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The results of the last two matches in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup League have turned things around beautifully. Scotland, who looked dismal in the first two matches, are now at the top of the table and will be looking to seal the advantage and consequently their place in the final when they take on Papua New Guinea in their next encounter. The two teams are scheduled to play on 20th August at Aberdeen. Thanks to their superior net run-rate, they are likely to stay at the top of the table, unless they lose the match by a considerably significant margin. Papua New Guinea, on the other hand, need to win both of their games to stand a chance to finish at the top. Finishing at the top will be crucial to any team's fortunes as far as the overall context of Men's Cricket World Cup League 2 is concerned, and all the sides are expected to strive hard in their remaining encounters.
After a middling first two games wherein Scotland won one match and lost one, Scotland displayed their potency in their reverse encounter against Oman. Currently, they are placed at the top spot in the points table with four points and a positive net run-rate of +0.491.
In their last match, they dismantled Oman with considerable ease, which was contrary to how things went in their previous encounter against the same team. Being put into bat, Scotland suffered from a poor start yet against and at one time they were staring at a similar sort of score they scored in their first encounter against Onam. With the wicket of George Munsey, they found themselves three down for just 38 runs before a solid partnership between Craig Wallace and Richie Berrington bailed them out of trouble. They eventually finished with a reasonably good total of 223 runs. Berrington and Wallance contributed with 68 and 53 runs respectively.
While it was Scotland's middle-order which got them into a reasonably good position, it were their bowlers who set up that win for them. Mark Watt and Safyaan Sharif got them off a tight start as they didn't allow Oman's opening pair to get off to a quick start. As a result, Khawar Ali played a false shot and lost his wicket. They kept on picking up wickets at regular intervals, and Oman were dismantled entirely for a total of just 138. Hamza Tahir was the pick of the bowlers, picking up five wickets for only 38 runs.
Matthew Cross, Kyle Coetzer, Calum MacLeod, George Munsey, Richie Berrington, Craig Wallace, Michael Leask, Tom Sole, Safyaan Sharif, MRJ Watt, Hamza Tahir.
Before this tournament started, Papua New Guinea were perceived to be the second strongest team, but they haven't lived up to their expectations. They are currently placed at the bottom of the table, having played two matches and losing both of them.
In both their matches, their batting has done reasonably well, but lack of penetration in their bowling has cost them dearly. Against Oman, they got scored 229 runs batting first, a reasonably good total considering how the teams have batted so far, but Oman chased the total down with considerable ease.
They saw their fate take the same turn in their subsequent encounter as well, which was against Scotland, wherein they failed to defend yet another competitive total of 206 runs. In the tournament so far, their skipper Assad Vala has done reasonably well, playing a vital role in taking them to a reasonably good position.
All in all, PNG have done reasonably well in the tournament so far, but the lack of ability to close game and handle pressure has cost them both the matches. If they can handle pressure in their matches going forward, they will be a tough side to deal with.
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 ICC Men's World Cup League 2 match, which is to be played between Scotland and Papua New Guinea
It's a crucial fixture for Papua New Guinea as a loss here will ascertain a bottom of the table finish for them. Scotland, on the other hand, are comfortably placed at the top of the table with two wins in matches. This is their last match of this league, and a loss here will allow a chance for Oman to topple them. Considering the importance of a win for both the sides, they both will be itching to get across the line. With fine form to back them and a more balanced team, at least on paper, Scotland are better placed to emerge on top in the upcoming fixture.
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