ON PAPER Afghanistan may be the higher ranked side at the Cricket World Cup but in reality Scotland see their upcoming group match as eminently winnable.
Scotland’s overall record in ODI’s is lost 4, won 2 against this particular opponent but recent history suggests the Pool A clash of the Associate teams will be rather more nip and tuck.
The last two time these two sides met, in the dust bowl of Abu Dhabi, Scotland cruised to victory by 150 runs having dismissed the Afghani’s for just 63.
The bowling of Josh Davey was the particularly nasty thorn in their side that day as he took home 6 wickets at a cost of just 28 runs.
Davey already has 7 wickets in this tournament against greater opposition so will be keen to make another mark.
Freddie Coleman was introduced to the Scotland side for the defeat to England in Christchurch and also played in that match in the heat.
“We’re really looking forward to it, it’s an important game for us. And playing a fellow associate nation is probably the biggest game for us and we’d like to get those two points on the board and get jumping up that table.
“It’s obviously very different conditions to what we faced in the Abu Dhabi game and that was obviously a very successful day for our bowlers and even there it swung around a bit and nipped around so hopefully we can get the same sort of movement out of this pitch.”
This is an Afghani side that has the talent to blow away teams that lack spark in their attack so
Scotland will have to guard against being dunted around the smaller University Oval in Dunedin, they also have a genuine fast-bowler in the shape of the hostile Shapoor Zadran.
They are also coached by the man who used to lead New Zealand, the Englishman Andy Moles.
However, the crowd and conditions will make this as close to a home game as Grant Bradburn’s side could wish for this far from the old country.
While they have normally played in the deserts of Dubai in front of a raucous band of Afghan supporters, Dunedin will feel more like Edinburgh’s Grange than those conditions.
Scottish heritage runs deep this far down the South Island and the ball has a habit of swinging early as Scotland found out in their first match when they played New Zealand here a week ago.
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