T20 World Cup Qualifiers Day One Tips: McLeod the man

Shakib should return after IPL duty

Ed Hawkins picks out bets at 6/1 and 5/1 for the first day of the qualifying group from Oman on Sunday...

"Callum McLeod is your man for top Scotland bat. He has a career win rate of just shy of 19% so we'll have a snaffle of the 5/1"

(0.5pts) Back Callum McLeod top Scotland bat 5/1

Oman v Papua New Guinea
Sunday 17 October, 11:00
TV: live on Sky Sports

Oman have home advantage

Oman are on home turf. And that's something to hold onto for a team that, because of the pandemic, have barely played. It's just five games in 2020 and 2021.

They gave a good account of themselves with the bat against Sri Lanka in an unofficial two-match series in October. They couldn't contain them with the ball, though. If we ignore those two losses, it's six wins in their last seven at Al-Amerat.

Possible XI Jatinder, K Ali, Ilyas, Maqsood, Ayan Khan, Khushi, Goud, Nadeem, Butt, Kaleemullah, Bilal

Ura the key

Papua New Guinea are considered the weakest team in this group, which also includes Scotland and Bangladesh. But they are one of the best from that second tier of 'minnows'.

They have a run machine in Tony Ura. The opener has almost 1,600 runs and is striking just shy of the 140s.

But it's their bowling which could surprise. Between 2017 and 2019 their cumulative economy rate is under seven.

Probable XI Vala, Ura, Amini, Bau, Vanua, Atai, Doriga, Kila, Soper, Pakuna, Ravu

Pitch report

There are two grounds at Al Amerat. Turf inistry One. And Turf Ministry Two. Important: this is being played at Turf Ministry Two. Brilliantly for us, there have been 36 matches played there in three years.

There is a 63% bias in favour of the chaser, the average score is 144 and more than 150 has been busted seven times in the last 14. We do have to be a bit wary that a chunk of the sample study have been mismatches, particularly with regard to the bias.

PNG might trade

Oman are 1.222/9 with PNG 5.33. We're not sure why anyone is rushing to back the hosts at such odds. Tis format is awash with tales of woe if short jollies being beaten. Even so, we'll keep our powder dry on this market for the more competitive afternoon match..

Tops value

Sportsbook have price-boosted Ura to 7/2 for top PNG bat. That's a risk. We also note the 6/1 about Khawar Ali for Oman. He is normally an opener.


Bangladesh v Scotland
Sunday 17 October, 15:00
TV: live on Sky Sports

Afif could steal limelight

Bangladesh have already been shorn of the unfit Tamim Iqbal so they will be sweating on Shakib-al-Hasan making the short hop to Oman in good fettle. Does he come straight into play two days after the IPL final?

Probably. Shakib is solid at No 3 and, to be fair, it's an impressive start to the engine room. There's a lot to like about the busy nature of Mushfiqur Rahmann and Mahmudullah. Afif Hosein is an exciting hitter who could have a big impact.

Possible XI Das, Naim, Shakib, Mushfiqur, Mahmudullah, Afif, Mahedi Hasan, Nurul Hasan, Saifuddin, Mustafizur, Taskin

Scots have struggled

Scotland qualified by the skin of their teeth, recovering from defeat by Singapore in their opener in the preceding tournament. They must buck up.

A lot will depend on a decent top four with the bat, led by the experienced Kyle Coetzer. Brad Wheal, who impressed in The Hundred at the death for London Spirit, is a fine addition to the bowling ranks.

Their form is not great. This month they lost to Namibia and beat Papua New Guinea in a competitive game. They lost a series 2-1 to Zimbabwe in September.

Possible XI Munsey, Coetzer, Berrington, McLeod, Cross, Wallace, Leask, Watt, Sharif, Davey, Wheal

Scots can go close in chase

It would be lazy to reckon conditions will be alien to Scotland. They have played a huge amount of cricket in the UAE so should not be surprised by how the pitches behave just over the border.

They can give a good account of themselves against a Bangladesh side who, Mustafizur aside, shouldn't intimidate them. Indeed, three of their team remember the 2012 success in the one and only head-to-head.

The Scots can at least match Bangladesh for power hitting. Bangladesh have the lowest boundary percentage of the established teams. A trade is on at 5.104/1 if they get to bowl first and get dew assistance.

Tops value

Callum McLeod is your man for top Scotland bat. He has a career win rate of just shy of 19% so we'll have a snaffle of Sportsbook's 5/1 (16.7%). Alas we can't argue there is little to beat. George Munsey wins 25% of the time so the 11/4 is justified. Coetzer and Richie Berrington are not value but it's understandable they are both 10/3.

Shakib is 10/3 for top Bang bat. We like Afif for runs but are a bit disappointed that he's not bigger than 12s. Sportsbook have done their homework.

Simon Doull on the T20 World Cup on Cricket...Only Bettor

Ed Hawkins P-L

2021: +30.35
2020: +5.91
2019: +37.25pts
2018: +23.53pts
2017: +12pts
2016: +18.1pts
2015: +38pts
2014: +31.5pts
2013: +25pts
Based only on available prices. Does not include back-to-lay in-running advice or commission rate. Figures 2013-2016 on 1pt level stakes. Includes Hawk-Eye column p-l

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