Scotland will be in good shape to qualify for the Super 12 of the 2021 ICC T20 Men’s World Cup if skipper Kyle Coetzer’s team wins for the second match in a row. The Scots upset Bangladesh in Group B on Sunday, winning by six runs thanks to an inspired performance in both phases from Chris Greaves. Now Greaves and star batter George Munsey can make the difference against Papua New Guinea on Tuesday. PNG lost by 10 wickets against co-hosts Oman on their tournament debut, but Assad Vala’s brilliant batting could still salvage their qualification hopes.
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In the United States, the match (6 a.m. ET start time) isn’t on TV, but anyone in the US can watch Scotland vs Papa New Guinea live on ESPN+ right here:
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Scotland vs Papua New Guinea Preview
Greaves excelled in front of the wicket, hitting a solid 45 off 28 balls. Once Greaves put the bat down, the 31-year-old set about attacking the Bangladesh order in style. He took crucial wickets, dispatching both Mushfiqur Rahim and Shakib Al Hasan. Another stellar showing from the all-rounder will push Scotland into the next phase.
There are other match-winners in the Scottish ranks, both with the ball and bat. Among them, Munsey hit a steady 29 in the opener, including slogging a pair of fours and two sixes. His left arm should make a huge impact at the wicket against a Papua New Guinea bowling attack decimated by Oman openers Aqib Ilyas and Jatinder Singh. They combined for 131 from 85 balls and found the boundary 17 times.
Munsey and Greaves should enjoy similar success, while Mark Watt will be a more than competent supporting act. He managed 22 from 17 with the bat before going one for 19 during four overs attacking the stumps. Watt and Greaves will have the same target in mind against PNG, namely the dynamic Vala.
He’s 34, but Vala has lost none of his know-how and class with the bat. He played some outstanding strokes en route to 56 from 43 against Oman. The tally included a trio of sixes and a quartet of fours. Finding a supporting act for Vala’s brilliance would go a long way toward helping Papua New Guinea spring an upset. That didn’t happen in the first game when the disappointing opening partnership of Tony Ura and Lega Siaka was blanked and quickly sent from the crease.
At least Charles Amini showcased some flashes in the first game, posting 37 runs off 26 balls, but he’ll need to find the boundary more often against the Scots. Amini’s biggest value will be when PNG attack the Scotland batting order. Bangladesh effectively used spin to cause problems, and it’s something Amini can replicate. He’s a decent leg-spinner, while Vala’s off-spin deliveries could help the tournament newcomers take some vital early wickets.
The PNG attack failed to claim a single wicket against Oman, but Nosaina Pokana posted a decent economy rate of 7.50 from two overs. It’s something to build on for the leftie pacer who can present a different challenge on the quicker surface at the Al Amerat Cricket Ground.
Papua New Guinea will need perfect conditions and Vala, Amini and Ura in peak form to win a match Scotland appear equipped to control from start to finish.