Former champions Pakistan will look to continue their invincible run when they play minnows Scotland in their inconsequential last Super 12 Group 2 match of the T20 World Cup here on Sunday.
Pakistan, who had claimed the title in 2009, have been simply sensational in the tournament so far and have bossed around other teams in their group to seal a place in the last-four with four convincing wins. If arch-rivals India were blown away by 10 wickets, New Zealand were outclassed by five wickets, in the team’s first two matches.
Afghanistan did make life difficult for them for a while but Asif Ali deposited four sixes in six balls to bail them out before Pakistan sealed their semifinal spot with a 45-run win over Namibia in their last match.
Pakistan’s openers Babar Azam and Mohammad Rizwan have been on fire and when they failed to do the job, their middle-order rose to the occasion, while six-hitting machine Asif has proved to be one of the best finishers in the tournament so far.
Although they have contributed, the likes of Fakhar Zaman, Mohammad Hafeez and Shoaib Malik will hope to be more consistent and look to stay till the end.
In the bowling department, the pace duo of Haris Rauf and Shaheen Afridi have been their best bowlers with seven and five wickets respectively so far, while spinners Imad Wasim and Shadab Khan, too, have done the job asked of them.
The only worrying thing will be the form of seamer Hasan Ali, who has gone for runs. With the semifinal spot assured, Pakistan might look to rest a few players and give others opportunities in the inconsequential match.
For Scotland, it will be an uphill task but they would hope to put up a better show than their last match and end things on a positive note. Scotland won all three matches to qualify for Super 12 but crashed out after losing the last four games.
The eight-wicket loss to India on Friday night has been the most difficult to digest but skipper Kyle Coetzer will hope the interaction with Indian players, including skipper Virat Kohli and Rohit Sharma, in Dubai will inspire the team to put up a good show against Pakistan.
Squads Pakistan: Babar Azam (captain), Shadab Khan, Asif Ali, Haris Rauf, Hasan Ali, Imad Wasim, Mohammad Hafeez, Mohammad Nawaz, Mohammad Rizwan, Mohammad Wasim Jr, Shaheen Afridi, Fakhar Zaman, Haider Ali, Sarfaraz Ahmed, Shoaib Malik.
Scotland: Kyle Coetzer (c), Richie Berrington, Dylan Budge, Matthew Cross, Josh Davey, Alasdair Evans, Chris Greaves, Michael Leask, Calum MacLeod, George Munsey, Safyaan Sharif, Hamza Tahir, Craig Wallace, Mark Watt, Bradley Wheal.
Match starts at 7:30 PM IST.