Judging from the way this squad performed to share the World T20 qualifier title with Netherlands, Scotland should break their winless streak at major ICC tournaments and perhaps make it through to the 10-team main draw.

Their batting stormed past most of their fellow Associates' bowling attacks. That too without Matt Machan, who holds the record for most runs in a single World T20 qualifier - 364, including four half-centuries. Add him into the mix and Scotland will have a line-up that most of their peers, including Ireland, might envy.

Scotland could, however, do with an extra spinner in India. Will they call up Majid Haq? He hasn't had top-flight cricket since he was sent home from the World Cup, after tweeting his dissatisfaction at being dropped. Haq was cleared to play for Scotland again last month, but was not included in their squad for the World T20 qualifier. He would be a very handy arrow to Preston Mommsen's bowling quiver.


Like Scotland, Netherlands can also expect a handy reinforcement in Tom Cooper next March. He was one of the architects in a spectacular overpowering of Ireland in the World T20 last year and was Netherlands' leading scorer with 231 runs at an average of 57.75. But he wasn't part of the qualifier since he was playing for Somerset in the English county circuit.

The bigger concern, though, is they might lose Ahsan Malik. There was a major drive against suspect actions in the World T20 qualifier and he was the biggest name to be reported and suspended. Capable of getting regular wickets in the death, Netherlands will want him to cleared to bowl before the World T20 in India.


The vaunted Irish batting might was missing in action and captain William Porterfield at one point admitted that his team struggled to adjust to their home conditions. Many of the squad were coming to the World T20 qualifier having played county cricket in England, and felt the pitches here were a tad softer.

Ireland's best effort batting first came against USA, but even the 146 that they made needed a late 7-ball 20 from John Mooney. Considering the issues they had, it was curious that Porterfield said Niall O'Brien was left out of their semi-final loss to Netherlands despite being passed fit. It looks like his St Patrick's Day heroics against Pakistan at Sabina Park in 2007 have become a distant memory.

Ireland's bowlers performed admirably, Kevin O'Brien and Mooney in particular, but the squad could perhaps have benefited from the all-round services of Max Sorensen. Local media consider him Ireland's best T20 bowler and he was their leading wicket-taker at the 2013 tournament in the UAE. But he was not picked this year.

The three-spinners strategy - George Dockrell, Paul Stirling and Andy McBrine - has promise, but it had also led to their downfall against Netherlands in Sylhet last year.

Hong Kong

A strong finish to the group stage, and in the playoff match against Afghanistan show Hong Kong's promise. Though they possess some explosive batsmen, it was the bowlers who kept them in most games, and in particular Haseeb Amjad and Tanwir Afzal. A big question mark hangs over Aizaz Khan though. His pace is significantly down from his peak two years ago, and wicketkeeper Jamie Atkinson frequently had to come up to the stumps to prevent batsman from charging.

Nizakat Khan is another concern, having been suspended for an illegal action. While he can hold a place as a batsman alone, Hong Kong will want to have his legspin back in play. If not, then it may be up to part-time left-arm spinners Mark Chapman or Anshuman Rath to support Nadeem Ahmed.

Hong Kong showed they are capable of causing damage with wins over Ireland and Afghanistan in this tournament. Combined with last year's victory over Bangladesh, it vaulted them to 11th place in the T20I rankings. The only thing holding them back from making the 10-team main draw in 2016 is maddening inconsistency.


Though they have been the darlings of Associate cricket over the last five years, Afghanistan have often underwhelmed at major ICC events. More often their explosive batting potential has imploded instead. Mohammad Shahzad is a case in point. After a pair of 70s in Edinburgh, he fizzled away with a pair of ducks come the knockout stages in Ireland. Najibullah Zadran is another untapped source of batting power.

In the past, their bowlers gave them every chance to even knock off Full Members, but now their threat seems to have waned. Afghanistan barely worried Hong Kong despite having a target of 161 to defend. And Oman, with their limited batting depth, cobbled together a reasonably defendable score.

Based on previous performances at World T20s and their fifth-place finish at this tournament, Afghanistan have long odds at progressing into the main draw.


The preparation Oman had coming into the World T20 qualifier played a major factor in their success. They spent a few weeks in Cork and had Derek Pringle as a technical advisor to give them insight into local conditions. Zeeshan Maqsood, Jatinder Singh and Zeeshan Siddiqui all stepped up at various points to dispel the notion that they would be two down one minute and all out a few later.

It may have been shocking to see Oman perform so well in alien conditions, especially considering they lost all seven games in the 2012 qualifier. But the bowling attack may actually find greater success at the World T20 than they had in Scotland and Ireland thanks to a spin-heavy combination. Three left-arm spinners - Maqsood, Aamir Kaleem and Ajay Lalcheta - along with the legspin of Khawar Ali could be a handful on turning tracks in the subcontinent. Don't be surprised if they notch another win or two in India.