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Page last updated at 15:05 GMT, Friday, 5 June 2009 16:05 UK

Scotland aim for Twenty20 upset

ICC WORLD TWENTY20
Venues: Lord's, The Oval, Trent Bridge Date: 5-21 June
Coverage: Test Match Special commentary on BBC Radio 5 Live Sports Extra, Radio 4 LW, BBC Radio Scotland 810MW, Red Button and online, with live text commentary on BBC Sport website & mobiles. Live TV coverage on Sky Sports with highlights on BBC

BBC Scotland's Geoff Webster in London

Gavin Hamilton

The eyes of the sporting world will be on Britain over the next three weeks as far as cricket is concerned - and Scotland are very much part of the limelight.

In the second game of the ICC World Twenty20 at The Oval in London on Saturday morning, Scotland and New Zealand get their part of the tournament under way.

It is a tough one to get the Scots off and running. They are being thrown straight into the mix and will be keen to make an impression early on in the tournament.

Scotland never seem to have an easy lot in life - whether it is football or any other sport - with the other opponents in the group being South Africa, whom they play on Sunday with an afternoon start.

Because of the way Twenty20 has been set set up, the groups consist of three teams, usually two strong sides and a relatively weaker side.

Obviously, South Africa and New Zealand are expected to go through, as Scotland are very much the weak side of the group.

It would be fair to say that Scotland are expected to be packing their bags after the group stage and the tournament could be well and be truly over for the Scots within two days.

The words 'cricket' and 'sexy' don't always go well together, but this is sexy cricket - it is showbiz and razzmatazz in 20 overs to score as many runs as you can.

It is littered with sixes, fours, wickets and run-outs - there are even dancers on the boundaries when someone hits a six or a four. It is a far cry from the whites and lunchtime intervals of Test cricket.

I attended the first ICC World Twenty20 in South Africa and it was a huge success. The teams in Scotland's group were India and Pakistan, who went on to the final, with India declared champions.

If we thought it was tough then, it is just as tough this time around, but this is showbusiness meets sport - and you will not be able to avoid it over the next couple of weeks.

It has not been a great year for the Saltires. In fact, it has been very poor so far.

They failed to qualify for the next World Cup through the ICC qualifier in South Africa and it was a terrible embarrassment for Scotland to lose against a side such as Afghantistan, who are almost unheard of in cricket terms.

And, in recent matches, they have had almost no success at all - despite making three players full-time, which we have never had before in this country.

But, even though money has been invested on creating professional players, there are still a lot of questions being asked about Scottish cricket - and the best way to answer them is to put up a show against two of the world's best terms.

There is almost no pressure on Scotland, because they are the minnows of the group - and nobody expects them to beat the other teams.

But, with Twenty20 cricket, a single over can change the game.

If someone gets a handle on the bowling and knocks off 25 runs, or a bowler grabs three wickets - or better still, if the bad weather reports turn out to be true, we could grab a point and influence the outcome of the other matches in the group.

We do not want to be relying on the bad weather, but you take your luck whatever way it comes.



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see also
New Zealand given scare by Scots
06 Jun 09 |  Cricket
World Twenty20 warm-up photos
03 Jun 09 |  Cricket
Twenty20 takes centre stage
01 Jun 09 |  Cricket
World Twenty20 ones to watch
31 May 09 |  Cricket
ICC World Twenty20 2009 results
21 Jun 09 |  Cricket
ICC World Twenty20 squads
10 Jun 09 |  Cricket


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