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Disciplined Scotland stage first of many upsets in ICC T20 World Cup

Scotland pulled off the first upset of the ICC T20 World cup on the inaugural day of the tournament after clinically defeating Bangladesh by six runs on Sunday, 17 October.

Chasing an under-par total of 140 runs in the Al Amerat, Bangladesh faltered under a disciplined performance of Scotland, ably marshalled by Kyle Coetzer. The captain first unleashed his fast bowlers and extracted all the movement he could in the initial overs. It meant that Josh Davey and Bradley Wheal bowled to Bangladeshi batsmen at an attacking length, picking up two wickets within the four overs of the second innings. Things went from bad to worse for the Asian team who were coming on the back off series wins against Australia and Bangladesh after they were choked out by the spin attack halfway through the chase, reeling at 59/2 after 10 overs. With the required run-rate climbing above 8.2, Bangladesh looked to attack the inexperienced Chris Greaves but ended up giving him two wickets in the first ball off his first two overs.

With the Tigers down to 80/4 in 14 overs, it was only a matter of time till Scotland sealed the deal. The win was delayed by a little while with Afif Hossain being able to find his range, but before it became a late resurgence, spinner Mark Watt was able to put a lid on it, dismissing Afif when he was at 18 off 11 balls.

With the victory more than assured from there on, Scotland picked two more wickets in the penultimate over before eventually choking out Bangladesh for 134 runs for the loss of 7 wickets.

One of the big issues for Bangladesh turned out to be the lack of power hitting game, with six players getting out while trying to play attacking shots. This puts a lot of questions on the unit given Bangladesh were the favourites to get into the Super 12 stage among all the eight teams playing the first round.

They might still go through, but that does not mean that they will be able to match the likes of India, England and West Indies, despite being full-time members of the ICC.

Earlier in the day, Scotland dragged themselves out of trouble after losing their famed top order early in the innings. After losing their first six wickets for just 53 runs inside 12 overs, an incredible rescue work from spin duo Chris Greaves (45 off 28) and Mark Watt (22 off 17) ensured that Scotland had something to defend.

Speaking after the game, captain Coetzer took notice of the same and reiterated his belief in the squad that they have come with.

The defeat means that Bangladesh will have to win their two remaining games. One of them would be against an impressive Oman, who defeated Papua New Guinea by 10 wickets today.

The Bangladesh batting will have to get things in order before the more serious competition comes into play in the Super 12s.

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World T20 2021: Ireland begin quest in view of stamping authority

The Ireland side has been one of the two sides apart from Afghanistan in world cricket who has been attaining success in the past few years. They were granted the Test status in 2017, are considered to be a decent unit as far as T20 format is concerned and comprise of some brilliant players in the line up. They will now be battling it out in the World T20 2021 and will play the first match against Netherlands in Abu Dhabi on Monday (October 18, 2021). The Irish team is one of the eight teams who are playing the preliminary round of the tournament. The teams have been divided into two groups of four and the top two sides from each group will go into the Super 12s stage. Apart from the Netherlands, their group has Sri Lanka and Namibia as well. But moving further, let’s just take a look at Ireland’s recent run in the T20I format. They suffered series defeats against UAE and South Africa respectively earlier this year. While Ireland played UAE away from home, their locked horns with the Proteas on the home soil. But they did taste some success after beating Zimbabwe in home fixtures. While the form was a bit of concern for them coming into the World T20, the Ireland team would have taken a sigh of relief after clinching victories in the warm-up matches against Bangladesh and PNG. More than the wins, it was about the margins by which they defeated the opponents. Ireland thumped PNG by 8 wickets after chasing down a target of 97 with 20 balls to spare and then grabbed a comprehensive 33-run win against Bangladesh after defending a target of 178 quite successfully. They had put up an all round show during the practice games and would look to continue the form when the side takes the centre stage. Team News Ireland skipper Andy Balbirnie sparked an injury concern after he suffered a toe injury during a game against UAE on October 10. Later, the X-ray had ruled out the possibility of any fracture but the team management had begun the intensive training. He in fact scored an unbeaten 42 against PNG on October 12 in the warm-up match. Experienced campaigners The Ireland contingent has some prominent names in the line up who have played a lot of cricket. Paul Stirling, George Dockrell, Andrew Balbirnie, and Kevin O’Brien are some of the names on whom the team would bank upon. Ireland have been known for causing some major upsets in big tournaments. They defeated Pakistan and Bangladesh in 2007 ODI World Cup, no one can really forget that knock from Kevin that he unleashed against England in the 2011 ODI World Cup and stole away a win from the jaws of defeat from his side. Later, in the 2015 edition of 50-over World Cup, they achieved a win against West Indies. While they have left a mark in ODI World Cups, Ireland are still looking to stamp authority in World T20. In fact, Kevin O’Brien admitted that the side needs to win games in the World T20. “We've had a lot more success and our big victories have been in the 50-over tournament," he had said. "But you look back at when we beat Bangladesh in 2009 at Trent Bridge you have still had victories at T20, but lately the ones that stand out are the results we have been on the wrong side of,” he added. So with a lot of experience under their belt and a hunger to prove themselves in World T20s, Ireland would be looking to take the field. Full Squad: Andrew Balbirnie (captain), Mark Adair, Curtis Campher, Gareth Delany, George Dockrell, Josh Little, Andrew McBrine, Kevin O’Brien, Neil Rock, Simi Singh, Paul Stirling, Harry Tector, Lorcan Tucker, Ben White, Craig Young. Reserve players: Shane Getkate, Graham Kennedy, Barry McCarthy


World T20 2021 | Will the golden generation of Dutch cricket get them through the group of death?

The Netherlands cricket team has had eventful outings at the T20 World Cups over the years which include beating England not once but twice. The first win came in 2009 at the group stage in England and the second one at the Super 10 stage in the 2014 World Cup in Bangladesh. Apart from beating England, their feat of qualifying for Super 10 by topping their Group in Round 1 where they faced the likes of Ireland and Zimbabwe is also something that is remembered by the Dutch cricket fans. But all that has been years ago. Now, the fans and team itself would be looking to make it to the Super 12 from Round 1. Why is their target only to make the Super 12 even as two teams can now qualify from their group is because the group itself is a group of death. With Sri Lanka, Ireland and a well-formed Namibian unit in the same group as the Netherlands, it is more about getting out of it safe and sound than thinking about topping it or aiming for big wins. Netherland's road to World Cup 2021 The road that the Netherlands unit has travelled through to get to the World Cup has been an equally eventful one as ahs their journey in World Cups been. While they won five games in the World Cup Qualifier 2019 and lost only to Papua New Guinea, whom they beat eventually in the final to win the entire tournament in UAE in 2019. But due to their loss to PNG, the Dutch had to play a Playoffs Semi-Final against UAE, which they win with much ease by nine wickets. In the semi-final, they beat Ireland to book a date with PNG and then win against them to settle scores. It is what happened post Qualifier with the Dutch side that has kept them going, coming into this World Cup. Post the Qualifiers, the Dutch lost twice against Nepal while beating them once in their home and tied one and won one against Malaysia at the same venue. Post that the Orange brigade was involved in two ODIs against Scotland and three against Ireland as part of the ICC Cricket World Cup Super League. They lost one against Scotland but won the series 2-1 against Ireland, their biggest ODI series win to date. It is with this confidence and the confidence of its players such as Fred Klaasen, Paul van Meekran, Logan van Beek and Tim van der Gugten who played in big leagues such as T20 Blast, Caribbean Premier League and The Hundred, that the Dutch team came in this World Cup with. In the Warm-up games, though they have lost one to Scotland, their performance against Oman and New Zealand was comprehensive, although they lost to New Zealand by only four runs. Amalgamation of youth and experience: Netherland's flex The best part about this team is that this is probably the best set of cricketers that the Netherlands have got in recent time or probably in the entire history of their game. While the likes of Pieter Seelaar, Roelof van der Merwe and Rayn Ten Doeschate have been in the business for almost two decades now, the youngsters such as Max O’Dowd, Colin Ackermann, Fred Klaasen. Paul van Meekeren and Tim van der Gugten have had the exposure that was previously unseen and unheard of in Dutch cricket. All these players have been regulars at County, T20 Blast and now even The Hundred and therefore come in with a lot of T20 experience. In terms of runs and wickets, O’Dowd has to his kitty more than 1000 T20I runs and has the only century for a Dutchman in T20Is to his name as well. Only Australia born Ben Cooper has more T20I runs than O’Dowd in the Netherlands squad. If Cooper and O’Dowd are top run-getters, skipper Seelaar and van Meekeren are the leading wicket-takers in T20 cricket for the Dutch side with 57 and 47 wickets respectively. Other bowlers such as Klaasen, van der Gugten, Logan van Beek and Brandon Glover too are handy with the leather and thus it would be a headache for coach Ryan Campbell to pick the three or four pacers to go with the spin of Seelaar and van der Merwe. Thus this abundance of talent in the Netherlands camp would make the team feel confident about going into the World Cup. Great ambitions Even after being in the group of death, the Orange Army’s coach Campbell believes that they can get past it and march into the Super 12 as the top two teams. “Yes, it's definitely the group of death, but every World Cup game is tough. There are no easy matches. The other three teams also have match-winners in their ranks. We are confident that we can progress to the Super 12s, but we have to be at our best if we want to qualify. Our team has a lot of talent and we're flexible,” Campbell said in an interview published on KNCB’s website. The words of Campbell could come true, but only if the potential is utilised on the given day, starting with the team’s toughest game against Ireland. Can they do it? For the Netherlands to qualify, the equation is pretty simple, win at least two games and make sure that the net run rate is at a good place. With the kind of form, they have been in the Netherlands can also win three games and has the capability of beating Sri Lanka as well, especially with the kind of side that Sri Lanka currently is. Hence as far as the question about whether or not can they get into Super 12, the answer should be yes. Netherlands T20 World Cup Squad Pieter Seelaar (c), Colin Ackermann, Philippe Boissevain, Ben Cooper, Bas de Leede, Scott Edwards, Brandon Glover, Fred Klaassen, Stephan Myburgh, Max O’Dowd, Ryan Ten Doeschate, Logan van Beek, Timm van der Gugten, Roelof van der Merwe, Paul van Meekeren Netherlands T20 World Cup fixtures 18 Oct - Netherlands v Ireland 20 Oct – Netherlands v Namibia 22 Oct – Netherlands v Sri Lanka