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Cricket World Cup Day 8: A Scotland victory would be no shock

| 21.02.2015

England’s World Cup campaign started with a thumping against Australia, moved on to a complete humiliation at the hands of New Zealand and now puts jobs at risk should the unthinkable happen against Scotland.

Having played a brand of cricket lacking confidence and structure so far in the tournament, England remain 1/10 favourites to beat a Scotland side that have never managed either a World Cup or ODI win against a Test-playing nation in their history.

Win and there will be no fanfare for Eoin Morgan’s side, it is fully expected of them, but lose, which is a real possibility, and the likes of coach Peter Moores and managing director Paul Downton can start to feel very twitchy over their futures.

As both sides have already played the Kiwi co-hosts in the early stages of this competition, Brendon McCullum’s Black Caps provide a useful form yardstick by which to measure the pair of rivals.

It makes for dismal reading for the English, who actually managed 19 runs less than the Scots in their meeting with New Zealand, and took just two wickets with the ball as McCullum lay siege to Steven Finn.

Scotland dismissed the New Zealand skipper for just 15 when they faced him and took seven Kiwi scalps in a three-wicket defeat. The 6/1 on them winning here is far too long to be ignored, especially as they have won both of the ODIs they’ve played at Christchurch.

For England, expect changes in a continuation of the muddled thinking that has dogged this campaign since before Alastair Cook was hastily sacked.

Finn, whose return to prominence was celebrated prior to the McCullum assault, is likely to have his confidence dented further by being dropped for Chris Jordan, while a shuffle of the top-three, with Alex Hales coming in, is long overdue.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.