Singapore 168 for 6 (Chandramohan 51, Dutta 32, Davey 2-26, Sharif 2-28) beat Scotland 166 for 9 (Munsey 46, MacLeod 44, Coetzer 38, Vijayakumar 3-16, Sidhant 2-27, Mahboob 2-36) by two runs

If anyone thought Singapore's victory over Zimbabwe last month was a one-off shocker, it wasn't, as Scotland found out the hard way in the opening match of the men's T20 World Cup qualifiers. The defending co-champions tripped at the final hurdle on the day in Dubai, unable to score eight off the last over as Singapore captain Amjad Mahboob bowled a sterling 20th to see his side across by two runs defending 168.

Calum MacLeod looked like he was going to take Scotland across the line after sparking a stirring fightback with Tom Sole. Singapore were well ahead of the game with Scotland needing 38 off 19 balls before MacLeod ended the 17th with a six over midwicket and Sole started the 18th sweeping Tim David's offspin twice through the gap at square leg and deep midwicket for fours. With 24 needed off 16, Scotland continued to pick off twos at will across the next two overs, only suffering a brief hiccup when Tim David ran out Sole with an athletic stop off his own bowling to end the 18th.

Safyaan Sharif was on strike to start the 20th but Mahboob bowled a dot and a single to start off the frame. MacLeod then just couldn't get enough power to clear David at deep midwicket, falling for 44. After a two by Sharif took it down to five off two balls, he chipped in the air towards David once again, and the fielder covered 20 yards running left before pulling off a sensational diving catch. It meant Josh Davey was on strike needing four to tie and force a super over or six to win. But he scuffed a slog along the ground to David at deep midwicket for two to end the match.

The pressure had been building earlier in the chase, though, thanks to Selladore Vijayakumar's miserly offspin. His spell of 3 for 16 in four overs neutralised the roaring start by George Munsey, who reverse-swept left-arm spinner Vinoth Baskaran at will in the Powerplay for a series of fours and sixes over backward point. But the innings lost momentum after Munsey drove to long-on for 46 and the other batsmen struggled to get going the rest of the way.

Earlier, Singapore's fighting total came as a result of two contrasting knocks. They had lost two wickets in the first seven balls after being sent in, including the dangerous David for just 1, bowled by Sharif. But Aritra Dutta entered at No. 4 and counter-attacked with a streaky knock, including two top-edged sixes over fine leg, before pulling a third over deep square-leg off a free hit after an Alasdair Evans no-ball.

Dutta's 32 off 15 balls allowed Surendran Chandramohan to recover from a slow start. Having been 6 off 21 balls, Chandramohan eventually reached his half-century off 53 deliveries to give Singapore a fighting chance. Janak Prakash's late cameo of 20 off 11 and a key six in the last over by Navin Param during his 13 not out off seven balls ensured Singapore had just enough to defend in the end.

Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent @PeterDellaPenna