Monday, July 22, 2024

Australia take on Scotland, Pakistan to play for pride


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Gros Isle, June 15: Australia, already through to the Super Eight stage of the ICC T20 World Cup 2024, will face Scotland in a pivotal match on Sunday, June 16, at the Daren Sammy National Cricket Stadium in Gros Islet, St Lucia.
This encounter, Match 35 of the tournament, holds significant weight beyond mere progression. To dodge any whispers of under-performance, Australia must secure a victory.
England, traditional rivals of Australia, are on the brink of elimination. Should Mitchell Marsh’s side falter against Scotland, England’s journey in the World Cup would abruptly end. Recent remarks by Josh Hazlewood about potential score manipulation stirred considerable debate, although such scenarios no longer loom.
Nevertheless, a loss to Richie Berrington’s Scotland would undoubtedly attract scrutiny.Australia has showcased exceptional form throughout the competition.
Even with the possibility of resting key players, their lineup remains formidable. Conversely, Scotland has demonstrated impressive prowess, suggesting they are not to be underestimated. A victory for Scotland would not only mark one of their most celebrated wins but also secure their place in the next T20 World Cup by advancing to the Super Eight.
Scotland’s top order, featuring the explosive George Munsey, and the steady leadership of captain Richie Berrington, who was instrumental in the victory against Namibia, highlight their strengths. Berrington, along with Michael Leask, played a crucial role in a match-winning partnership, underscoring Scotland’s competitive edge.
For Australia, the luxury of planning ahead for the Super Eight stage allows for strategic player rotation. Facing Afghanistan, India, and likely Bangladesh, Pat Cummins expressed pre-tournament ambitions of providing match experience across the squad.
Reflecting on past encounters, Australia last faced Scotland in the 2015 ODI World Cup, emerging victorious by seven wickets. Scottish all-rounder Michael Leask believes this historical context might work in their favor.
“It kind of holds us in a little bit of good stead as well because they don’t know what we’re capable of, given the fact that we’re playing really good cricket at the moment,” he remarked.

Pakistan to play for pride against Ireland

In another Group A clash, Pakistan will confront Ireland at the Central Broward Regional Park Stadium in Lauderhill. Eliminated from the tournament, Pakistan will seek to salvage pride in their final group stage match. Ireland, also out of the Super Eight race, aim to conclude their campaign on a positive note with their first win in the T20 World Cup 2024.
Pakistan, led by Babar Azam, has had a challenging campaign, with only Mohammad Rizwan making notable contributions with the bat.
Their formidable bowling attack, featuring Shaheen Afridi, Naseem Shah, Mohammad Amir, and Haris Rauf, strived to propel the team into the Super Eight, but their efforts fell short.Ireland’s batting woes have been apparent, with the top order struggling significantly.
Consequently, the lower middle order, including George Dockrell, Gareth Delany, and Mark Adair, has shouldered the responsibility. On the bowling front, Craig Young, Barry McCarthy, and Mark Adair have performed admirably, though insufficient run support has hampered their cause. (Agencies)


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