MATCH 3 MALTA (MAL) v BELGIUM (BEL) 0730 GMT | 0930 CET | 1300 IST
MAL Last Five Matches: W W NR W L (Avg Score For 147, Avg Score Against 158)
BEL Last Five Matches: W W W L W (Avg Score For 166, Avg Score Against 107)
Captain: Bikram Arora
Wicketkeeper: Heinrich Gericke
Projected Top Four: Zeeshan Khan, Heinrich Gericke, Samuel Mangat Stanislaus, Varun Prasath Thamotharan
Projected Opening Bowlers: Muhammad Bilal, Ashok Bishnoi
Spin Options: Amar Sharma, Bikram Arora, Samuel Mangat Stanislaus
MALTA Key Players:
Heinrich Gericke, hugely-talented wicket-keeper batsman was in good touch in the recently concluded FanCode ECS Malta, plundering 142 runs at a staggering SR of 245. Got Malta off to a flying start in the opening match scoring 19 off 10 balls. Having form on his side, the hard hitting opener will look to score big runs on Friday.
Varun Prasath Thamotharan has been in tremendous form of late. The left handed all-rounder was the deserved MVP in the recent FanCode ECS Malta, mustering 351 runs at a strike rate of 204 and picking up SIX wickets. He played a lone hand of 15 runs in the second match as other batsmen failed to reach double digit scores.
Ashok Bishnoi made his international debut for Malta following an outstanding performance in the recently concluded FanCode ECS Malta. The right arm medium pacer was right on the money from ball one as he returned figures of 1-18 in his four overs with a maiden as well in the powerplay!
Amar Sharma, bowls tidy off spin and a handy middle order batsman. The all-rounder is also the vice-captain. Has a genuine knack of picking up cheap wickets. Bowled good lines and was economical on Day 1 picking up 2-23 in the series opener.
Muhammad Bilal, after impressing at the FanCode ECS Malta, the left hander was handed his maiden international cap in the series opener. He was sharp and lethal, bowling tight lines and troubling the batsmen with pace. Returned an outstanding figures of 2-11 including a maiden in the first game. He was the most economical bowler for Malta conceding at just 3.4 runs an over.
Captain: Shaheryar Butt
Wicketkeeper: Syed Jamil
Projected Top Four: Hadisullah Tarakhel, Sazzad Hosen, Mamoon Latif, Shaheryar Butt
Projected Opening Bowlers: Ashiqullah Said, Khalid Ahmadi
Spin Options: Nemish Mehta, Shaheryar Butt
BELGIUM Key Players:
Hadisullah Tarakhel, the youngster likes to go bonkers from ball one. Impressed with an unbeaten knock of 45 in the second match smoking six fours and three sixes.
Khalid Ahmadi, right arm fast bowler, he is quick and accurate, bowls deadly yorkers and is economical more often than not. The 26-year old scalped two wickets on Day 1 and took his tally to EIGHT international wickets in six matches.
Ashiqullah Said picked up three wickets on Day 1. The right-arm fast bowler has impressive numbers in international cricket picking up 14 wickets in nine matches at an economy rate of just 5.66 including a best return of 3-15.
Burhan Niaz, on international debut, the right arm medium pacer wreaked havoc running through the Malta batting lineup with man of the match figures of 4-8 in his four overs which also included a maiden.
After defeat in the opener, Belgium will be buoyant after skittling out the hosts for only 50 in the second game. Belgium will take a lot of confidence on Day 2 after that big win and would want to capitalize on this momentum to edge ahead in the series. Malta, on the other hand, have a lot to ponder upon in the batting department after succumbing to a top class bowling performance from Belgium. With both games won by the side chasing, it might prove imperative to bowl first to gain an early advantage.
Match Prediction: Belgium (BEL) to take a 2-1 lead in the five-match T20I series.