Scotland ends West Indies’ World Cup hopes -
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Scotland ends West Indies’ World Cup hopes

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 West Indies will not come to India to play in Cricket World Cup 2023


Khel Today Bureau 
New Delhi: Brandon McMullen shone with bat and ball as Scotland earned another landmark victory over West Indies to keep their ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup dreams alive.

Having beaten the same opponents in last year’s ICC Men’s T20 World Cup, Scotland repeated the feat with a seven-wicket success which had McMullen at its heart.

The all-rounder claimed three for 32 before scoring 69 in the successful reply as Scotland got home with 6.3 overs to spare, Matthew Cross hitting the winning runs to finish unbeaten on 74.

The defeat ends West Indies’ chances of making it to India while Scotland now face two crunch encounters, starting against hosts Zimbabwe on Tuesday.

Richie Berrington opted to field upon winning the toss and the decision was quickly vindicated with four wickets falling inside the opening powerplay.

McMullen removed both Johnson Charles and Shamarh Brooks without scoring, Chris McBride and Mark Watt respectively taking sharp catches, before holding on to a return catch to dismiss Brandon King (22) as Windies slipped to 25 for three.

That became 30 for four when Chris Sole got in on the act, sending Kyle Mayers’ off stump cartwheeling out the ground.

Captain Shai Hope (13) and Nicholas Pooran (21) led a brief recovery but when the latter picked out McBride at deep mid-wicket, West Indies were reeling on 81 for six in the 21st over.

A 77-run stand between Jason Holder (45) and Romario Shepherd (36) carried the score towards respectability but both fell in consecutive overs, Safyaan Sharif holding on to a superb diving catch to dismiss Shepherd and hand Watt his second scalp.

Sole and Chris Greaves also finished with two wickets apiece as they accounted for the tail, leaving West Indies bowled out for 181 with 6.1 overs unused.

Knowing they needed to defend it to keep their qualification hopes intact, West Indies made a perfect start with the ball as McBride chipped the first ball of the run chase to mid-wicket.

That was as good as it got for the fielding side, however, as McMullen and Cross took control.

The pair were happy to rotate the strike and quick to punish anything loose, with McMullen first to his half century, which came from 85 deliveries.

Cross followed suit shortly afterwards, boosted by three consecutive boundaries off the bowling of Kevin Sinclair, but he lost the company of McMullen when he holed out to long-on with 57 required.

George Munsey (18) also picked out a boundary fielder but captain Berrington joined Cross to complete the job, the wicketkeeper-batter sealing the deal with a pull through deep mid-wicket to seal Scotland’s first-ever ODI victory over West Indies.

Two unbeaten sides go head-to-head

A blockbuster battle in Bulawayo headlines Sunday’s action as the two sides currently occupying the two qualification spots, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka, face off.

A public viewing and gathering site has been set up in Harare where fans can experience the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023 euphoria when Zimbabwe face Sri Lanka in a Super Six match on Sunday.

Both sides are yet to lose a match in the Qualifier to date and the victor can take a big step towards sealing their spot at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023.

In Harare, Nepal take on United Arab Emirates in the second play-off semi-final. The winner will play Ireland in the 7th-place play-off, with the beaten side to take on USA in the 9th-place play-off.

Scores in brief

Scotland beat West Indies at Harare Sports Club, Harare, by 7 wickets
West Indies 181 all out in 43.5 overs (Jason Holder 45, Romario Shepherd 36; Brandon McMullen 3/32, Mark Watt 2/25)
Scotland 185/3 in 43.3 overs (Matthew Cross 74 not out, Brandon McMullen 67; Romario Shepherd 1/24, Jason Holder 1/29).

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