Venue: The Grange Club, Edinburgh
Date: Sunday, July 31
It is hard to know if it is correct to call this a tour at all given that New Zealand will have played Scotland three times in five days with all three matches being played at the same venue after this ODI has taken place. Lightning-fast doesn’t even seem to do it justice, but the New Zealanders have been welcomed in Edinburgh as Scotland continues to try to establish itself on the world cricketing scene.
The Black Caps won the first two matches in this tour as expected. The first T20I was won by 68 runs, with Scotland putting New Zealand in to bat after winning the toss. Finn Allen was the New Zealand star as he hit 101 off of 56 balls as they reached 225/5. Scotland never looked like making a match of it as they hit just 157 runs in their 20-over reply.
The second game saw more of the same. New Zealand elected to bat first this time, going on to achieve a dominant score of 254/5. It was the Black Caps’ greatest team total in T20Is to date and was spearheaded by Mark Chapman and his 83 from 44 balls. Scotland again never looked like generating the run rate needed, this time falling short by 102 runs as they plodded along to 152/9.
The ODI is expected to go the same way and it will be interesting to see what Scotland tries to do in order to be more competitive in this final match of the tour.
Scotland has been vastly outclassed by New Zealand in the two T20Is. While a win here seems very unlikely, the team will want to put on a better showing after that record-breaking performance last time out by the Black Caps. Run scoring has been laborious, but the lack of strike play from the bowlers is probably of most concern. A focus on the bowling side of the game should be what Scotland works towards over the next few years, starting in this ODI contest.
Adam Milne remains out for New Zealand as his participation in the tour was ruled out through Achillies’ injury. Mitchell Bracewell continues to star for the Black Caps with the all-rounder hitting yet another half-century last time out. While the tour of Ireland and Scotland has largely been a forgone conclusion, the play of Bracewell and a few other players newer to the international white ball side will have this tour go down as a success.
New Zealand is massively odds on here at 1/33 with BetXchange to beat Scotland and complete their sweep of the tour. I would love to have a convincing argument for Scotland to win as these 6/1 odds are obviously very appealing in a two-horse race. Realistically though I cannot see any way that Scotland picks up the win here. Your best bet is to wait until nearer the start of the match and see if BetXchange throws up and prop bets as there is no value in either the favorite or the underdog in Edinburgh.