DUNEDIN - Scotland captain Preston Mommsen said Tuesday his side's stirring display against New Zealand underscored the value of having so-called "second-tier" nations at the World Cup. The Scots gave the Blacks Caps a fright at Dunedin's University Oval, taking seven wickets before the co-hosts limped to a three-wicket win in pursuit of a meagre victory target of 143.

Mommsen said his attack had exposed New Zealand's powerful batting line-up, something former world champions Sri Lanka were unable to do when they slumped to a 98-run defeat by the Black Caps in Sunday's opening match of the tournament. "I think it showed their batters were vulnerable if you're able to keep them under pressure consistently and put the balls in good areas, as any batter is," he said.

Mommsen added he was pleased with the way Scotland responded to a top-order collapse that left his side 12 for four, with half centuries from Matt Machan (56) and Richie Berrington (50) giving them a glimmer of hope. "I'm very proud of the fightback and character we showed in the second half," he said.

"I was very disappointed with the first half performance, barring Richie and Matthew... but the fighting character, that's something we're proud of." The Scotland skipper, a strong critic of plans to cut the number of teams at the tournament, said his side had showed "associate" non-Test playing nations could be competitive.

Combined with fellow non-Test nation Ireland's upset win over the West Indies on Monday, Mommsen said Scotland's display should prompt a rethink of plans to scale back the event. "Hopefully the performance we put on today, it gets people talking and shows people that associates belong at World Cups," he said.

There are 14 teams in the World Cup being staged in Australia and New Zealand. With the top four teams from each of the two pools of 7 qualifying for the quarter-finals, those unhappy with the World Cup's current format argue that it takes far too long to decide what is often an all-too predictable list of teams for the last eight.

The International Cricket Council have indicated that only 10 nations will contest the 2019 World Cup in England, with the top eight teams in the global rankings joined by the two best sides from a qualifying event a year earlier. However, critics such as Mommsen argue that this would thwart plans to expand the game beyond its established core nations.