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T20 World Cup: Group A looks like the tougher group to me, says Mommsen

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Dubai, Oct 16 (IANS) Former Scotland skipper Preston Mommsen feels Group A in Round 1 of the ICC T20 World Cup is a tougher group than Group B. He also said that he expects Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to go through to Super 12 from their respective groups. The T20 World Cup in the UAE and Oman starts with Group B matches in Round 1 at Muscat on Sunday followed by Group A matches commencing on the next day in Abu Dhabi.

“Group A looks like the tougher group to me, and it will be a real slog for the Netherlands, Namibia and Ireland, potentially looking to join Sri Lanka in qualifying. Ireland showed what they were capable of in a warm-up win over Bangladesh and while they can be a bit hot and cold, they have a lot of experience on the world stage so I expect them to be very competitive,” wrote Mommsen in his column for the ICC on Saturday.

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“I fully expect Sri Lanka and Bangladesh to both go through. If the games were in different conditions, I might not but the conditions are very similar to what they would be used to at home,” added Mommsen, who scored 419 runs in 24 T20Is for Scotland from 2012 to 2016.

Mommsen has called Netherlands batter Ryan ten Doeschate, who will be retiring from cricket at the end of the year, as ‘poster boy of Associate cricket’.

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“The Netherlands will have Ryan ten Doeschate in his swansong in Dutch colours. For me, he is the poster boy of Associate cricket and it’s great for the game that he is here at 41 years old and still hungry to put on the Dutch shirt. I can see them feeding off the energy he will bring.”

The 34-year-old, who is on the commentary team for the mega event, believes that Namibia, who will be playing their maiden men’s T20 World Cup, have an ability which will come out at the appropriate time. “I actually think that Namibia might have something up their sleeve and make it through with Sri Lanka. Over the last 24 months they have been sensational. They have won 17 of 21 T20Is and that 80 percent win-rate is phenomenal. David Wiese is a great addition to associate cricket and we know how destructive he can be with bat and ball.”

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Mommsen signed off by saying one can’t take results for granted in a must-win environment like the men’s T20 World Cup, especially when associate nations are playing.

“The key I think is that in associate cricket, we know that anyone can beat anyone else on their day so you can’t take any result for granted. Scotland actually have a hundred per cent record against all their opponents in T20Is, but it’s very different going into the must-win environment of a World Cup. That will be a big test for them and all the associate teams in Oman and the UAE.”

–IANS

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