World T20 Qualifier 2015 July 24, 2015

Upbeat Hong Kong tackle Scotland's batting depth

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Other teams have caught up dramatically - Deutrom

Scotland v Hong Kong

Tournament co-hosts Scotland are back in action after seven days of rest, following their win over Oman that secured first place in Group B and an automatic berth in India for next year's World Twenty20. They might not have star-studded players who bully bowling attacks, but Scotland's efficiency and depth have made them the highest scoring team in the group stages.

To reiterate that, Kyle Coetzer is their only representative among the top ten run-getters at the end of the group stages. But he is among five batsmen including Calum MacLeod, Preston Mommsen, Matthew Cross and George Munsey to score over 100 runs so far. No other team has as many. Scotland have also produced more fifty-plus partnerships - eight - than any team in the tournament's first round.

Alasdair Evans, with 11 wickets, leads the bowling attack. Offspinner Michael Leask plays deputy with seven scalps at 12.71. Leask and left-arm spinner Con de Lange will have greater roles to play in Malahide, where the pitch has been quite slow.

Hong Kong earned an extra two days off after their maiden T20 victory over Afghanistan to reach the semi-final. Mark Chapman's 40 off 25 balls lifted Hong Kong in the final five overs and sealed a dramatic last-ball victory. Their top-score belonged to Jamie Atkinson though, with 47. Since recovering from a sliced tendon on his foot prior to the tour, his form at the top or the order - 109 runs in his last three games - has been crucial to Hong Kong's rise.

Hong Kong come into this semi-final as underdogs, but they are high on momentum. Their bowling unit, having struggled initially, has found its bearings. Haseeb Amjad has been their most consistent threat, taking 11 wickets in six games.

Their spin bowling reserves have depleted with Nizakat Khan's action ruled as illegal. But Nadeem Ahmed has stepped up with six wickets in his last two games, including a five-for against Namibia. He will be a key factor in restricting Scotland's middle order.

Ireland v Netherlands

John Mooney was absent from Ireland's team when they were upset by the Netherlands at the 2014 World Twenty20 but has been a key cog in the Ireland attack at this month's qualifier © Peter Della Penna

The afternoon showdown in Saturday's twin-billing at Malahide is a revenge game for Ireland. The last time these two teams met, Netherlands produced one of the most remarkable chases in any form of cricket by scoring 193 runs in 13.5 overs to not only beat Ireland, but pass them on net run rate to progress ahead of them into the main draw of the 2014 World Twenty20 in Bangladesh.

One player who was sorely missed from the bowling unit that day was allrounder John Mooney, who withdrew from selection consideration for the tournament after leaving the team's pre-World T20 tour to the West Indies to receive treatment for a stress-related illness. Closing in on one year since his return to the Ireland setup, he has been the standout medium pacer in this competition with 14 wickets.

After a failed experiment to trial Niall O'Brien and Andy Balbirnie at the top of the order with Paul Stirling, captain William Porterfield moved himself back up to open with his longtime tag-team partner and the Porterfield-Stirling left-right combination produced nearly twice as many runs in one opening stand against Jersey than Ireland and put together in the first five group games combined. Restoring order at the top should put the rest of the line-up at ease as well.

Netherlands' only trip to the final of this tournament was in 2008, but their showdown with Ireland never came to be after rain ruined the contest scheduled at Stormont. On a smallish ground with a power-packed top order against a team they toyed with in Bangladesh last year, beware of the flying Dutchmen.

Stephan Myburgh got Netherlands off to a flying start in Sylhet before Wesley Barresi finished Ireland off with Tom Cooper in that famous win. Myburgh, Barresi and Tom's brother Ben have been the Dutch side's top three scorers in this tournament. But don't count out captain Peter Borren in the middle order. He made 57 to deal Scotland with one of their two losses in the tournament.

In his first tournament since qualifying to play for his adopted home, Roelof van der Merwe has done everything expected of him with the ball, taking a team best 10 wickets at the event. Among bowlers who have bowled at least one over per team game, fellow left-arm spinner Pieter Seelaar is in the top 10 at the tournament with a 5.63 economy rate. Ireland's middle order has had a tendency to get bogged down at this tournament and if Seelaar can continue to be tidy, it will help the Dutch immensely in the field while van der Merwe attacks from the opposite end.

Peter Della Penna is ESPNcricinfo's USA correspondent. @PeterDellaPenna

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