T20 World Cup: In-form Scotland has the edge against host Oman

Scotland will fancy its chances of maintaining its unbeaten run and qualifying for the Super 12s when it meets Oman in a Group B contest of the T20 World Cup on Thursday.

Scotland’s Mark Watt (left) and Matthew Cross celebrate the wicket of Papua New Guinea’s Kiplin Doriga during the T20 World Cup contest on Tuesday.   -  AP

Scotland will fancy its chances of maintaining its unbeaten run and qualifying for the Super 12s when it meets Oman in a Group B contest of the T20 World Cup in Al Amerat, Oman, on Thursday.

Scotland shocked fancied Bangladesh in its tournament opener and then got the better of Papua New Guinea by 17 runs in the second group match on Tuesday. Papua New Guinea is already out of contention following successive defeats, while Oman and Bangladesh, with a win each from two matches, are vying for a slot in the next stage of the tournament.

Prior to the tournament, Scotland skipper Kyle Coetzer had termed his team a strong and powerful squad, picking which was an “absolute nightmare.” Entering the mega-event with the hope of putting in some strong performances, Coetzer’s team has so far lived up to his expectations.

All bases covered

Scotland has plenty of options in the squad, players who are capable of coming up with useful contributions. It has all bases covered in its side, with depth in both batting and bowling. There is power and touch at the top and middle-order including Richie Berrington and Calum MacLeod.

Berrington is coming off a 49-ball 70 in his team’s win over PNG and Oman’s bowlers will be certainly wary of him, while MacLeod, after failing to live up to his billing in the first two games, will be desperate to shine in his third attempt at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground.

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Possessing a wide array of strokes, MacLeod remains one of Scotland’s best players of spin and he can also bank on the experience of having played in over 50 T20 international matches. Captain Coetzer and Matthew Cross, who struck a brisk 45 against PNG, complete a good top and middle-order that is aided by the likes of all-rounder Chris Greaves, the opening game hero who set in motion Scotland's campaign in the tournament with his exploits against Bangladesh.

It can pick from Safyaan Sharif, Josh Davey, Brad Wheal and Ally Evans for its fast bowling line-up while Mark Watt and Greaves shoulder the responsibility in spin.

Host Oman got its campaign off to an excellent start with a convincing win PNG but it is left to recover quickly from the loss to Bangladesh. Playing at home, Zeeshan Maqsood’s side has the players who can bat, bowl and field well enough to get the better of its in-form rival.

A lot will depend on how its opening pair of Jatinder Singh and Aqib Ilyas do the job. They were prolific against PNG and will look for an encore on Thursday. The likes of Fayyaz Butt, Bilal Khan and Maqsood himself have been among the wickets so far and for their team to stand a chance against Scotland, they know they will have to deliver.

Teams (from)
  • Scotland: Kyle Coetzer (c), Richie Berrington, Dylan Budge, Matthew Cross (wk), Josh Davey, Ally Evans, Chris Greaves, Michael Leask, Calum Macleod, George Munsey, Safyaan Sharif, Hamza Tahir, Craig Wallace, Mark Watt, Brad Wheal.
  • Oman: Zeeshan Maqsood (c), Aqib Ilyas, Jatinder Singh, Khawar Ali, Mohammad Nadeem, Ayaan Khan, Suraj Kumar, Sandeep Goud, Nester Dhamba, Kaleemullah, Bilal Khan, Naseem Khushi, Sufyan Mehmood, Fayyaz Butt, Khurram Nawaz Khan.
  • Match starts at 7.30 PM.

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