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16 July 201503:32

PREVIEW: Scotland, Canada in search of vital points

Both teams have wrinkles to iron out and the clash could provide the ideal opportunity to do so

PREVIEW: Scotland, Canada in search of vital points - Cricket News
Scotland has the pedigree and the resources to overcome Canada in its Group ‘B’ encounter for the ICC World T20 Qualifier, but Canada has its back against the wall and can be expected to retaliate when the sides lock horns on Thursday (July 15).

Scotland got its campaign off to a cracking start to the tournament with a nine-wicket win over United Arab Emirates but since has slumped to losses against Netherlands and Afghanistan. It restored parity with a convincing victory against Kenya to move to fourth on the point table, but it will be expecting more.

The picturesque Goldenacre facility in Edinburgh gives Preston Mommsen’s men a chance to improve their record and help in the process of sealing a berth for the World T20 2016. But, for now, qualification and its permutations will not be the first thing on the mind. It will have to focus on Canada.

Canada has suffered three successive losses and sits at the bottom of the table. Canada’s chances of making it to the next stage may be slim but if inspiration is what it is looking for it needn’t look further than Scotland.

Scotland has made it to the World T20 on two occasions – 2008 and 2009 – and on the first occasion it stood practically no chance of making it through to the event proper but a last-minute pull out from Zimbabwe helped its cause.

Given just how early in the tournament it is, Canada will not need to look far in the future. Instead, it will need to iron out the chinks which have hindered an otherwise good side from overcoming disciplined opponents.

It possesses a good batting unit with Ruvindu Gunasekara and Rizwan Cheema at the top of the order, Hiral Patel, Nitish Kumar and Navneet Dhaliwal in the middle. Unfortunately for Canada, not once in the three occasions so far has the unit been able to strike in unison. Staggered efforts have rendered big scores impossible and given the dearth of tidy bowling talent in its ranks, defending a modest score has proven challenging.

Scotland's batting revolves around a sound top order and a hard-hitting middle with the likes of Matthews Cross and Richie Berrington in its ranks. Mommsen and Michael Leask are known to put the long handle to good use but so far in the tournament they haven’t gotten their act right.

On the bowling front too Scotland looks good when the ball is new and moving about.

Both the sides have their own issues to sort out and Thursday’s game gives them a good chance to do so. Ultimately though, they will both be looking at garnering the two points which could go a long way in their quest to hop aboard the flight to India.