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|Timm van der Gugten||0||1||0||0||0.00|
|Timm van der Gugten||3.0||0||25||0||8.33|
|Paul Van Meekeren||2.0||0||27||0||13.50|
The intriguing Netherlands Tri-Nation T20 Series is heading into its last leg of group matches. Ireland has played its four matches while the Netherlands and Scotland have played two each. The final two matches will be played between the Netherlands and Scotland in Amstelveen. The Netherlands is unbeaten in this tournament while Scotland is still looking for its first win. The tie that Scotland and Ireland played out in their last match means that all three teams are currently in with a shout of making the finals.
Can the Netherlands continue their dominance of the tournament or will Scotland recover from its poor start and come back strong?
The slightly strange scheduling of this tournament has meant that the Netherlands last played a group match almost 6 days before this upcoming match. It can be difficult for a team to take a break after they have built up some useful momentum in the tournament.
Beating Ireland, a test nation, in two consecutive matches is an excellent achievement for the Netherlands and an indication of the open nature of this tournament. Led by their skipper, Peter Seelaar, who is also currently the highest run scorer and wicket taker for the Netherlands, the home team has found an effective template which they are sticking to.
The loss of many first-choice players has also not caused the Netherlands to drop in quality but instead allowed their younger players to step up. Snater has impressed in this series with three wickets from two matches, while Mekkeren, van der Merwe, and O’Dowd have been good as well.
The Netherlands have won their first two matches against Ireland by picking up regular wickets of the opposition and not allowing them to get away with the bat. Their own batting has been strictly average and it looks like they are aiming to get a par total rather than win matches with the bat.
We don’t think that is a bad strategy at all. Too many times teams with a shallow batting depth will try to get a big total on the board and end up collapsing. Against Scotland, though, which is a stronger batting side than Ireland, the Netherlands may find itself having to score more runs than they needed against Ireland.
The Netherlands will want runs from the likes of O’Dowd, Ben Cooper, and van der Merwe but there is a clear lack of big hitting ability in this team. In a format where the ability to clear boundaries can be a distinguishing factor between teams, the Netherlands will have to hope its bowling is good enough to hold Scotland back.
Tobias Visee, Max O'Dowd, Ben Cooper, Bas de Leede, Pieter Seelaar, Sikander Zulfiqar, Scott Edwards, Fred Klaassen, Paul Van Meekeren, Wesley Barresi, Timm van der Gugten.
A wonderful start to the season for Scotland has quickly disappeared into a raft of T20 losses. Beating England and setting up a record total was something the Scots would have dreamed of. Now, however, it seems like they are suffering from the pressure of expectations.
Two convincing losses to Pakistan in the T20 internationals have been followed by two failed attempts to beat Ireland in the T20 Tri-Series. Scotland lost the first match to Ireland by 46 runs and tied the second one after setting a competitive total.
Scotland has zero points in this series right now and ideally, must win both of its remaining matches to confirm a place in the finals. One win would mean that the net run rate equation comes into the picture while two losses would obviously mean elimination.
We firmly believe that Scotland has the best batting lineup in this tournament. The likes of Callum MacLeod, Kyle Coetzer, Munsey, and Berrington are all capable of scoring runs at a quick rate and clearing the boundaries when necessary.
The Scots may also find that the Netherlands bowling may be disciplined but is nowhere near as dangerous as what they faced against Pakistan or even Ireland.
The two players that will be expected to get the bulk of the runs will be Coetzer and MacLeod. They are in good form and need to forget about the external pressure they have attracted thanks to their win against England and just play naturally.
The Scotland bowling will also hope to perform better than it has so far. Sharif, Evans, and Whittingham are decent bowlers while Leask can bowl with a good measure of control. The Netherlands batsmen do not seem to come particularly hard at the bowling and that could allow the Scottish bowlers to settle down.
Scotland must not take the Netherlands lightly, though, because they are going to be playing in home conditions. The Netherlands is unbeaten in this tournament and clearly has a good idea of how to approach the shortest format of the game.
George Munsey, Kyle Coetzer, Calum MacLeod, Michael Leask, Matthew Cross, Richie Berrington, Dylan Budge, Safyaan Sharif, MRJ Watt, Alasdair Evans, Stuart Whittingham.
The team winning the toss is likely to bat first
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A relatively dry day with some clouds around has been forecast for match day. The forecast actually gets better as the day progresses so we are reasonably sure of getting a full game in. The last T20 played in Amstelveen was three years ago while the last ODI played was over five years ago. The news from the ground is that the pitch is going to be flat, a little slow, and allow the batsmen to take full toll once they are set. Like most European grounds, the boundaries are not the largest.
Expect a total of around 160 to be par.
Scotland has beaten the Netherlands in the last two T20 matches they have played against them although the large time spans between matches tend to dilute the meaning of such records. Plenty of different players will be taking the field from that time.
We think that Scotland is setting into the T20’s and that they should be able to give the Netherlands a run for their money. The hosts may be in good winning form and playing at home but we are inclined to back the visitors in this one.
Back Scotland to win.