Scotland vs Hong Kong: It hasn’t been long since Hong Kong have announced their arrival in International Cricket, but they have made big strides in short span of time.
They take on one of the oldest teams in the Associates’ history, Scotland. It is the opening game for the Asian team and it couldn’t have been a tougher match-up considering the hammering Scotland gave to Afghanistan. Going by the head to head record in the last five matches, Hong Kong have been excellent. They haven’t lost even once to Scotland in the last couple of years and won three. Two games have returned no result. Both teams are evenly matched and a good cricketing contest is certainly on the cards.
HONG KONG in Scotland vs Hong Kong
The conditions of Bulawayo are expected to suit Hong Kong with Babar Hayat and Anshuman Rath having good experience of playing in spinning conditions. They have Nadeem Ahmed and Ehasn Khan in their bowling department who are proven match-winners in associate Cricket.
Hong Kong have been impressive but in patches. In their recent-most game, they thrashed Papua New Guinea where they scored 323 in the allotted 50 Overs. Bowlers then defended the total with ease and Hong Kong emerged victorious by 93 runs. Their performance wasn’t as spectacular when they met UAE in January last year. They were bundled out for 174 which was later chased by UAE without any complications.
Hong Kong is a good unit and their batting revolves around Anshuman Rath and Babar Hayat. Same is the story with their bowling. If other players can notch their game up a level and the dependables continue to perform as they have done in the past, Hong Kong could well be a surprising unit in Group B of the competition.
SCOTLAND in Scotland vs Hong Kong
Scotland have already played a match in the tournament and they couldn’t have hoped for a better start. By defeating one of the tournament favorites, Afghanistan, they’ve certainly tilted the odds in their favor albeit only by a little.
Calum Macleod countered the World’s No. 1 bowler with a beautiful array of sweeps and reverse sweeps. He scored an unbeaten 157 off 146 deliveries, putting him amongst the likes of Rohit Sharma, Sachin Tendulkar, and Hashim Amla to name a few. He became the thirteenth player to cross the 150-runs mark thrice in an ODI career and first in the associate circuit. He was ably assisted by Richie Berrington who scored a quick half-century.
Berrington also weaved his magic with the ball as he picked up three important wickets. Brad Wheal and Safyaan Shareef picked up three and two wickets each respectively. Thanks to a magical performance by their batsmen, Scotland have started to appear a lot stronger than it did a couple of days ago. If Macleod and Co. repeat even a percentage of what they did against the Afghans, the Scotts would be a tough team to play against.
No batsman has looked as comfortable against Rashid Khan as Calum Macleod did. Thrashing his way past the World No.1 bowlers on a spinner friendly wicket is no small task. They are up for yet another challenge which they haven’t been able to achieve in last two years – win against Hong Kong. With experienced players at the top of the order and taking cue from their first win, Scotland look well set to topple Hong Kong first time in two years.