Preview: Scotland has slight edge over Netherlands in battle of equals
In the last 5 T20Is between Netherlands and Scotland, the latter has won four times while Netherlands has managed only a solitary victory. However, Dutch will take heart from the fact that they had beaten Scotland comprehensively in their last face-off – by 7 wickets in the Oman Quadrangular Series 2019 earlier this year.
Hence, when the two teams square off in the second game of the Ireland T20I Tri-Series 2019 at Dublin, we should have a cracker of a contest.
Scotland, however, would be quietly confident too. Captain Kyle Coetzer along with George Munsey form a solid opening duo. Then they have the likes of Calum MacLeod, wicket-keeper Matthew Cross and Craig Wallace in the batting unit who can each make a difference on their day. MacLeod, whose 53 in the last T20I between the two sides was the team’s highest score, could be the most crucial part for the team.Embed from Getty Images
Scotland’s bowling is its strength and it has plenty of variety. Semaer Alasdair Evans has had a good year and would enjoy bowling on this surface. Safyaan Sharif is expected to open the bowling with him. The spin bowling of Mark Watt and Michael Leask might be detrimental too, depending on who is selected.
Meanwhile, Netherlands would be banking on their batting to do the heavy lifting. In Stephan Myburgh and Tobias Visee they have an attacking opening pair. Visee, especially, is in good form in 2019 and averaging close to 40 in T20Is. The experience of Ryan ten Doeschate in the middle gives the Netherlands an edge and he can really take the game away from the opposition with his striking. Max ODowd and Wesley Barresi would be the other two batsmen to watch out for from Netherlands.Embed from Getty Images
Timm van der Gugten, Fred Klaassen and Shane Snater are likely to be the seam bowling options for Netherlands in this match. However, captain Pieter Seelaar’s left-arm spin and the experienced spinner Roelof van der Merwe might be the ones making the difference as the Scottish aren’t known to be great against spin bowling.
It goes without saying that the match will be crucial for both the team as the winner will get a head start in this tri series.
Match prediction- Scotland vs Netherlands:
The Village, Dublin, saw two T20I games in 2018 between India and Ireland. In both the games, India posted in excess of 200 – with their 213-4 in the second match being the highest T20I score on this venue.
The average first innings score on this venue is 144 and the average second innings score is 120. It will be interesting to see how the pitch behaves in the match between Scotland vs Netherlands. The surface should be hard and aid batting. The team batting first is likely to get close to 170 in their 20 overs. Anything more and chasing will be tough as the pitch slows down and slower bowlers come into play.
Given the history of the venue, the total runs scored by both the teams combined should be in the range of 320-330 runs.
Scotland has had more experience of playing in The Village and has a better overall team. Their win prediction for this match looks to be over 60%. However, Netherlands has potential and can end up surprising the opponents too.