Afghanistan start their World Cup campaign with a seemingly easy fixture against Scotland, who were taken lightly by Bangladesh in their opener and swiftly upset. Hence, the Afghans will have to be wary of the Scots’ underrated game.
Due to the political upheaval back home, the Afghans were not able to play any competitive T20I series in the buildup to this tournament.
All they got was a pair of warm-ups. They were defeated easily by South Africa but proceeded to smash defending champions West Indies by 56 runs in the follow-up game.
The Afghans will be buoyed by the performance of their top four batsmen in that game. Their openers, especially, put on a show, sharing a 90-run stand that set them up for the big total (189-5).
The Rashid Khan-led spin-heavy Afghan bowling unit can give anyone a run for their money if they have even a moderate total to defend, and that will remain their primary weapon throughout the tournament.
Thanks to their upset win over Bangladesh in their first game, Scotland cruised through Group B and eventually finished as group winners, winning all three of their games.
Don’t get any ideas; they still remain massive underdogs and should get beaten a lot in the main round but there is something remarkable about them. The Scots have steadily and consistently got better each game.
In their opener against the Tigers, they were 53-6 at one point but recovered to post 140-9 and eventually won by six runs. It followed a 17-run win over Papua New Guinea and an eight-wicket thrashing of Oman.
They have several strong batters, almost all of whom have found runs recently, while their bowling also has a decent combo of pace and spin.