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Scotland take on Oman with Super Eight spot a realistic dream



Oman vs Scotland
North Sound, 1pm local time

Scotland must be wondering what they have to do to be noticed at the T20 World Cup.

Their terrific win over Namibia on a slow Kensington Oval deck was sandwiched somewhere between USA’s Super Over stunner over Pakistan, Canada trumping Ireland, and Afghanistan steamrolling New Zealand.
Two nights prior to that result against Namibia, Scotland had England sweating in the rain. And on Sunday, when most eyes will be on the game, Scotland will take on fellow Associates Oman in Antigua.

But, whether in the spotlight or not, they are where they would have liked to be, and could be closer to their target after the Oman game.

Before that, though, they will keep a close eye on Saturday’s game between Australia and England. Scotland, No. 1 in the group prior to that match, will know that a win over Oman will help them control their destiny going into their final group fixture against Australia.

George Munsey fired against England, taking down pace and spin alike, overcoming the slowness of the surface with ease. In their second game, Richie Berrington and Michael Leask stood up under pressure to give Scotland the win after a potentially tricky chase of 156.

Oman, meanwhile, haven’t performed half as badly as the table suggests. Two losses in two games can be a bitter pill to swallow, but they have competed hard in both. They showed admirable pluck in taking the game against Namibia into a Super Over, and then had Australia in a stranglehold for 14 overs, before it fell apart.

One complete performance is what Oman will be after to stay alive, even if only mathematically. Scotland will want to prevent that. This could be a cracking contest between two sides that are ambitious, talented, and looking to hit a higher level.

Scotland WLWLW (last five completed matches, most recent first)

One of the very versatile George Munsey‘s strengths is that he can take down spin, like he showed against England. He can play the reverse-sweeps and switch-hits as comfortably as he can hit through the line on good decks. Oman’s attack is spin-heavy, and Munsey’s approach up top could set the tempo as they chase victory to push for the Super Eight stage.
A clean striker in club cricket, Kashyap Prajapati made heads turn three years ago when he struck a 138-ball 146 against a Mumbai squad in India. That knock paved the way for his international debut. Since then, he’s largely been hit and miss as his modest T20 record suggests. With scores of 7 and 0 in his first two games, he needs a big score to justify the faith the team management has shown in him.
Oman have been three down inside the powerplay in both their games so far, and could make some tweaks to their top order. Will Ayaan Khan get a promotion?

Oman (probable XI): 1 Kashyap Prajapati, 2 Pratik Athvale (wk), 3 Aqib Ilyas (capt), 4 Zeeshan Maqsood, 5 Ayaan Khan, 6 Khalid Kail, 7 Shoaib Khan, 8 Mehran Khan, 9 Shakeel Ahmed, 10 Kaleemullah, 11 Bilal Khan

Scotland have their entire squad to choose from, but don’t seem to have any reason to make changes.

Scotland (probable XI): 1 George Munsey, 2 Michael Jones, 3 Brandon McMullen, 4 Richie Berrington (capt), 4 Matthew Cross (wk), 6 Michael Leask, 7 Chris Greaves, 8 Mark Watt, 9 Chris Sole, 10 Brad Wheal, 11 Brad Currie

The caravan rolls into North Sound as Sir Vivian Richards Stadium hosts its first game of the T20 World Cup. There was a good grass cover on the pitch two days out from the game, but much of it has been shaved off, and batters can hope for a happy time.

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