Scotland reach 2015 World Cup

30 Jan

Kenya 260 (50 overs), Obanda 89, Patel 38, Obuya 29, Karim 23; SM Sharif 2-65 lost to Scotland 261-7 (49.3 overs)Cross 55, Mommsen 78, Berrington 30, Taylor 46*; Odoyo 3-53 by 3 wickets. [Scorecard] 

The Hagley Oval was the setting for the Scotland v Kenya Super Six showdown, with the Scots knowing that a win would seal their place at the ICC 2015 Cricket World Cup in Australia.

Kenya won the toss and elected to bat first.  Alex Obanda and Irfan Karim started their innings in confident fashion, taking the score to 55/0 after the 10 overs.

Scotland made the breakthrough when Calum MacLeod ran out Karim for 23, before Preston Mommsen caught Aga 5 overs later, leaving Kenya on 93/2 in the 17th over.

Collins Obuya came to the crease and, together, he and Obanda put on 56 runs in the next 13.3 overs. Scotland made another the breakthrough when Sharif enticed Obuya into a false shot, giving Taylor the catching opportunity he duly took.

Obanda held the Kenyan innings together, reaching his 50 at the end of the 18th over, but he continued to strike regular boundaries, proving a thorn in the Scottish side. He eventually departed, 11 runs short of his century, when he was clean bowled by Iain Wardlaw with 11 overs to go.

Rakep Patel and Varaiya helped to push up the Kenyan total towards the end, but Scotland kept taking regular wickets and then bowled their opponents out on the last ball of their innings.

For Scotland to secure their spot in the World Cup they would now have to score 261 runs from their 50 overs.  It was clear that it was going to be a tense run-chase.

Kenya took the key wickets of Calum MacLeod and Matt Machan early in the Scotland reply, and with the score at 51/2 in the 10th over, Scottish nerves were jangling.

Cross was joined by Mommsen at the crease and they took on the task of rebuilding the innings. The pair made a third wicket stand of 51 runs before Cross was trapped LBW by Shem Ngoche, just after he had reached his half century.

Freddie Coleman was involved in a mix up with Mommsen and the Warwickshire man was run out for 3, with Scotland 113/4 at the end of the 23rd over.

Another vital partnership between Berrington and Mommsen produced 48 runs from the next 12.2 overs, before Thomas Odoyo held on to a return catch from Berrington for 30. The game then swung back in favour of the Kenyans when Odoyo, claiming his second wicket, dismissed Leask LBW for 5. At this point Scotland required 92 runs from 12.5 overs with 5 wickets remaining.

Mommsen kept his cool and reached his half century from 81 balls. The captain then struck a six and 3 fours in 3 overs to help ease the required run-rate, which now sat at 8 an over with 6 overs remaining.

Mommsen finally departed, after making a heroic 78 in the 46th over, caught by Patel off of Odoyo’s bowling. Scotland needed 35 runs from 25 deliveries and Rob Taylor and Safyaan Sharif were now  left with the task of guiding Scotland to a World Cup.

Taylor and Sharif saw Scotland home (IDI/Getty)

With only 3 overs left and 26 run still needed, Taylor took the task on finding the boundary in the 47th and 48 overs and this, together with some great running between him and Sharif, left Scotland looking for 5 runs from the final 6 deliveries.

The batsmen scampered through for the required runs with 3 deliveries remaining to take Scotland over the line and into the World Cup!

Taylor finished unbeaten on 42 and Sharif 10, sparking wild celebrations in the Scotland camp after holding their nerve after what was a slightly too thrilling climax!

A delighted Joint Interim Head Coach Craig Wright said after the match, “It has been a fantastic to see individuals in the team as a whole grow over the period of this trip.

We challenged the players the players to embrace pressure and be inspired by the fact there was a lot riding on this competition. They have passed the test with flying colours and should be proud of their efforts.

We hope this is the beginning for this team in terms of their development and potential.”

Stand-in Captain Preston Mommsen added,” I’m absolutely ecstatic, it was an incredible team performance. We showed huge amounts of character and we are proud that we could deliver under that amount of pressure.

It bodes well for the future.”

Scotland can now look forward to a final against the UAE on Saturday, which will determine the winner of the 2014 World Cup Qualifier. 

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