Palmerbet Sports Team’s Best of the Day preview takes an in-depth look at giant-killing Scotland’s maiden Twenty20 cricket international against Pakistan, the world’s top T20 side.
20:00 (AEST) @ Grange Cricket Club, Edinburgh
History: First meeting
Scotland achieved arguably their greatest-ever cricketing result by knocking off the No.1 team in ODI cricket on Sunday. Now they’re aiming to repeat the dose when they host the world’s top-ranked T20 nation, Pakistan.
Scotland carved out a heroic six-run win over England in a one-off one-dayer.
Their opening pair, wicketkeeper Matthew Cross and captain Kyle Coetzer, laid the foundation with a century stand, before Calum MacLeod went ballistic with an unbeaten 140 off just 94 balls.
MacLeod received excellent support from Richie Berrington (39) and George Munsey (55) as Scotland posted 5/371. Scotland’s bowlers held their nerve to bowl England out for 365 in the 49th over.
Well batted Calum MacLeod 👏
— England Cricket (@englandcricket) June 10, 2018
WHAT! A! GAME!
Safyaan Sharif pins Mark Wood LBW to spark scenes of delirium as Scotland defend 371 by just six runs to complete a first-ever ODI win over @MRFWorldwide No.1 ranked England.
— ICC (@ICC) June 10, 2018
Scotland don’t have any great T20 form to speak of, though they did finish second to Ireland in last year’s Desert T20 Challenge after losing all of their World T20 qualifiers against the same opposition in 2016.
Pakistan are coming off a Test campaign that included a one-off win over Ireland and a 1-1 series draw with England.
Prior to that they went on a T20 rampage trouncing Sri Lanka 3-0 in the UAE, rolling the highly-rated New Zealand side 2-1 in New Zealand, and despatching West Indies 3-0 at home.
— Khel Shel (@khelshel) June 11, 2018
Pakistan are without injured star opener Babar Azam, but in the likes of wicketkeeper and captain Sarfraz Ahmed, opener Ahmed Shehzad, all-rounder Mohammad Nawaz and classy bowler Mohammad Amir, they boast ample experience and explosive talent.
It’s tempting to have a nudge at Scotland as $4.60 outsiders after their watershed result against England in the 50-over format, but Pakistan should be able to put the home side away and maintain their outstanding T20I record of the last year.
Sarfraz Ahmed: “We were not taking Scotland lightly even before the England match. T20 is not an easy format. You have to play better on the day in this format. It doesn’t matter whether you are a number one or number eight side.”#SCOvPAK
— Ahsan Iftikhar Nagi (@ahsannagi) June 11, 2018
MacLeod and Coetzer shape as the best options in the Top Scotland Batsman market, while we like Shehzad in the Pakistan batting line-up.
For a safer bet with value, consider Pakistan to hit the most sixes – despite their win, the Scots hit only eight sixes to England’s 16 on Sunday and the visitors’ line-up is laced with players who can clear the rope.