WT20 : Scotland V Hong Kong, World T20 Preview
Both sides are out of the race for the Super 10s, but there is plenty of pride at stake, Scotland also has a good opening pair at the top, with George Munsey and Kyle Coetzer.
The contest between Scotland and Hong Kong at the Vidarbha Cricket Association Stadium on Saturday (March 12) will have no bearing on either side’s aspirations for a Super 10s spot in the ICC World Twenty20 2016, with both sides having lost two matches each against Zimbabwe and Afghanistan in Group B.
Both teams, however, will want to make the most of the opportunity to notch a win and leave the tournament with happy memories, and it now boils to how best they utilise this situation to further their cause.
“The shackles are off and we can express ourselves and I am sure we will do,” said Preston Mommsen, the Scotland skipper. “It’s disappointing that we are going into that game with nothing to play for. Obviously, we came here with big goals but it wasn’t to be.”
The disappointment was natural, but if Scotland lives up to the first-half of his statement, the crowd could be in for an entertaining encounter.
Hong Kong has hit a decent balance with Jamie Atkinson and Ryan Campbell at the top of the order, and Babar Hayat and Mark Chapman to follow. Hayat and Chapman haven’t been among the runs in the first two games, but Anshuman Rath and Tanwir Afzal have shown that they can help the side slip out of a crunch even if it is a few wickets down.
“When you have a young squad, one day they are going to be outstanding, next day they are not going to be so good,” said Campbell, the former Australian batsman, while explaining the slightly up-and-down nature of Hong Kong’s campaign.
Scotland also has a good opening pair at the top, with George Munsey and Kyle Coetzer. The good news for Scotland is that Matt Machan and Richie Berrington, the No. 3 and No. 4, are in good nick. Then there’s the stable hand of Mommsen. Scotland’s bowling is perhaps what gives the team the edge in this contest. Although Michael Leask, Josh Davey, Alasdair Evans and Safyaan Sharif went for runs against Zimbabwe, they had the ability to restrict a Test-playing nation to 147 on a pitch that was fairly batting-friendly. That also made the figures of Mark Watt, the left-arm spinner who took 2 for 21 from 4 overs, all the more commendable.
Scotland hasn’t got all these elements to fire in unison in the last two games, but it will still feel it is marginally ahead of Hong Kong at this point.
Scotland: Preston Mommsen (captain), Kyle Coetzer, Richie Berrington, Matthew Cross (wk), Josh Davey, Con de Lange, Alasdair Evans, Michael Leask, Matt Machan, Calum MacLeod, Gavin Maine, George Munsey, Safyaan Sharif, Rob Taylor, Mark Watt.
Hong Kong: Tanwir Afzal (captain), Aizaz Khan, Anshy Rath, Jamie Atkinson, Babar Hayat, Ryan Campbell, Christopher Carter, Mark Chapman, Haseeb Amjad, Nadeem Ahmed, Nizakat Khan, Kinchit Shah, Tanveer Ahmed, Waqas Barkat, Waqas Khan.