Afghanistan hope to continue the winning streak against Scotland © AFP
Scotland will hope to win series at home soil © AFP

Scotland are set to host Afghanistan for final ODI at Rose Bowl Stadium, Edinburgh on Wednesday. This series serves as a medium for Afghanistan for their upcoming five-ODI series against Ireland beginning from July 10 at Belfast. Scotland would have also understood the need for their bowlers to step up as they will be facing United Arab Emirates (UAE) from August 9. If the rains do not wash out the game again, this could be the moment for both teams to revive themselves with Afghanistan continuing their winning streak and Scotland hoping for fresh beginnings in ODIs. Both the teams would be desperate to get a full game.  FULL CRICKET SCORECARD: Scotland vs Afghanistan 2016, 2nd ODI at Edinburgh

In the first ODI, Afghanistan received early hiccup as Noor Ali Zadran was dismissed early by Bradley Wheal in first ODI. It was Mohammad Shahzad and new comer Javed Ahmadi who started off with a positive note. If these three batsmen get going, Afghanistan can be on safer side in final ODI. The chunk of runs was scored by the middle-order batsmen, Ahmadi and Rahmat Shah when Shahzad gave away his wicket with a rash shot to Alasdair Evans. Ahmadi and Shah went all guns-blazing as they achieved a 53-runs stand for 3rd wicket and that boosted Afghanistan innings. Afghanistan have strong players in the middle to keep the game at the top and that was witnessed in first ODI itself. Shah and Najibullah Zadran gave impetus to Afghanistan’s innings and took their side to 283 against Scotland.

Bowling is another unit they have been at par and will want to get better as they face Scotland. Samiullah Shenwari managed to grab just 2 wickets when they played the away series against Zimbabwe whereas playing at UAE, he did not get any scalp. He can also be handy with the bat in middle as witnessed in ICC T20 World Cup 2016. Amir Hamza is another big name in the bowling unit who was at the top with 9 wickets away from home and 11 wickets at UAE in total against Zimbabwe. Dawlat Zadran also plays a crucial role in grabbing wickets at regular intervals. Afghanistan are likely to go with the same side as this will be a must win game for the visitors. ALSO READ: Shah, Najibullah star in rain-abandoned 1st ODI vs SCO

In hindsight, Scotland did not receive an opportunity to show their batting prowess. They do have some players who can go all guns blazing like skipper Preston Mommsen, who ensured his team reached the World Cup qualifiers and ensured he was retained as the captain despite the comeback of Kyle Coetzer. Craig Wallace, who made a name for himself with an impressive showing in the Cricket Scotland Pro series is another batsman to look out for. From the squad which took part in the 2016 ICC World Twenty20 in India, a total of 10 players have been retained by the selectors.

As for the bowling, Con de Lange was the only bowler who conceded minimum runs from the seven overs he bowled, although he did not get a wicket. Micheal Leask also had an opportunity to bowl but ended up conceding 18 runs in total from his three overs. Bradley Wheal impressed on return with 2 crucial wickets of Noor Ali and skipper Stanikzai, unfortunately he could not curb the run flow. Scotland will want to scale improve their bowling and come out stronger against Afghanistan’s settled batting unit.

Hopefully if the forecast is better, a promising game can be expected. Edinburgh has been looming with dark clouds and this time the tables can be turned around if the weather is clear. Afghanistan are favourites after finding their way in Super 10 stage of ICC World Cup 2016. Scotland, on the other hand, should find winning ways at home.

Squads:

Scotland: Preston Mommsen (c), Kyle Coetzer, Alasdair Evans, Brad Wheal, Calum MacLeod, Con de Lange, Craig Wallace, Mark Watt, Matthew Cross, Michael Leask, Richie Berrington, Safyaan Sharif, Ruaidhri Smith.

Afghanistan: Mohammad Shahzad, Noor Ali Zadran, Javed Ahmadi, Asghar Stanikzai (c), Rahmat Shah, Mohammad Nabi, Samiullah Shenwari, Najibullah Zadran, Rashid Khan, Mirwais Ashraf, Gulbadin Naib, Dawlat Zadran, Hamid Hassan, Shapoor Zadran, Amir Hamza, Yamin Ahmadzai, Nasir Jamal, Imran Janat, Afsar Zazai

Time: 15:15 IST | 09:45 GMT

(Shruti Hariharan is Content Writer with CricketCountry. You can follow her on Twitter at @Shruti_2890)