New Zealand aim to avoid banana-skin
Match factsSaturday, June 6, 2009
Start time 10.00 (09.00 GMT)
Big PictureThe sides have been playing warm-up matches for the past week and realistically this should be little more than another training run for New Zealand. Scotland have never beaten a Test-playing nation in either an ODI or a Twenty20 international and that is unlikely to change at this tournament, if their recent form is any indication.
They nearly lost their ODI status in the World Cup Qualifiers, failed to beat Netherlands in a warm-up and then lost one of their most experienced fast men, John Blain, after he had a serious argument with the captain Gavin Hamilton. The only positive was a competitive, though ultimately fruitless, showing in their practice match against England.
For New Zealand the result should be a formality. They have a strong batting line-up based around Brendon McCullum, Jesse Ryder and Ross Taylor, and have a good chance of featuring in the final stages of the tournament. However, their coach Andy Moles is wary and said the Scotland game could be "a potential banana-skin".
Form guide (last five Twenty20s, most recent first)New Zealand WWLWT
Watch out forBrendon McCullum launched last year's IPL with a spectacular 158 not out and against a relatively weak attack he could light up the opening stages of this event. His IPL form this year was patchy with flashes of his best and the other teams won't thank Scotland if they bowl him back into touch.
Comfortably Scotland's best batsman, Gavin Hamilton has taken over the captaincy and will be keen to lead by example. Much of Scotland's fate will rest on how he performs at the top of the order.
Team newsNew Zealand will be without Kyle Mills after he was ruled out due to a back injury, although he was responding well to treatment. "His condition will be monitored over the next few days before a decision is made on whether he plays in the game against South Africa on Tuesday," the coach Andy Moles said. Ryder was battling a niggling groin injury in the lead-up but he is expected to play.
New Zealand squad Daniel Vettori (capt), Neil Broom, Ian Butler, Brendon Diamanti, James Franklin, Martin Guptill, Brendon McCullum, Nathan McCullum, Peter McGlashan, Kyle Mills, Iain O'Brien, Jacob Oram, Jesse Ryder, Scott Styris, Ross Taylor.
Scotland squad Gavin Hamilton (capt), Richie Berrington, Calum MacLeod, Kyle Coetzer, Gordon Drummond, Majid Haq, Neil McCallum, Dewald Nel, Navdeep Poonia, Glenn Rogers, Colin Smith (wk), Jan Stander, Ryan Watson, Fraser Watts, Craig Wright.
Pitch and conditionsDaniel Vettori should enjoy a surface expected to suit the slow bowlers. There could be light rain in London on Saturday with a forecast top of 17C.
Stats and Trivia
- Scotland have never beaten a Test-playing nation in an ODI or Twenty20 international
- They have never met New Zealand in a Twenty20 and the two ODIs between the sides resulted in enormously one-sided wins to New Zealand
- Scotland is the home of the "Mac" surname but they are outnumbered by New Zealand - McCallum and MacLeod compared to McCullum, McCullum and McGlashan
Quotes"It is probably the most nerve-racking game we can have first up. We do not want to be the team who slips up against an Associate team. We have seen it happen at World Cups in the past."
"We wanted to play decent cricket but we were miles off the mark."
Gavin Hamilton after losing to Netherlands