Venue: The Grange Club, Edinburgh
Date: Wednesday, July 27
The Grange Club in Edinburgh hosts a pair of T20Is and an ODI this week with New Zealand as heavy favorites to knock off hosts Scotland in a mini-tour that was delayed to July 2022 from June 2020 thanks to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The last time the two teams faced was in the ICC T20 World Cup in 2021. That match saw the New Zealanders come out on top in a crucial match that helped push them through to the semi-finals of the competition. They are heavy favorites here too, though Scotland will be looking to avenge that defeat by proving hard to beat on their own soil.
The New Zealanders are in good form. The Black Caps just swept Ireland and the team led by Mitchell Santer will be disappointed with anything other than the same series result in Edinburgh.
The big news out of the Scotland camp is that former captain Kyle Coetzer announced his retirement from T20I cricket with immediate effect. The 38-year-old will still play in the one-off ODI at the conclusion of the tour, but he will not be available for selection for the T20I matches.
This tour is also set against the backdrop of major issues with the governing body of Scottish cricket. Their board was found to be institutionally racist, prompting a mass resignation at the very top level of the game. Given that they were routed in the T20 World Cup, it feels like big changes are needed in the Scottish game and a couple of good performances here would maybe be the tonic to help push that forward.
Watch for batsman Michael jones who will be on debut for the T20I side. He was outstanding for Durham in the T20 Blast where he finished as their leading run-getter. He will try to transfer that form to the international stage here.
The Black Caps have a myriad of established stars, but it is the play of Michael Bracewell that has stood out this summer. Not a whole lot was expected of the all-rounder, but his performances have been outstanding and he appears to be peaking at just the right time with the World Cup just around the corner. Any time a player can take a hat-trick in one format after blasting a century in the other then he is clearly a plus-level white ball player.
New Zealand will win this with some comfort but they are obviously not the best price to do so. Instead, look for some props that you like on BetXchange. Given how he has played as of late, potentially taking Bracewell to continue his form for the Black Caps and pick up Man of the Match honors at 12/1 feels like it might be worth a punt. If those odds feel too long, then Martin Guptil is also offered for MotM at 5/1.