Scotland end Zimbabwe's chances, inch closer to World Cup 2023 qualification | Crickit

Scotland end Zimbabwe's chances with 31-run win, inch closer towards ODI World Cup qualification

Jul 04, 2023 11:03 PM IST

All Zimbabwe needed from their last two games was one win but a heavy defeat against Sri Lanka and Scotland have reduced their net run-rate to -0.099.

Scotland ended hosts Zimbabwe's dreams of qualifying for the ODI World Cup as they won a crucial Super Six encounter by 31 runs to inch closer towards the tournament proper in India starting October 5. Put in to bat, Scotland managed a modest 234 for 8 in 50 overs with none of the batters getting to a half-century. It was all-rounder Michael Leask's brisk 48 off 34 balls with three fours and two sixes that gave the total some semblance of respectability.

Zimbabwe endured back-to-back heavy defeats to lose out of CWC qualification.(Getty)
Zimbabwe endured back-to-back heavy defeats to lose out of CWC qualification.(Getty)

In reply, Zimbabwe lost four of their top order batters for only 37 runs inside the first Powerplay with medium pacer Chris Sole taking three wickets in his opening spell. The home team was all-out for 203 in 41.1 overs despite a fighting 83 off 84 balls by Ryan Burl and his 54-run fifth wicket stand with Sikandar Raza (34) and another 73 with Wessly Madhevere (40).

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All Zimbabwe needed from their last two games was one win but a heavy defeat against Sri Lanka followed by another against Scotland have reduced their net run-rate to -0.099. With six points after four games, Scotland are on a healthy NRR of 0.296. This is second edition in a row that Zimbabwe have failed to reach the main tournament having last played the 50-over World Cup back in 2015.

"It's a very difficult pill to swallow. Throughout the tournament, we played some extremely good cricket. It's always nice to put those demons from 2018 behind us and had we gotten over the line today, nobody would have been asking about that but unfortunately, we didn't," skipper Craig Ervine said after the match.

Sri Lanka have already qualified with eight points and all Scotland need to do is to beat the Netherlands on Thursday in their final Super Six game and grab one of the first two spots. The Netherlands (-0.042) are currently on four points from four games and need to win by at least 32 or more runs to cross Scotland's net run-rate if they are to have any chance of qualifying for the main tournament.

On the day, Zimbabwe just blew it away with their own hands after a good bowling performance, courtesy all-rounder Sean Williams' (3/41) left-arm spin. He got able support from Raza, who went wicketless but gave only 34 runs in his 10 overs. When Zimbabwe batted, Sole bowled a very quick opening spell and picked up three wickets with his first four overs to give the Scots the decisive upper-hand. He got young Joylord Gumbie (0) with a fast delivery pitched back of length and it climbed to take an edge on to keeper Matt Cross' gloves.

He then bowled a fine nip backer to castle seasoned Craig Ervine (2) and another yorker got rid of veteran Sean Williams (12). After Raza was holed out in the deep off leg-break bowler Chris Greaves, it became an uphill task even though Burl and Madhevere kept them in the hunt at 164 for 5. But once left-arm spinner Mark Watt got Madhevere out, Burl had no option but to attack continuously with not much support at the other end. However, off-spinner Leask finally got him and Zimbabwe were all out for 201.

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