Scotland and Singapore will battle it out in the first encounter of the ICC T20 World Cup Qualifier which is all set to commence on Friday (October 18). 14 teams will fight it out in a bid to make it to the first group stage of the 2020 ICC T20 World Cup.
The qualifications for the event began in Argentina in February with a total of 61 teams competing. 25 teams progressed to the regional finals out which a further seven advanced to the qualifiers. These seven teams will be joined by the tournament host and top six sides from the 2015 qualifier that finished outside the top ten of the ICC T20I Championship by the cut-off date (December 31, 2018). The top six teams from this competition will then join Sri Lanka and Bangladesh in the first group stage of the World event.
Singapore will have their work cut out against the more experienced Scottish side. Singapore progressed to the qualifiers after beating Nepal in the regional finals by 82 runs.
Scotland have played only 13 T20Is in the last 22 months. Their most recent participation was the Ireland Tri-Nation Series where Scotland won two of the four matches they played.
Ground Detail and Team Combination
The encounter will be staged at the ICC Academy in Dubai. A total of 44 T20 games have been played at this venue. The average run rate here has been 7.4, a middling number in T20s.
The average first innings score at this venue is 153. Chasing has been a bit tricky here and teams have mostly opted to bat first after winning the toss.
On the bowling front, while pacers have picked up more wickets, 198 to 145 when compared to the spinners, the latter have done it at a better economy and strike-rate. Spinners strike every 17.8 balls at this venue, at an economy of 7.2 while pacers have a strike-rate of 18.1 at an economy of 7.5.
Leg-spinners have been the most effective breed here, striking every 15.1 balls. They have a decent economy of 7.1 as well.
Since 2018, Scotland have played 13 T20Is and won six and George Munsey has had a huge role to play in them. He is Scotland’s highest run-scorer since the start of 2018 having amassed 521 runs in 13 outings at an average of 43.42. More importantly, his strike-rate reads a whopping 180.9 during this time frame. Munsey is placed 4th on the list of batters with the highest strike-rate in T20Is. He is coming into the tournament in good touch as well having scored 86 against Ireland in a qualifier warm-up game and 127* against Netherlands last month. He opens the batting and can be devastating if he stays for a few overs.
One of the most experienced players in the Scottish lineup, Kyle Coetzer has been the side’s shining light. He is the rock in Scotland’s top order and is also coming into the tournament in terrific form. Coetzer was involved in a massive 200-run partnership with Munsey just last month against the Netherlands. He is Scotland’s second highest-run scorer behind Munsey since the start of 2018 and his strike-rate of 154.2 shows he has the big game in his repertoire as well. Coetzer’s numbers are better whilst chasing. His balls per dismissal batting in a run-chase is 27.6 compared to 23.8 batting first.
He will be a key element in Scotland’s hopes of qualifying for the main draw.
Alasdair Evans has been rock-solid with the ball for Scotland. The lanky pacer has picked up 15 wickets in his last 11 games & will be a force to reckon with. He is Scotland’s leading wicket-taker since January 2018 where he has struck every 15.2 balls. His economy of 7.8 during this time frame is also not too shabby.
Tim David has been Singapore’s go-to man. The right-hand batsman scored a classy 77 off 43 in the regional finals against Nepal and was a key reason behind Singapore reaching here. He averages an astounding 56.20 in T20Is & strikes 164.32 runs per hundred balls. David is comfortably Singapore’s leading run-scorer since the start of 2018 and more importantly has been consistent for them.
It is a 11:30am start and the hot and humid conditions will not be easy for the players. The temperature is expected to hover around the 33-degree mark.
George Munsey, Kyle Coetzer(c), Calum Macleod, Michael Leask, Richard Berrington, Ollie Hairs, Matthew Cross/Craig Wallace, Safyaan Sharif, Mark Watt, Alasdair Evans, Hamza Tahir
Rohan Rangarajan, Surendran Chandramohan, Tim David, Aritra Dutta, Manpreet Singh, Janak Prakash, Sidhant Singh, Selladore Vijaykumar, Amjad Mahboob, Aahan Gopinath Achar, Vinoth Baskaran