Cup. It’s as big as it gets. The belief has always been there that we can put on that performance. So it’s certainly a big one for us. It’s one we’ll enjoy but there’s plenty more to play for.”