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12 July 201500:27

PREVIEW: Afghanistan, Scotland in table-topping clash

Netherlands will look for continued momentum against UAE, while Canada and Oman are searching for first points

PREVIEW: Afghanistan, Scotland in table-topping clash - Cricket News

Netherlands needs the points to keep pace with the top.

Netherlands v United Arab Emirates

Having secured its first victory of the tournament, the Netherlands will look to continue the winning momentum in its Group B clash against the United Arab Emirates at the Grange Cricket Club Ground in Edinburgh on Sunday (July 12).

Against Scotland on Saturday, the Netherlands put in a fine all-round performance to secure a 32-run victory. After opting to bat, it posted a strong 191 for 6 in 20 overs, with half-centuries from Wesley Barresi (40-ball 75) and Peter Borren (33-ball 57).

Then, the bowlers didn’t let Scotland settle, nipping out wickets at crucial junctures to bowl it out for 159, with Mudassar Bukhari returning 3 for 22 and both Roelof van der Merwe and Pieter Seelaar claiming two wickets apiece.

It was quite a turnaround from its tournament opener, a 32-run loss against Afghanistan. If the Netherlands carries on in similar vein, UAE will have to raise its game too. It has so far lost the two matches it has played – a nine-wicket defeat to Scotland and an eight-wicket loss to Afghanistan.

That said, against Afghanistan, UAE put in a markedly improved performance with the bat. Mohammad Shahzad’s 28-ball 43 and support from the rest of the batsmen helped it post 164 for 6, and if it continues on a similar upward curve, it could pose plenty of problems for the Netherlands.

UAE needs a victory urgently while Netherlands needs the points to keep pace with the top, which should make for an engrossing contest.

Teams (from)
Peter Borren (capt), Rahil Ahmed, Wesley Barresi, Mudassar Bukhari, Ben Cooper, Ahsan Malik, Stephan Myburgh, Max O'Dowd, Michael Rippon, Timm van der Gugten, Roelof van der Merwe, Paul van Meekeren, Thijs van Schelven, Pieter Seelaar, Michael Swart.

UAE: Mohamed Tauqir (capt), Fayyaz Ahmed, Amjad Ali, Saqib Ali, Umair Ali, Shaiman Anwar, Faizan Asif, Nasir Aziz, Manjula Guruge, Amjad Javed, Muhammad Naveed, Swapnil Patil, Ahmed Raza, Muhammad Shahzad, Abdul Shakoor.

Scotland v Afghanistan

The current leaders of the Group B table will clash in Edinburgh when Afghanistan and Scotland meet at the Grange Cricket Club Ground on Sunday (July 12).

It promises to be a riveting thriller. Afghanistan has won both matches it has played, beating the Netherlands by 32 runs in its tournament opener, and following that up with an eight-wicket win over the United Arab Emirates. The two wins pushed it to the top of the Group B table.

The win over UAE was particularly impressive after its batsmen, led by Mohammad Shahzad’s 37-ball 74 and a 69-run partnership between Samiullah Shenwari and Asghar Stanikzai, stitched together partnerships to overhaul a target of 165 in 17.2 overs.

Scotland comes into the game on the back of a 32-run loss against the Netherlands, and will need a victory to keep pace at the top of the table. Despite the loss, Scotland had positives to take away. Alasdair Evans, the medium-pacer, returned stunning figures of 5 for 24 againstthe Netherlands, and more of the same will only help against Afghanistan.

Given that bowling is a prominent strength for both sides, the final result may come down to how the batsmen fare. The Afghanistan batsmen have held their own in two matches, but the Scotland batters will need to bounce back after being bowled out for 159 – a total largely thanks to Preston Mommsen’s 44-ball 68 – in a chase of 192 against the Netherlands.

This clash remains an early humdinger to look out, especially if the Scotland batters manage to lift their game.

Teams (from)
Preston Mommsen (capt), Richie Berrington, Kyle Coetzer, Matthew Cross, Josh Davey, Con de Lange, Alasdair Evans, Michael Leask, Calum MacLeod, Gavin Main, George Munsey, Safyaan Sharif, Rob Taylor, Craig Wallace, Mark Watt.

Afghanistan: Asghar Stanikzai (capt), Javed Ahmadi, Aftab Alam, Mirwais Ashraf, Sharafudin Ashraf, Hamid Hassan, Nawroz Mangal, Mohammad Nabi, Gulbadin Naib, Shafiqullah Shafaq, Mohammad Shahzad, Samiullah Shinwari, Dawlat Zadran, Najib Zadran, Shahpur Zadran.

Canada v Oman

Canada and Oman will look to get points on the Group B table when they clash at New Williamfield in Stirling on Sunday (July 12).

Both teams come in to the game on the back of defeats against Kenya. Canada suffered a seven-wicket loss on Friday, after posting 143 for 5 on being asked to bat. Despite the loss, there were positives to take away – Ruvindu Gunasekera, the opener, scored a 38-ball 51, and put on a fine 83 with Rizwan Cheema (35) for the opening wicket.

During the warm-ups, Cheema had blasted a 36-ball 98 against Namibia – a knock that included seven fours and ten sixes – and if he can find similar range against Oman, then Canada will have every reason to be optimistic.

That said, Oman did well to restrict Kenya’s batsmen to 143 for 7 at Myreside on Saturday, with all of Munis Ansari, Rajeshkumar Ranpura and Zeeshan Maqsood returning three wickets apiece. However, its batting couldn’t capitalise, and it eventually fell short by seven runs.

If recent form is anything to go by, it could be a clash between Canada’s batsmen and Oman’s bowlers, and the result may hinge on how the alternative – Oman’s batsmen and Canada’s bowlers – perform against each other.

Ahead of the clash, it was confirmed that Ahmad Awais would replace Khurram Chohan, who has been diagnosed with an acute rectus femoris tear, in Canada’s squad.

Whether Awais plays a part in the upcoming clash remains to be seen.

Teams (from)
Rizwan Cheema (capt), Saad Bin Zafar, Navneet Dhaliwal, Satsimranjit Dhindsa, Jeremy Gordon, Ruvindu Gunasekera, Amarbir Hansra, Shaheed Keshvani, Nitish Kumar, Hiral Patel*, Cecil Pervez, Junaid Siddiqui, Hamza Tariq, Srimantha Wijeyeratne, Ahmad Awais.

Oman: Sultan Ahmed (capt), Yousuf Abdulrahim, Zeeshan Ahmad, Amir Ali, Khawar Ali, Munis Ansari, Aamir Kaleem, Mehran Khan, Ajay Lalcheta, Sufyan Mahmood, Zeeshan Maqsood, Muhammad Nadeem, Rajeshkumar Ranpura, Jatinder Singh, Vaibhav Wategaonkar.