DUNEDIN (AFP) – Scotland skipper Preston Mommsen predicts a “feisty” match against Afghanistan as the two nations battle for a maiden World Cup win and expects the chilly temperatures in Dunedin to help fire his team to victory.
Mommsen said the sides were familiar with one another after meeting in various associate-nation competitions but Thursday’s clash in Dunedin would have an extra edge.
“Generally a Scotland-Afghanistan game is quite feisty and there’s quite a bit of passion on display, quite a bit of aggression,” he said.
“A win would mean a lot to us as a team, to the squad, to the staff and to everyone back home.”
Scotland are playing in their third World Cup campaign but are yet to win a match at the tournament and Afghanistan, on paper, represent their best chance of doing so.
Mommsen said his side played well in patches during losses to New Zealand and England but should display more consistency against the lesser-ranked Afghans.
While Scotland have a 5-3 losing record against Afghanistan in one-day internationals, Mommsen said knowing they won by 150 runs in their last meeting was “a huge psychological advantage”.
“We had a clear, clear strategy and tactic against them, and I’m pretty sure that we’ll resort to the same formula tomorrow,” he said.
He expected conditions in Dunedin to be “nice and chilly, something a bit foreign to the Afghanistan team, but we’re kind of used to”.
In addition, he believed strong support from locals in Dunedin, a city with Scottish roots, should turn the match into a “home” game for his side.
“We’re used to playing against Afghanistan in the United Arab Emirates where they have thousands and thousands of supporters, and that genuinely does make a difference to the way they play,” he said.
“Hopefully for once we’ll have more support than them and that’ll give us an extra edge.”