T20 World Cup – Oman bat first in crucial Scotland encounter

Oman won the toss and chose to bat against Scotland

Oman won the toss and chose to bat first against Scotland, as the Group B action relocated from Barbados to Antigua for a crucial contest.

It was something of a surprise call from Oman’s captain, Aqib Ilyas, given that the conditions at the Sir Vivian Richards stadium are yet to be tested in this tournament, and Scotland’s captain, Richie Berrington, said he would have bowled first anyway, with so much at stake for them in particular in this contest.

“We’re actually happy taking the ball first,” Berrington said at the toss, adding that he was eyeing up a conspicuously short side of the ground which, as England found against Australia in Bridgetown on Saturday, could prove hard to defend if the Scots get on a roll.

One significant setback for Scotland is the absence of their seamer, Brad Currie, who played a key role in their victory over Namibia earlier this week. Nevertheless, they have a readymade replacement in Safyaan Sharif, who will be making his 200th representative appearance for Scotland.

The permutations in Group B are among the most fascinating in the tournament, but the tale of the tape is pretty simple for Scotland. With one win and one washout against England under their belt, another victory will leave them unbeaten going into their final match against Australia, and thereby qualification will be entirely in their own hands.

And, given the scale of England’s own loss to Australia on Saturday, a slender defeat could also be sufficient, given they play their last game after England, and will by then know their net run-rate requirements.

That’s not to say that Oman will be a pushover, of course. Anything but, to judge by their own feisty display against Namibia in their group opener, which required a David Wiese special to separate the teams in the Super Over after a low-scoring duel. They have made two changes, with Naseem Khushi taking over from Kashyap Prajapati and Rafiullah for Shoaib Khan.

Oman: 1 Naseem Khushi, 2 Pratik Athavale (wk), 3 Aqib Ilyas (capt), 4 Zeeshan Maqsood, 5 Khalid Kail, 6 Ayaan Khan, 7 Mehran Khan, 8 Rafiullah, 9 Shakeel Ahmed, 10 Kaleemullah, 11 Bilal Khan

Scotland: 1 George Munsey, 2 Michael Jones, 3 Brandon McMullen, 4 Richie Berrington (capt), 4 Matthew Cross (wk), 6 Michael Leask, 7 Chris Greaves, 8 Mark Watt, 9 Chris Sole, 10 Brad Wheal, 11 Safyaan Sharif.

Andrew Miller is UK editor of ESPNcricinfo. @miller_cricket


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