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The World Cup League 2 got off to a rollicking start as we witnessed two back upsets on two consecutive days. Oman raced past not only Papua New Guinea but also Scotland, in the first round of the tri-series. With teams set to meet each other once again, after breaking for a day, the importance of a win for both Scotland and Papua New Guinea cannot be understated. The two teams, Scotland and PNG, are set to meet each other in the third match of the series on 17th August at Mannofield Park, Aberdeen. Both the sides are coming off with losses in their respective first games and will be looking to draw first blood in the upcoming encounter.
Going into the first match, the Scots were favorites not only to win the match but also assert their dominance in the tournament. However, an unexpected upset by Oman has not only dented Scotland's chances to finish at the top of the table but also has left them in a spot of bother. With two more matches to go for them, they have no option but to win both, unless of course, they want to qualify on the basis of net run-rate.
In their previous match, Scotland batting looked clueless which has never been the case in any of their recent games. Batting first on a beauty of a batting surface, none of their batsmen, with the exception of Kyle Coetzer, could get going as they were dismissed for just 168. Kyle Coetzer scored 56 off 72 deliveries, and the only support he got was from Craig Wallance who played well for his handy 36.
Even though bowling has never been their stronger suite, it too looked off-color against Oman. Also, though they kept brakes on the scoring rate, the lack of wicket-taking deliveries hurt them as they lost the match by eight wickets despite dragging it till 45th over.
Matthew Cross, Kyle Coetzer, Calum MacLeod, George Munsey, Richie Berrington, Craig Wallace, Michael Leask, Safyaan Sharif, MRJ Watt, Gavin Main, Hamza Tahir.
Unlike Scotland, PNG were never favorites to win the tournament. However, they had more experience of playing at the international level than Oman but failed to utilize it as they lost their first match.
Batting first on the same surface as used in the second match, Papua New Guinea scored 229 for 8, which was a pretty good total under the circumstances. Tony Ura and Lega Siaka contributed for them with 54 and 41 respectively assisted by a few cameos through their batting order.
It was always going to be a crunch contest, and it proved to be the same as well. Papua New Guinea reduced Oman to a position had the game in control, but lack penetrative bowling in middle overs cost them the match. As seen in the first match, they have a pretty good bowling attack to bowl in the powerplay overs, but they lack the expertise to take out wickets and break partnerships. Even though they are a decent side on paper, they are likely to find it tough against an experienced Scottish unit.
Tony Ura, Gaudi Toka, Assad Vala, Lega Siaka, Charles Amin, Sese Bau, Kiplin Doriga, Chad Soper, Norman Vanua, Damien Ravu, Nosaina Pokana.
Check out the Dream11 fantasy team for the 3rd ODI of the Scotland tri-series, to be played between Scotland and Papua New Guinea
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Although there's plenty of daylight between the balance of the two sides, at least on paper, things could go either way as seen in the first two matches of the tournament. The hosts appeared to be a little too complacent with the bat, and by the time they realized it, it was a little too late. We do not expect them to repeat the same mistake of taking things likely and considering that they are a more experienced side and better team on paper, they are firm favorites to emerge on top in the upcoming encounter.
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