Scotland vs Pakistan
June 12, 2018
Grange Cricket Club, Edinburgh
The same venue that produced the high-scoring game between England and Scotland will host the first T20I between Scotland and Pakistan. Despite the cloudy conditions, the track did not produce any assistance for the fast bowlers during the ODIs, as it turned out to be a placid wicket. However, D/L can come into play in the second innings as scattered showers have been predicted for the evening, which will mean that the team winning the toss would want to chase.
Scotland are riding high in confidence after the shock defeat that they handed to England in the one-off ODI game. Batting first, the home side managed a score of 371 and then kept their nerve with the ball to snatch a historical 6-run win. They will be eager to prove that the victory was anything but a fluke, which makes them a real threat ahead of the two-match T20I series.
Pakistan too have tasted success in their recent tour to England, when they scripted a win at Lord’s, and even while that was in the Test format, the confidence will be sky-high for them as well. However, both the sides are capable of displaying inconsistency, which is what makes the match even more exciting.
Head to Head
Total matches – 1
Scotland – 0 win (0%)
Pakistan – 1 win (100%)
Scotland – WWWWL (Great form)
Pakistan – WWWWW (Unbeatable form)
Scotland Probable XI
Matthew Cross (wk), Kyle Coetzer (capt), Hamza Tahir, Calum MacLeod, Richie Berrington, George Munsey, Michael Leask, Safyaan Sharif, Chris Sole, Alasdair Evans, Mark Watt
Pakistan Probable XI
Sarfaraz Ahmed (capt), Fakhar Zaman, Ahmed Shehzad, Shoaib Malik, Faheem Ashraf, Haris Sohail, Shadab Khan, Mohammad Amir, Hasan Ali, Mohammad Nawaz, Rahat Ali
Players to watch out for
Calum MacLeod @ 9 credits – Calum MacLeod was the Man of the Match in the ODI against England, making a well-struck 140 in 94 deliveries. A few months ago in the World Cup Qualifiers, he had made an unbeaten 157 as well. He has a hundred in the shortest format of the game and with the form that he is in, he remains a player to watch out for.
Safyaan Sharif @ 8.5 credits – The fast bowler is one of the most experienced players in his side with 52 wickets in 42 T20s at an average of 19.80. Though he was slightly expensive in the ODI game, one can never discount his skills, especially in the death – something that had made him dangerous in the World Cup Qualifiers.
Fakhar Zaman @ 9.5 credits – Zaman has been in phenomenal form since the Champions Trophy last year. In 63 games in the shortest format, he has a strike-rate of 137.18 with one hundred and 7 fifties, which reflects how dangerous he can be.
Shadab Khan @ 9.5 credits– The leg-break bowler has an astonishing average of 15.41 with the ball after 16 T20I matches. He has taken 24 wickets and has bowled with an economy rate of 6.28, which is phenomenal in the format. With the Scottish players not very good against spin, Shadab would be fancying his chances.
Usman Khan (PAK) @ 8.5 credits
Pakistan already have a number of proven match-winning bowlers in their ranks, with Amir leading the pack. Usman has played 7 T20I matches and has taken only 4 wickets at an average of 42.25, which makes him a doubtful choice for the first T20I.
Ahmed Shehzad (PAK) @ 8.5 credits
The opener is likely to score big runs if the track plays true to nature. Shehzad has played 55 T20I matches so far, with a hundred against his name and he can prove to be a wise pick.
Suggested team balance
Go with 7 Pakistani players as they have been in exceptional form. Bring in top-order cricketers from both sides, as it could be a run fest.