Cricket

Tom Sole, Brad Wheal return for Scotland for two ODIs against Afghanistan

Offspinner Tom Sole and pace bowler Brad Wheal are in line to make their first appearances for Scotland since the 2018 World Cup Qualifier after being named in a 14-man squad to take on Afghanistan in a two-ODI series, beginning on Wednesday in Edinburgh.

The 22-year-old Sole was part of the Northamptonshire line-up that took on the touring Pakistan side in a 50-over match on April 29, scoring 22 at No. 8 and returning figures of 0 for 28 in six overs. He was a key member of the World Cup Qualifying campaign last year, taking career-best figures of 4 for 15 against Hong Kong in just his second ODI.

Wheal was similarly instrumental for Scotland in Zimbabwe, taking a career-best 3 for 34 in the controversial five-run loss, on DLS method, to West Indies that eliminated Scotland from a place in England for 2019. However, he hasn’t played for Scotland since due to commitments with Hampshire.

The Durham-based pair of Michael Jones and Gavin Main have also been recalled into Scotland’s squad for the pair of matches. Like Wheal and Sole, the 21-year-old batsman Jones has not appeared for Scotland since last year’s World Cup Qualifier.

Medium pacer Main has spent a bit longer out of the side, having not appeared in an official match for Scotland since the 2016 T20 World Cup in India when he was in the XI for Scotland’s win over Hong Kong. However, he did play for Scotland in an unofficial 50-over match against Sri Lanka ahead of the 2017 Champions Trophy in which Scotland lost by nine wickets.

Four bowlers have been left out from the Scotland side that defeated Oman 2-1 in a three-match 50-over series as well as won the T20I Quadrangular series in February, featuring Oman, Netherlands and Ireland, in Muscat. Medium-pace bowlers Ruaidhri Smith and Adrian Neill as well as left-arm spinner Hamza Tahir and legspinner Chris Greaves have all been omitted.

Smith took career-best List A figures of 4 for 7 in a historic rout of Oman in which Scotland bowled them out for 24, in Muscat. But he only bowled three overs in the following match after sustaining a pectoral-muscle strain and has not bowled thus far in 2019 for Glamorgan in the County Championship. Neill, similarly, took 4 for 7 on that occasion against Oman but suffered a lower-back injury later in the tour and is continuing his rehabilitation with the Gloucestershire second XI.

Tahir played only one match on tour in Oman and is yet to play any ODIs for Scotland after making his T20I debut last summer, against Pakistan. Greaves is yet to play for Scotland in any format.

The two ODIs are Afghanistan’s first visit to Edinburgh since claiming a rain-affected 1-0 series win in the summer of 2016. The fixtures are also Scotland’s first ODIs since defeating England last June at the Grange.

On the management side, Wednesday’s series-opener will be the first assignment of new head coach Shane Burger. The Afghanistan series are his first ODIs in charge of Scotland since arriving from South Africa in March, having taken over from interim coach Toby Bailey following Scotland’s tour of Oman.

Scotland squad: Kyle Coetzer (capt.), Richie Berrington, Matthew Cross (wk), Alasdair Evans, Michael Jones, Michael Leask, Calum MacLeod, Gavin Main, George Munsey, Safyaan Sharif, Tom Sole, Craig Wallace, Mark Watt, Brad Wheal.

Article source: http://www.espncricinfo.com/ci/content/story/1183376.html?CMP=OTC-RSS

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