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CLINICAL SCOTLAND END WEST INDIES WORLD CUP DREAM

Cricket Scotland @CricketScotland
July 2, 2023 12 months
CLINICAL SCOTLAND END WEST INDIES WORLD CUP DREAM
HARARE, ZIMBABWE - JULY 01: Brandon McMullen of Scotland celebrates their half century with team mate Matthew Cross during the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifier Zimbabwe 2023 Super 6 match between Scotland and West Indies at Harare Sports Club on July 01, 2023 in Harare, Zimbabwe. (Photo by Alex Davidson-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

Scotland secured a famous victory over the West Indies in the Super Six stage of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe on Saturday to keep their hopes alive of making it to the showpiece event later in the year – and at the same time ending the Windies’ chances of qualification.

Five years ago at the same Harare Sports Club venue, the weather played its part as Scotland agonisingly lost out to West Indies via DLS.

It meant that the team did not go to the World Cup in England in 2019, but four years on they still have a chance of making it to India 2023 after this excellent team performance.

The Scots bowled and fielded brilliantly to reduce the West Indies to 181 all out, before chasing down the total with ease to win by seven wickets. A 125-run partnership between Matthew Cross and Brandon McMullen, later named player of the match, led the batting charge.

This result – their first One Day International victory against these opponents – means Scotland have four points in the Super Six standings and are third while Sri Lanka and Zimbabwe – who meet in a crunch clash on Sunday – are both on six points above them.

The win also completes a T20 and Once Day International double over the West Indies after a triumph against the same opponents in the ICC Men’s T20 World Cup in Hobart, Australia, last year.

“I have no words really, it was a brilliant match to play a part in and I’m just glad I could be involved,” player of the match McMullen said.

“I enjoyed bowling today and I thought all of the guys did a great job while with the bat I just tried to play my own game and it was nice batting with Crossy [Cross] and seeing him back in form.

“We are very pleased with this performance.”

Scotland won the toss and decided to bowl first, and after a good first over from Chris Sole, the plan paid off early when McMullen took a wicket with the last ball of the second over, with Johnson Charles caught by Chris McBride for a duck. When McMullen then had Shamarh Brooks caught by Mark Watt at the end of the fourth over – also without scoring – it was 16-2.

With Sole keeping it tight at the other end, the day got better for McMullen and Scotland in the sixth over when he had opener Brandon King caught and bowled for 22.

That left West Indies 25-3 and just an over and a half later Sole got his reward for a cracking start with his first scalp of the match.

His pace undid Kyle Mayers and spectacularly bowled him for five to put the West Indies in real bother at 30-4.

The skipper Shai Hope and Nicholas Pooran tried to rebuild things, putting on 30 for the fifth wicket.

That partnership came to an end in the 13th over, when Hope was caught behind by wicketkeeper Cross off the bowling of Safyaan Sharif for 13.

Pooran and Jason Holder took the score up to 81 before the former was caught by McBride in the deep off the bowling of Watt for 21 to leave the West Indies six down and facing major problems.

Scotland would have hoped to have kept West Indies to below 150 at that stage, but they managed to add another 100 runs to haul themselves up to 181 all out, mainly due to a sixth wicket partnership of 77 between Holder and Romario Shepherd.

She pherd made 36 off 43 balls before he fell in the 37th over, Sharif taking a flying catch to dismiss him off the bowling of Watt. Holder then fell just three balls later and the Scots had a crucial double breakthrough, with Chris Greaves pinning him LBW for 45

Shortly afterwards, Kevin Sinclair was bowled for 10 to give Sole his 50th ODI wicket, before Greaves wrapped things up in the 44th over when he had Alzarri Joseph caught by George Munsey.

Everyone contributed in the bowling unit, with McMullen taking 3-32, Watt 2-25, Greaves 2-30, Sole 2-43 and Sharif 1-16.

West Indies knew they needed wickets early on in Scotland’s reply – and one came off the first ball, as McBride chipped Holder off his legs, but only managed to pick out Sinclair for the catch.

McMullen joined Cross at the crease and the duo got the innings up and running in some style, reaching the 20 over mark on 75-1 with McMullen on 44 and Cross on 27.

In the 25th over, McMullen hit Sinclair for a four to bring up his 50 and then, in the 29th over, Cross followed him in scoring a half century when he nudged a single off Akeal Hosein.

In the 30th over an excellent 125 run partnership between the two batters was brought to an end when McMullen went for a big shot off Shepherd, but could not clear Joseph on the boundary .

McMullen had made 69 off 106 balls including eight fours and a six, leaving Cross and Munsey to come together and try and get the team towards the finishing line.

They made it up to 162 – 20 runs short of the target – before Munsey was caught in the deep by Charles off Hosein in the 40th over.

Cross was joined by Berrington and the two senior players made sure of the win, the former hitting a four off Shepherd in the 44th over to spark celebrations. Cross made 74 not out off 107 balls while Berrington was 13 not out.

Next up for Scotland in the Super Six phase is another must-win game against the hosts Zimbabwe at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo at 0800 UK time.

Their Super Six schedule is then completed two days later against Netherlands at the same venue and time. VIctory in these two games, and India beckons!

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