Scotland batsman Calum MacLeod believes his side have a golden chance to make their case for Test status in the T20 World Cup as they prepare to face Afghanistan (Match Betting – Afghanistan 2/7, Scotland 5/2) in their opening group encounter.

Having never won a match at a global ICC tournament, Scotland won each of their three group matches to reach the Super 12 stage, joining the elite teams in world cricket.

They sprung a major surprise by beating Bangladesh – ranked the sixth-best T20 team in the world – by six runs with Chris Greaves’ 45 helping them to victory.

A narrow win against Papua New Guinea and an eight-wicket thrashing of joint-host Oman were to follow as Scotland topped the group to advance into the next round.

Those results have already ensured their qualification for next year’s edition of the T20 World Cup in Australia as their reputation continues to grow.

And, ahead of their match against Afghanistan, MacLeod (Scotland top run scorer 5/1) says the confidence is there amongst the squad.

“For the players it’s a great showcasing opportunity to show some of the Twenty20 skills that this group has and get them out there on the world stage,” he said.

“You never know what sort of opportunities can come on the back of this for some of the players if they have a good group stage.

“I think the good thing of having the first round is that we’ve come in with confidence. We’ve obviously topped that group with three good hard games of cricket, so I think we’ll come into the game with confidence.”

The tournament has already seen a surprise scoreline after Pakistan thrashed their great rivals India (T20 World Cup outright – Pakistan 7/2, India 11/4) by 10 wickets to win their first group match.

Chasing 152, Mohammad Rizwan made an unbeaten 78 while skipper Babar Azam was 68 not out to record a famous victory.

It was the first time Pakistan had ever won a T20 by 10 wickets and the first time India had been beaten by the same margin.

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