Match preview: England v Scotland

2015 World Cup

Venue

Hagley Oval, Christchurch

Team news

Scotland go into the game against England in Christchurch still searching for a maiden World Cup win, and they feel confident they can record that against a side under massive pressure from fans, and their own failures.

England have faced both co-host in the tournament and lost them both badly. The Aussies beat them by 111 runs on Valentine's Day, while New Zealand demolished them by eight wickets, thanks to Tim Southee's seven-fer.

Scotland also have a defeat to the Black Caps under their belts, but the scoreline was much tighter, losing by three wickets. It wasn't as close as that might suggest, but Scotland will take any mental advantage they can get over their wealthier neighbours.

It remains to be seen whether England will give Steve Finn the boot after his 49 off two overs against the Kiwis, or whether he'll get a chance to redeem himself. Chris Jordan might get a game if Finny is jettisoned.

Last encounter

The sides last clashed in Aberdeen in May last year, where England won by 39 runs. The game was reduced to a 20 thanks to rain, and England made 167 for six thanks to an Ian Bell fifty. Scotland only reached 133 for nine, with James Tredwell ripping through the middle order.

World Cup meetings

Scotland didn't compete at the 2011 event in India, and didn't come up against England in the West Indies in 2007. Their only other World Cup was in 1999 in the UK, and they didn't face England there either. They went on to have an ODI-free gap for the next seven years.

Key players

For England, if he plays, batsman Joe Root will be crucial. He's been one of the few batsmen to do well in recent matches, defying the team's malaise, and will want to put big runs on the board if he gets to bat first.

Scotland will look to paceman Iain Wardlaw to nip a few of the under-confident England batsmen out. He was quite excellent against New Zealand, taking three wickets to give the Kiwis a scare.

Umpires

Rod Tucker and S. Ravi, Marais Erasmus (3rd umpire), David Boon (match referee)

Weather

Clear in the morning, but getting a bit overcast in the afternoon. It won't be enough to affect the game though, while temperatures are going to hover around 23 degrees.

Prediction

One cannot imagine England allowing such a humiliation, even in their battered state. It won't be a romp, but we think they'll use this game to find their feet again. Scotland will give them a run for their money though.

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