Preview: Scotland take on Zimbabwe in a do-or-die clash
Scotland have played some good cricket in both of their matches in this T20 World Cup so far. They started with an excellent victory against West Indies in their opening match of the campaign. The batters played responsibly to get the team to a competitive total and then the bowlers responded well to defend the score of 160. Left-arm spinner Mark Watt bowled brilliantly in that game as he claimed three wickets for just 12 runs in his four overs. The Scotland batting unit faired even better in the match against Ireland and they were ahead for a major portion of the match until the Scotland bowlers were taken down by some brilliant T20 batting by Curtis Campher.
Richie Berrington and his men did most things right in that match against Ireland but there isn't much bowlers can do when someone bats the way Campher did. However, the team has looked in high spirits and confidence so far, and they will be eager to carry that forward into this highly important match against Zimbabwe.
Zimbabwe, on the other hand, started off well as they registered a 31-run win against Ireland in their opening encounter of the tournament but they succumbed to a defeat by the same margin to West Indies in the following game. The inference that can be drawn from these two matches is their batting unit's over dependence on Sikandar Raza. Zimbabwe got to a strong total of over 170 riding on Raza's excellent knock of 82 in the first match, but they got bundled out for 122 in the very next match when Raza failed to deliver with the bat.
The bowlers have done a good job comparatively. They restricted Ireland to 143 in the first match and West Indies to 153 in the second. Zimbabwe have the ammunition to keep the batters quiet in all phases of the innings and that is a big advantage for them. Now, the batters need to step up and give their bowlers and Raza the support they require.
Predicted Playing XIs
Zimbabwe: Regis Chakabva (wk), Craig Ervine (c), Wesley Madhevere, Sean Williams, Sikandar Raza, Milton Shumba, Ryan Burl, Luke Jongwe, Tendai Chatara, Richard Ngarava, Blessing Muzarabani
Scotland: George Munsey, Michael Jones, Matthew Cross (wk), Richie Berrington (c), Calum MacLeod, Michael Leask, Chris Greaves, Mark Watt, Josh Davey, Safyaan Sharif, Brad Wheal
Sikandar Raza: The veteran all-rounder is the backbone of the Zimbabwe batting unit. He has enjoyed a great year, scoring tons of runs across all formats, and even played a brilliant knock of 82 in Zimbabwe's opening match against Ireland. Raza also claimed three wickets in the match against West Indies, which sums up how crucial a role he plays for his side.
George Munsey: The top-order batter is one of Scotland's most experienced players. He has over a thousand T20 international runs to his name at an average of 28.24 and strike-rate of 143.42. Munsey showed his form when he played a match-winning knock of 66 in Scotland's opening match against West Indies. He will have to play a significant role in this must win fixture against Zimbabwe if his side are to progress.
Dream11 Fantasy Picks
He bats, bowls and fields like a champion! Raza has already shown his worth with a majestic knock of 82 against Ireland and a brilliant spell of 3/19 against West Indies. His superb form and all-round ability makes him a reliable captaincy option for all Dream11 contests.
The 24-year-old top-order batter has played just three T20 internationals for Scotland so far but has already made a name for himself. Jones scored 20 against West Indies and followed that up with a superb knock of 86 from just 55 deliveries against Ireland. His superb batting form makes him an absolute must-have in your fantasy team.
He doesn't attract as much attention as the other big names out there but Leask is an excellent asset for your fantasy team. The all-rounder has picked up three wickets in the two games so far, going at an economy rate of just five. He also played a useful knock of 17 in the last match to propel Scotland towards a good total.
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