T20 World Cup 2021: Match 17 – Afghanistan vs Scotland Match Preview, Playing XI and broadcast details
Afghanistan have won each of the six encounters they have played against Scotland so far.
Updated - Oct 25, 2021 2:55 am
“We know we can catch any team off guard if we play our best cricket, it is as simple as that,” Scotland coach Shane Burger had said before the start of the qualifiers of the T20 World Cup. A week and a half later, his team comes against Afghanistan in the Super12s, having defeated each of the three teams – Bangladesh, Papua New Guinea and Oman – in the first round to end up as the table-toppers in their group.
Scotland made a spirited comeback against Bangladesh when after being reduced to 53/6, they not only fought their way to 140/9 – thanks to Chris Greaves – but also managed to restrict their experienced adversaries six runs short to record an upset as early as the opening day of the tournament.
Josh Davey’s four-wicket haul after a 49-ball 70 from Riche Berrington against Papua New Guinea in their next game was sufficient to secure a 17-run victory, even as Norman Vanua briefly threatened them from the opposition. But Scotland exemplified their ability to absorb pressure and stay afloat in adverse situations – something tournaments of this class demand aplenty. Despite two victories, they went against Oman in what was a knockout owing to net run rates maths, but that was the day they scripted the most clinical of all their three victories: an eight-wicket victory to seal the Super12 berth in some style.
Given this backdrop, even though Burger’s warning was meant for only those his team met in the qualifying round, heading into the main draw Scotland would feel that Burger’s words might well be applicable for their Super12 counterparts. Of course, the standard of the team will be high, but in cricket’s most unpredictable format, Scotland can back themselves to at least have one upset left in them.
On Monday, Kyle Coetzer’s men come against a team that stood where they stand today not too long back. If anything, Afghanistan’s magnificent journey from the Associate world to the main bunch of international teams should only inspire Scotland to convert their own promising start into something bigger, brighter and better.
What of Afghanistan – a country rocked by the political turmoil and chaos in the aftermath of American troops withdrawal and return of the Taliban regime? They even had their World Cup participation in jeopardy for a brief while owing the upheaval back home, while there was no dearth of internal chaos either, with Rashid Khan stepping down as the team’s skipper moments after the announcement of their squad.
Such a chaotic build-up is not an ideal setting to start the World Cup, but the gritty men that they are, Afghanistan have put that all behind themselves and march forward on their path to success. Their good work over the years meant they did not have to take the qualification route to proceed to the Super12s, where they are coming on the back of a 56-run victory over the West Indies in the warm-up. They have all the reasons to be upbeat as they begin another new chapter of their cricketing journey in the form of this World Cup.
Pitch and conditions
The relaid pitches in Sharjah made life difficult for the batters during the Indian Premier League, although the venue gave a glimpse of what it was once known for (read: easy run-scoring) during Sri Lanka and Bangladesh’s meet on October 24 in the afternoon, when the former chased 172 with more than an over to spare. Sharjah was least affected by dew during the IPL, but with November approaching, expect some in the night.
Playing combination for AFG vs SCO
Both Zazai and Shahzad scored half-centuries against West Indies in the warm-up fixture, while Rahmanullah Gurbaz has solidified his position in the national team after managing to impress regularly. Naveen ul Haq was the leading wicket-taker with 26 scalps in the T20 Blast 2021 before a decent CPL 2021, while Afghanistan’s decorated spin trio of Mohammad Nabi, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb ur Rahman is a guarantee of wickets always.
Predicted XI: Hazratullah Zazai, Mohammad Shahzad (wk), Rahmanullah Gurbaz, Najibullah Zadran, Asghar Afghan, Mohammad Nabi (c), Gulbadin Naib, Rashid Khan, Mujeeb ur Rahman, Naveen ul Haq, Hamid Hassan
Experienced pros Richie Berrington, Kyle Coetzer, George Munsey and Calum MacLeod will have an important role to play with the bat, while eyes will be upon pacer Josh Davey and all-rounder Chris Greaves after their shows in the first round.
Predicted XI: George Munsey, Kyle Coetzer (c), Matthew Cross (wk), Richie Berrington, Calum MacLeod, Michael Leask, Chris Greaves, Mark Watt, Josh Davey, Safyaan Sharif, Bradley Wheal
AFG vs SCO Head-to-head
Matches- 6, Afghanistan – 6, Scotland – 0, Tied- 0
In T20 World Cups
Matches- 1, Afghanistan – 1, Scotland – 0, Tied- 0
AFG vs SCO Broadcast Details
Match Timings – 07:30 PM IST
TV – Star Sports Network
Live Streaming – Disney+Hotstar