Grant Bradburn confident of Dublin success

GRANT Bradburn is convinced Scotland can complete a triumphant T20 World Cup qualifying campaign this weekend.

Matthew Cross, batting at No 3 for Scotland, says the aim has always been to win the trophy. Picture: SNS

The Scots, already through to next year’s global event in India after winning their group, are determined to go on and lift the qualifying trophy.

They face Hong Kong at Malahide this morning with a potential final tomorrow against either hosts Ireland or the Netherlands.

Sign up to our daily newsletter

The i newsletter cut through the noise

And Bradburn believes his side have saved the best for last after failing to hit the heights during the group phase.

The coach said: “Winning our group was a great achievement but we all know we never quite put all three phases of the game together.

“We have had the chance to address that and weve done some fine-tuning.

“The players have also had a bit of a break and are ready to go again. There is more to come from this group.”

The Scots have never faced Hong Kong in an official T20 international but lost to them in last year’s 50-over World Cup qualifier and HK again showed their short-game prowess by beating Afghanistan in the quarter-finals of this tournament.

Bradburn added: “Anything can happen in T20 and we fully respect Hong Kong and know we cant take them lightly. But we have to focus on executing our own skills and putting our best performance on the park.”

Former Aberdeenshire wicket-keeper Matthew Cross, one of Scotland’s successes in a hard-hitting No 3 role, added: “We’ve played some pretty solid cricket throughout the tournament.

“Now, as a group, we’re relishing the opportunity to achieve what we originally set out to do and that is to win the tournament.”

Fellow Aberdonian Michael Leask, who took seven wickets in four games before sitting out the final two games of the group phase, could come back into the team. However, the starting XI will not be announced until Bradburn and his staff have assessed conditions at Malahide.

Ireland face the Netherlands in the other sem-final, while Afghanistan take on Oman in the fifth-place play-off.

Meanwhile, Saltires star Freddie Coleman played himself into contention for a top-team return at Warwickshire only to be hit by a two-match ECB ban.

Coleman, who opted out of Scotland’s current T20 World Cup qualifying bid to concentrate on his county career, hit a brilliant century for Warwickshire’s second string against Yorkshire earlier this week. However, he was reported by umpires Steve Garratt and Ian Marland for showing dissent during the same match, a Level One breach of the ECB’s code of discipline.

The offence triggered a suspended two-match ban for a previous Level Two breach imposed in August 2013.

Coleman, who has also had three penalty points applied to his record, captained Warwickshire to victory in the 2nd XI County Championship match at Scarborough.

His 118 was his second century of the season for the county’s second string as he bids for his first top-team appearance of the summer.