One of the biggest European rivals Ireland and Scotland will go head to head in the fourth fixture of Oman Quadrangular Series 2019 at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground in Al Amarat on Friday, February 15. Till date, both nations have featured in eight completed T20I games, with the Irish comprehensively leading the clash line 5-2, with the previous fixture ended in a tie.
After four successive defeats against India and Afghanistan, the Irish men tasted victory against Oman, which should have boosted their confidence. Though were some areas which they need to address ahead of the Scotland attack, as their middle-order failed to keep the momentum garnered by their openers, and witnessed few unnecessary run-outs, which they would like to avoid in next game.
Skipper Paul Stirling led the charge against Oman and played an impressive 71run knock to set the tone for the middle order and he will be eager to replicate it against Scotland. He was well supported by the Kevin o Brien (19 runs from 14 balls) and Andy Balbirnie (34 runs from 24 balls), both seemed in good touch in their respective outings and the team will need them to make it better against the Scots.
Simi Singh rattled the Oman middle order and displayed his effectiveness in the Asian conditions by picking three wickets for fifteen runs. The spinner will once again be skipper's go-to man during middle overs.
While Peter Chase, Joshua Little and George Dockrell all snared two wickets each, but Chase was quite an expensive giving away 42 runs in his four overs, which he should rectify in next game. Meanwhile, Boyd Rankin went wicket-less in the previous outing, but due to his experience, he can be a match-turner against the Scots.
Expected Playing XI
Paul Stirling (C), Kevin O Brien, Andrew Balbirnie, Lorcan Tucker, Simi Singh, Stuart Poynter (W), Shane Getkate, George Dockrell, Joshua Little, Peter Chase and Boyd Rankin.
The Scots were unexpectedly stunned by the Dutch in the previous encounter by seven wickets, and from being pre-tournament favourites, now finds themselves in a much win situation against the neighbours.
The over attacking frameset against the Dutch means, they ended in losing unnecessary wickets to the opponents which in the dented their chances of the big total. The opener George Munsey (32 runs from 11 balls) was trying to hit every ball he faced, which certainly paved the way for his wicket just after facing ten deliveries.
While Callum McLeod hit an impressive fifty in the previous game, skipper Coetzewill need him to replicate it against Ireland. Kyle Coetzer and Matthew Cross failed to make a contribution in last game, but one can expect them to come out thrashing in the do or die encounter.
Safyaan Sharif and Alasdair Evans were most economical against the Dutch with respective figures of 1/28 and 0/19, while Micheal Leask and Mark Watt shared two wickets among them.
Meanwhile, the skipper made a bold decision to include all-rounder Rauidhri Smith in the playing XI, but he went for plenty on bowling front and he might be asked to make way for Hamza Tahir, in case the skipper decides to go with a regular bowler.
Expected Playing XI
Kyle Coetzer (C), Matthew Cross (W), Michael Leask, Richie Berrington, Calum MacLeod, George Munsey, Alasdair Evans, Safyaan Sharif, Craig Wallace, Mark Watt and Hamza Tahir/Rauidhri Smith.