Cricket Scotland @CricketScotland
June 25, 2023 1 year
BULAWAYO, ZIMBABWE - JUNE 25: Christopher Greaves of Scotland celebrates with teammates after dismissing Ayaan Khan (not pictured) of Oman during the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifier Zimbabwe 2023 match between the Scotland and Oman at Bulawayo Athletic Club on June 25, 2023 in Bulawayo, Zimbabwe. (Photo by Mark Kolbe-ICC/ICC via Getty Images)

A brilliant century from Brandon McMullen powered Scotland to a 76-run win over Oman, securing a third consecutive victory in Group B of the ICC Men’s World Cup Qualifier.

McMullen smashed 136 from just 121 balls as Scotland racked up 320 in 50 overs, before Chris Greaves claimed 5-53 to help restrict Oman to 244-9, ensuring qualification for the Super Six stage with a game to spare.

The Scots backed up previous victories over Ireland and UAE with another clinical performance, and have set themselves up perfectly for a showdown on Tuesday with the other unbeaten side in Group B, Sri Lanka.

After Scotland lost the toss and were put in to bat by Oman on a cold morning in Bulawayo, McMullen was called to the crease after just three balls, when Chris McBride was pinned LBW for a duck off the third ball.

McMullen claimed his maiden five-wicket haul in ODIs on Wednesday against Ireland, but here he joined Matthew Cross (27) to add 82 runs for the second wicket.

When Cross was bowled by Jay Odedra (2/68), skipper Richie Berrington joined McMullen at the crease, fresh from a century against the UAE, and showed his class once more as he raced to a 62-ball 60. The pair threatened to annihilate the Oman attack before a mix-up after a misfield saw the skipper run out, bringing a 138-run stand to a close. 

McMullen pushed on to record a memorable century, before eventually falling 136, the second of Bilal Khan’s five victims as Oman tried to fight back.

Tom Mackintosh (32) and Mark Watt (25) both enjoyed themselves with some handy late runs, but Bilal kept chipping away, finishing with figures of five for 55, before two wickets in the final over, including Adrian Neill’s run-out off the last ball, saw Scotland finish on 320 all out.

Oman never threatened to chase it down, with the opening pair putting on just 25 for the first wicket in ten overs. McMullen ended that partnership when he had Kashyap Prajapati bowled for 12, with Neill then adding Jatinder Singh for 14. 

Bowled had become the preferred method of dismissal, with skipper Zeeshan Maqsood (8) and Aqib Ilyas (31) also succumbing to Michael Leask and Watt respectively, leaving Oman way behind the required rate on 72 for four.

Chris Greaves (5/53) then joined the party, dismissing Mohammad Nadeem (15) and Ayaan Khan (30) to make it 120 for six. 

A 105-run stand between Shoaib Khan (36) and Naseem Khushi (69) reduced the margin of victory, but Greaves dismissed both before bowling Fayyaz Butt to take home the match ball, as Oman finished on 244 for nine from their 50 overs. 

It’s been a terrific first week for the squad, but now the challenge climbs up a notch on Tuesday against Sri Lanka, who swept Ireland aside earlier in the day. While Oman are also through to the Super Six, it’ll be Scotland or Sri Lanka who top the group and carry all the momentum into the latter stages of the tournament.

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