Scotland v Ireland Preview

11 Jan

Ian PottsScotland’s cricketers have today been training under lights at the Dubai International Stadium today (Sunday) as they prepare to take on Ireland in the second fixture of the Triangular Series.

The Scots have two day/night fixtures in the up-coming ICC Cricket World Cup, and the two games under lights during their tour of the UAE will provide the squad with valuable experience in similar conditions.

It is expected that Head Coach Grant Bradburn will make a number of changes to the side that were beaten by Afghanistan on Thursday, against their Irish counterparts on Monday.

Key bowlers Iain Wardlaw and Majid Haq could be in the frame for a return, while Gavin Main and Alasdair Evans are the other bowlers still to feature in the UAE.

Off-spinner, Majid Haq, only requires two more wickets to overtake Craig Wright, who is currently Scotland’s Assistant Coach, as Scotland’s leading wicket taker. An appearance on Monday could also see him move level with Fraser Watts (203 caps) as Scotland’s most capped player (all matches, all formats).

“It was good to get some grass time in to our legs in the first ODI of this series against Afghanistan and we batted well in challenging conditions to set a good total with a notable performance from Hamish who batted extremely well.

Going in to the second match against Ireland on Monday is a new and different challenge for us and also gives some of our squad more invaluable experience of playing under the lights prior to our two day night games during the World Cup.” Bradburn said after their training session.

 “I’m sure those who played against Afghanistan will show progress on from game one and if we do decide to make any changes to the starting eleven it will also give those players some really valuable time on the park.” He added.

The Irish will be coming into the game against the Scots on the back of a low-scoring thriller on Saturday, where Andrew Balbirnie and Alex Cusack steered the men in green over the line, as they successfully chased down the 180 runs set by Afghanistan.

Donald MacLeod

Former Irish legend, Trent Johnston, speaking to the ICC website ahead of the series, also gave his thoughts on Scotland’s World Cup chances, “Runs in next month’s tournament could come from captain Preston Mommsen, Calum MacLeod, Kyle Coetzer, Matt Machan and Frederick Coleman. 

Again wickets will be the key up front and I expect Safyaan Sharif and Iain Wardlaw to be the key men, and watch Majid Haq, he is a quality off spinner. Richie Berrington is a superb all-rounder and will be called on in both innings at key stages in the game. 

With Craig Wright and, especially, Paul Collingwood, on the coaching staff, it will have a wealth of experience in Southern Hemisphere conditions. 

Scotland is in the same group as Afghanistan and I wouldn't be surprised if it pulled off an upset or two. The players identified above will certainly need to play their part for that to happen. Good luck lads.” 

Tomorrow’s match between Scotland and Ireland will start at 2pm Dubai time (10am GMT). 

TEAM PLAYED WON TIE / NO RESULT LOST POINTS NRR
Ireland 0 1 0 0 2 0.577
Afghanistan 1 1 0 1 2 0.041
Scotland 1 0 0 1 0 -1.049

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