Zimbabwe were not that impressive in their opening ICC Word T20 2016 victory over Hong Kong, but they will look for those two points again against Scotland Thursday. The Scots will be keen to make amends for their loss from a winning position against Afghanistan with victory over the more fancied Zimbabwe side in this crucial World T20 encounter in Nagpur.
The Zimbabweans looked a little rusty coming out of the gate against Hong Kong at the VCA Stadium, with some poor running and not-quite-sure-what-to-make-of-this-wicket batting nearly landing them in big trouble.
While Vusi Sibanda anchored the innings nicely, had it not been for Elton Chigumbura, Zimbabwe would have given their bowlers a really difficult job to do in defending a total. In the end, they managed to post 158 on the slow and low wicket, with the bowlers then doing their jobs, as they restricted Hong Kong to 144.
On another day, had Hong Kong batted just a little bit better at the start of the innings, this match could have easily gone the Ireland vs Oman way, and Zimbabwe will know that pretty well. They have a vastly experienced backroom staff, who would have drilled the importance of staying at a 100 percent for the entire duration of the match.
If they do that against Scotland Thursday, Zimbabwe should pick up their second win in as many matches and move ever closer to the Super 10 stage of the tournament.
Scotland will hope for a different outcome, naturally, after succumbing under the pressure to Afghanistan in their opening match. After struggling with the ball in the first innings, as Mohammad Shahzad and Asghar Stanikzai struck half-centuries, the Scotland openers – George Munsey and Kyle Coetzer -- set their team on the way to chasing down the 171-run target with a brilliant stand.
However, once the openers fell in the space of a couple of deliveries, the Scotland batsmen failed to carry the momentum, eventually falling well short of the target.
The side from the UK, who will be eliminated from the competion if they lose Thursday, will hope for an improved bowling performance against Zimbabwe, while also backing themselves to handle the pressure of the big game a little bit better.
Where to Watch Live
Scotland vs Zimbabwe is scheduled for a 3 p.m. IST (9.30 a.m. GMT, 4.30 a.m. ET) start. Live TV coverage of the World T20 match in India (and the rest of the subcontinent) will be on Star Sports 1, Star Sports HD1, Star Sports 2 and Star Sports HD2. Viewers from the region can also watch all the WT20 action by live streaming online on Starsports.com and Hotstar.
Audience in South Africa and Sub Saharan Africa, including Zimbabwe, can watch the World T20 action live on SuperSport, with the online live stream option SuperSport Live Video.
Willow TV and Willow TV Online will broadcast the game live in the US and Canada.