Pride at stake for Scotland, Hong Kong in dead rubber
Saturday, March 12, 2016
Start time 1930 local (1400 GMT)
Scotland are out of the tournament, and so are Hong Kong. What is left to play for? The question simply would not arise if this were an old-fashioned world event with associates mingling with the big teams. Every game would be a new, learning experience for the Associate teams. Scotland would expect to be out of the tournament by the time they played their last game, but that last game would still give them the opportunity to face up to an Australia or a Pakistan.
There is little to be gained, however, from meeting a fellow Associate that you keep running into all the time anyway. In 2016, Scotland and Hong Kong have already met twice in T20s, once in 50-overs cricket. Two of those meetings - one in a 50-over game and another in a first-class game - have been abandoned.
All three completed games were held in Hong Kong, with the T20I series drawn 1-1 and Hong Kong winning on their home ODI debut.
Given those results, Saturday's meeting could be anyone's game. One side, though, will probably be a little bit more desperate than the other to force a win. Scotland have played 20 matches in ICC tournaments since their debut at the 1999 World Cup. They are yet to win a game. Hong Kong beat them to a maiden win when they shocked Bangladesh during the 2014 World T20.
(last five completed games most recent first)
Hong Kong LLLLL
In the spotlight
Having made his T20I debut 14 years after his ODI debut for another country, 44-year-old Ryan Campbell is potentially about to play his last World T20 game. He was out early against Zimbabwe, but looked in good touch against Afghanistan before being bowled by a slow, loopy ball that bounced up and rolled onto the stumps off his helmet and body. Facing the weakest attack of the group, Campbell will look to convert his form into a significant score.
In Scotland's first game against Afghanistan, the inclusion of Calum MacLeod meant Matthew Cross was shunted down the order and only got to face two balls late in the game. Back at No. 3 against Zimbabwe, he was out first ball to a jaffa from Tendai Chatara. Cross is a tidy wicketkeeper who has been establishing himself as a top-order batsman as well, and will want to end a so-far disappointing tournament on a positive note.
Given that both teams are out of the tournament, they could use the opportunity to give some of their fringe players a chance. For Hong Kong, Anshuman Rath - who scored 97 as an opener in Hong Kong's ODI win over Scotland in January - could get a move up the order.
Hong Kong (probable): 1 Jamie Atkinson (wk), 2 Ryan Campbell, 3 Babar Hayat, 4 Mark Chapman, 5 Anshuman Rath, 6 Nizakat Khan, 7 Kinchit Shah/Waqas Barkat, 8 Tanwir Afzal (capt), 9 Aizaz Khan/Adil Mehmood, 10 Haseeb Amjad/Tanveer Ahmed, 11 Nadeem Ahmed
Scotland (probable): 1 George Munsey, 2 Kyle Coetzer, 3 Matthew Cross (wk), 4 Matt Machan, 5 Richie Berrington, 6 Preston Mommsen (capt), 7 Michael Leask/Calum MacLeod, 8 Josh Davey/Rob Taylor, 9 Safyaan Sharif, 10 Alasdair Evans, 11 Mark Watt/Con de Lange
Stats and trivia
- Tanwir Afzal has hit nearly twice as many sixes (15) as fours (8) in T20Is. Seven of those sixes came in a 22-ball 56 against Scotland in January. He only hit one four in that innings.
- Kinchit Shah has a batting average of 7.77 in 14 T20Is. He has not bowled a single delivery.
"It is very, very important to go back with a win and to break the shackles of 0 in 20. That would be a very big monkey off our back."
Scotland captain Preston Mommsen on his side's need to end their long and agonizing winless run in ICC tournaments
"When you have a young squad, one day they are going to be outstanding, next day they are not going to be so good. I guess it's our job [as senior players] to try and help those young fellows get their worst day and their best day to a happy medium. And at the moment we are not like that."
Ryan Campbell on his role in the Hong Kong set-up
Karthik Krishnaswamy is a senior sub-editor at ESPNcricinfo