We have opted for a fantasy cricket team based on the recent performances, overall impact, and credit points.
The pitch at the Grange Cricket Club in Edinburgh is a belter: as many as 48 boundaries were scored. However, despite the run-fest, the spinners took 8 of 13 wickets.
Probable XI for Scotland: George Munsey, Calum MacLeod, Ollie Hairs, Richie Berrington (c), Matthew Cross (wk), Michael Leask, Safyaan Sharif, Hamza Tahir, Mark Watt, Chris Greaves, Chris Sole
Probable XI for New Zealand: Martin Guptill, Finn Allen, Dane Cleaver (wk), Glenn Phillips, Daryl Mitchell, James Neesham, Michael Bracewell, Mitchell Santner (c), Ish Sodhi, Lockie Ferguson, Ben Sears
Fin Allen scored his maiden professional hundred in the format. He stunningly blasted 101 runs off 56 including eight fours and six sixes. We are likely to see many such innings from the talented Allen.
Martin Guptill’s scores against Scotland read 93 and 40. He, yet again, looked good for a big innings, before he top-edged a hoick back to the wicketkeeper. He did not face any difficulty in dispatching the Scottish bowlers.
Ish Sodhi equalled his best bowling figures of 4 for 28. In his last five T20Is, he has taken 11 wickets.
James Neesham added the finishing touch with a brisk innings of 30 off 9. He hit as many as three sixes and two fours. Ahead of the Scotland tour, he had top scores of 23* ad 29. He has been bowling every match but has not been able to take wickets consistently.
George Munsey and Calum McLeod laid a strong foundation with an opening stand of 62 off 48. McLeod especially has been in great form in white-ball cricket of late. His last five scores read 50, 13, 59, 64, and 33.
Mitchell Santner smothered the Scottish with his tight lines and lengths. He finished with figures of 2 for 23. His batting services may not be required, but it’s important to note that he can pack a punch down the order.
Before his 31 off 21, Chris Greaves had scored 53* off 48 in a tricky chase against Namibia. He prospers especially when his team is in trouble. Moreover, he provides useful fantasy points with his leg-break. He has seven wickets in 10 T20Is.
In the last three T20Is, Lockie Ferguson has picked six wickets, of which the bulk have come at the death. He strikes at 12 in the format.
Since 2021, Richie Berrington has scored 449 runs at an average of 45, including three fifties, three forties, and one thirty in 14 T20Is.
Scotland batted well in tandem, but against the experience of the New Zealand bowlers, it was always going to be an uphill task to chase anything over 200. They will have to punch well above their weight to pull off an upset. For starters, they need to restrict the New Zealand top order from going hammer and tongs.
Time: July 29, 7 PM IST