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Scotland focused on task at hand as they take on PNG

Cricket Scotland @CricketScotland
October 19, 2021 2 months
Scotland focused on task at hand as they take on PNG
MUSCAT, OMAN - OCTOBER 17: Richard Berrington and Kyle Coetzer of Scotland interact following the ICC Men's T20 World Cup match between Bangladesh and Scotland at Oman Cricket Academy Ground on October 17, 2021 in Muscat, Oman. (Photo by Francois Nel-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Following’s Sunday’s win over Bangladesh in their first outing of the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, Scotland return to action today in Muscat to play Papua New Guinea. PNG have become familiar opponents over the last month with Scotland coming out on top in both of the CWCL2 50-over matches played between in the teams and a T20I in the DafaNews T20 Bash in the UAE.

While Scotland are riding high following their opening win on Sunday, PNG are coming off the back of a loss against Oman, but Scotland’s Michael Leask says that today’s opponents are not to be underestimated.

“PNG are going to be quite a force in the next game. We’ve played against them quite a few times, and we know exactly what they’re going to come with. They pose their own challenges very different to Bangladesh. We’ve played PNG three times in the last month and we’ve had good success against them, but again, that means absolutely nothing going into this format. It’s now competition time. It’s now game time. This is at a world stage. You just never know what’s going to happen on any given day. We’re ready and raring to go, and we’ll hopefully take another victory.

While fans and commentators have started to talk about the Super 12 stage, the Scotland team are fully focussed on the game ahead.

“At the moment I think we’re just looking to take game by game. We’re just trying to keep our feet on the ground and take every game as it comes,” said Leask.  “We only look at ourselves and how we’re travelling at the moment, and as a squad we’re really happy with the way things are going. We’ve got 1 to 17 absolutely champing at the bit. Our guys are just in a really good headspace at the moment, which is excellent for Scottish cricket.

Scotland have played a lot of cricket in the last month and Leask believes that those matches have put them in a great place to compete in the World Cup.

“We were here three weeks ago playing back-to-back 50-over games so I think that’s actually stood us in really good stead to be fitter, be stronger, ready for this T20, even though it’s a bit faster, a bit more energetic, shall we say. We’ve had two 50-over games on the bounce, which are very energy sapping, so we’re actually ready to go. The boys are fit and ready to go.”

While the players are not thinking beyond this match, a win for Scotland would put them within touching distance of a spot in the Super 12. If Oman manage to beat Bangladesh after a Scotland win both teams would be through to the next round. A win for Bangladesh rather than Oman would leave all three teams in the mix for the next stage.

The match starts at 11am UK time and is live on Sky Sport and BBC Radio. We’ll have regular updates on the Cricket Scotland twitter throughout the game.

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