After Oman’s tournament opener with Papua New Guinea earlier in the day, attention will turn to the second match of Groupd B of the First Round, with Bangladesh facing Scotland in Al Amerat.
Bangladesh once again enter through the ICC Men's T20 World Cup's First Round, having done the same in the last two 16-team tournaments. While yet to slip in the four-team group phase, they face a tricky proposition in this year’s competition, and take on arguably the strongest of their group opponents first up in the form of a Scottish team hungry for global tournament success.
Appearing at three T20 World Cups, Scotland’s record of just one win in seven matches is perhaps a little unfair, considering final over losses to both Afghanistan and Zimbabwe at the 2016 tournament. Scotland have won 16 of their 30 T20I matches since the disappointment of the Indian campaign, and qualified for this year’s tournament after a thumping 90-run do-or-die victory over UAE in Dubai.
The two teams are yet to cross paths in the tournament’s history, with Scotland victorious in their solitary T20I meeting nine years ago. On neutral Dutch territory, Richie Berrington plundered an even 100 off just 58 balls to set Bangladesh 163 for victory, with a then T20I debutant Josh Davey taking three wickets in a 34-run victory over the Tigers.
Berrington, Davey and three other members of that winning side feature in Scotland’s tournament squad, including Kyle Coetzer, now captain of the side and opening the batting. Coetzer (1411 runs) only trails Berrington (1517) as the most prolific run-scorer for Scotland, with the skipper leading his side to victories in seven of their last 11 match-ups.
On the other side, Mahmud Ullah has similar form leading his chargers, thanks to two five-match home series victories over Australia (4-1) and New Zealand (3-2). Only South Africa’s 12 T20I victories in the calendar year better Bangladesh’s nine, with a 2-1 series victory against Zimbabwe to add to their preparation.
Bangladesh’s skipper, Shakib Al Hasan and Mushfiqur Rahim are the only squad members at this year’s tournament from the 2012 side that fell to Scotland, with Shakib’s 31 the top score in Bangladesh’s resistance on that particular afternoon. His bowling was largely negotiated though, finishing with figures of 1/37 from his four-over allotment.
Outsiders in this particular match-up, a win for Scotland in this fixture would throw Group B wide open.
- Match: Bangladesh v Scotland
- Time: 18:00 local time on Sunday 17 October
- Venue: Oman Cricket Academy Ground, Al Amerat
With Tamim Iqbal no longer in the Bangladesh setup, their first questions come at the top of the order, with both Liton Das and Soumya Sarkar potentially joining Mohammad Naim to open the batting. Sarkar may well slide to three, with the rest of the order fluid given match situations.
Possible Bangladesh playing XI: Mohammad Naim, Liton Das, Soumya Sarkar, Shakib Al Hasan, Mahmud Ullah (c), Mushfiqur Rahim, Afif Hossain/Mohammad Saifuddin, Nurul Hasan, Mahedi Hasan, Taskin Ahmed, Mustafizur Rahman
Despite the loss of Oli Hairs to an injury sustained in warm-up action, Scotland have all bases covered in their side, with depth on both sides in their 15-man group. A mix of power and touch at the top and a middle-order including Berrington and Calum MacLeod. Assuming left-arm orthodox bowlers Mark Watt and Hamza Tahir both play, Coetzer and the selection team will have to mull over a ‘good’ selection problem while picking the fast bowlers, with Safyaan Sharif, Josh Davey, Brad Wheal and Ally Evans potentially fighting for two spots.
Possible Scotland playing XI: Kyle Coetzer (c), George Munsey, Matthew Cross (wk), Richie Berrington, Calum MacLeod, Michael Leask, Chris Greaves, Mark Watt, Safyaan Sharif, Josh Davey, Hamza Tahir
Second to Afghanistan’s Mohammad Nabi on the MRF Tyres T20I All-Rounder Rankings, Bangladesh’s Shakib Al Hasan boasts a world-class record with both ball and bat, and will undoubtedly lead his country’s charge.
Needing two wickets to overtake Lasith Malinga as the most prolific wicket-taker in men’s T20I history, Shakib boasts nine T20I fifties, motoring at a strike rate of 121.41 and averaging a tick under 23 in the middle order.
A batting veteran, Calum MacLeod is the best player of spin in the Scottish line-up and can bank on the experiences of over 50 T20I matches.
Striking at 114 in T20I cricket, MacLeod is able to accelerate through an array of shots against all forms of bowling, or play a more circumspect role if required.
Expert Dream11 Fantasy tips
Captaincy pick - Shakib Al Hasan
A player who can never be ignored from a fantasy perspective is Shakib Al Hasan! The Bangladesh all-rounder is the top choice for captaincy in this encounter against Scotland. He has a bowling strike rate of 18.4 in 87 T20I innings and also scored 1763 runs, and was part of the Kolkata Knight Riders team that reached the finals of IPL 2021.
Must-have - Mustafizur Rahman
Mustafizur Rahman is a must-have given his impressive record in T20Is. He has taken 76 wickets in 52 T20Is at a strike rate of 18.65. Currently, the left-arm pacer is Bangladesh's joint leading wicket-taker this year in T20Is, with 18 scalps.
What They Said
Mahmud Ullah: “It was a good build-up, coming into this World Cup. We had a good series in Zimbabwe and played some very good cricket over there. We had two good series against Australia and New Zealand as well, so it’s a good build-up, and a confidence-builder for our team.”
“It’s good to have a combination of spin and pace I think. I think probably we have to be in that mentality to adapt to the conditions that we’ll have over here (in Oman).”
Kyle Coetzer: “Going through qualifying tournaments, it really brings your group of players together.”
“I genuinely believe that this is as strong and as powerful squad that we’ve selected, and trying to pick the squad was an absolute nightmare.”
“We feel confident with what we have here and we believe that we’re capable of putting in some strong performances.”
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