Afghanistan the favourites, however Scotland have momentum

Coming into the second stage of a T20 World Cup already means you have had fairly a journey, from succeeding within the qualifiers towards powerful competitors, after which succeeding once more within the first spherical towards harder competitors, earlier than you get to combine with the large boys.

Afghanistan know that journey, having been a part of the Affiliate cricket world not too way back. Scotland have lived that journey, and now discover themselves with an opportunity to make an additional assertion if they’ll beat the workforce that is been the poster baby for rising by the ranks. Whereas Afghanistan would be the favoured aspect on this contest, particularly due to their bowling power, Scotland have the sting in preparation. They’ve had three video games to check their resilience in addition to flex their would possibly, and are coming into the Tremendous 12s as primed as will be.

Alternatively, although Afghanistan did play two warm-up video games, they have not had the best preparation, and had visa points earlier than the squad assembled too. In the back of the minds of all of the squad members would be the unstable scenario again dwelling. Whether or not that turns into a burden that stifles, or hardens their resolve to offer some cheer to followers in Afghanistan in grim occasions, we’ll know quickly.

Kind information

Afghanistan WWWTW (final 5 accomplished matches, most up-to-date first)
Scotland WWWLW

Within the highlight

He was appointed captain in fairly chaotic circumstances, when Rashid Khan stepped down minutes after Afghanistan’s squad was introduced, however Mohammad Nabi was a frontrunner – and former captain in any case – within the group earlier too. He was on level as bowler and captain of their second warm-up sport, towards West Indies, bowling his 4 overs in a row first up and proving to be nigh unplayable. Nabi bowled 22 dot balls out of 24, and conceded solely two singles, taking 3 for two. In Sharjah, the place spinners have acquired buy, he may very well be essential with ball, together with his power-hitting and his on-field generalship.
Josh Davey has been Scotland’s enforcer and controller each, up to now within the T20 World Cup. The proper-arm seamer has hit his rhythm nicely, troubling batsmen with accuracy and motion. He hasn’t at all times had a clean journey in a profession that started in 2010, however at 31, he has the expertise with out having misplaced his zing, to hit the candy spot of effectiveness. With Afghanistan’s batting being top-heavy, Davey’s overs up entrance have the potential to present Scotland good leverage within the contest if he can strike early. He is already taken eight wickets in three video games, conceding runs at lower than a run a ball.

Workforce information

Afghanistan’s opening mixture of Hazratullah Zazai and Mohammad Shahzad confirmed how devastating they may very well be when a workforce missed its lengths, as West Indies discovered within the warm-up sport between the 2. Their pairing on the high is what Afghanistan will depend on whereas batting. The bowling is already nicely manned with Nabi, Rashid and Mujeeb ur Rahman virtually guaranteeing 12 high-quality overs.

Afghanistan (possible): 1 Hazratullah Zazai, 2 Mohammad Shahzad (wk), 3 Rahmanullah Gurbaz, 4 Najibullah Zadran, 5 Asghar Afghan, 6 Mohammad Nabi (capt), 7 Karim Janat, 8 Gulbadin Naib, 9 Rashid Khan, 10 Mujeeb Ur Rahman, 11 Naveen ul Haq

Scotland’s progress up to now has been of the very best form, as a result of it isn’t been overly depending on one single particular person. Totally different folks have stood up at totally different occasions, which supplies the workforce a well-rounded look. They’ll look to Davey, the pacy Brad Wheal and the canny Mark Watt to rein Afghanistan in, whereas the likes of Richie Berrington and George Munsey should marshal the batting towards a potent assault.

Scotland (possible): 1 George Munsey, 2 Kyle Coetzer (capt), 3 Matthew Cross (wk), 4 Richie Berrington, 5 Calum MacLeod, 6 Michael Leask, 7 Chris Greaves, 8 Mark Watt, 9 Josh Davey, 10 Safyaan Sharif, 11 Brad Wheal

Pitch and situations

Whereas the pitches at Sharjah, throughout the IPL and the primary spherical of the T20 World Cup had been gradual and tough to get massive scores on, the match between Bangladesh and Sri Lanka a day earlier than this one, prompt that this was not at all times the norm. If the pitch does play higher, the situations swing in direction of batters due to the small boundaries. It is a night time sport, so dew may also come into play extra.

Stats and trivia

  • Calum MacLeod as soon as took 49 runs off Rashid Khan in an ODI – the second most any batter has taken towards Rashid in an ODI. MacLeod had confronted simply 31 balls from Rashid in that sport.
  • In six T20Is performed between these two groups up to now, Afghanistan have received every time, although they have not performed one another on this format since 2016.


“The followers are actually ready for the video games as a result of the one happiness in Afghanistan is cricket. If we do nicely within the event and win video games, there shall be plenty of smiles on faces.”
Mohammad Nabi on what a superb present by Afghanistan will imply to these again dwelling.

“Simply because we’re now into the Tremendous 12s, I do not assume that adjustments a lot for us. I feel we’ll come and play the aggressive kind of cricket we need to play”
Calum MacLeod guarantees Scotland will proceed to entertain.

Saurabh Somani is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo