Scotland Triumph, West Indies Miss World Cup for First Time

Scotland Triumph, West Indies Miss World Cup for First Time

West Indies suffered a significant blow to their World Cup aspirations as Scotland claimed a resounding victory in the Super Six stage of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023. The defeat marks the first time the former champions of the 1975 and 1979 editions will miss out on the prestigious global event.

Scotland emerged triumphant with a seven-wicket win over West Indies at Harare Sports Club in the opening Super Six encounter of the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023. The Scottish team showcased exceptional skills with both bat and ball, securing their first-ever One Day International (ODI) victory against the West Indies.

The outcome of the match means that West Indies can now only achieve a maximum of four points in the Super Six stage, effectively eliminating them from securing one of the top two positions required for qualification. Consequently, the Men in Maroon will be unable to secure a spot in the Cricket World Cup scheduled to be held in India later this year. This marks the first time the West Indies will not participate in a senior Men’s Cricket World Cup, be it ODI or T20I.

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Scotland’s victory was propelled by outstanding performances from their bowlers, coupled with a remarkable 125-run partnership between Matthew Cross and Brandon McMullen. Despite losing a wicket off the first ball, Scotland’s solid batting display and resilience thwarted any hopes of a West Indies comeback.

Although the West Indies bowlers demonstrated discipline, they failed to break the Cross-McMullen partnership. The duo provided stability for Scotland and only encountered a near-dismissal opportunity when McMullen hit a shot straight to mid-wicket, but the chance was dropped. This steady partnership enabled Scotland to chase down the target at a comfortable rate, with McMullen reaching his fifty in the 25th over.

As the game progressed, Scotland’s scoring rate picked up, with both Cross and McMullen scoring runs swiftly. Cross reached the 40s with a hat-trick of boundaries in the 27th over and completed his half-century in the 29th over. Despite the loss of McMullen’s wicket in the 30th over, Scotland remained steady. The team continued to accumulate runs and eventually surpassed the West Indies’ target in the 44th over, with Cross unbeaten on 74* and captain Richie Berrington by his side.

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During the first Powerplay, Scotland’s opening bowlers, Chris Sole and Brandon McMullen, caused havoc in the West Indies lineup. McMullen secured three dismissals, including Johnson Charles, Shamarh Brooks, and Brandon King. Sole further contributed by dismantling Kyle Mayers’ off-stump, leaving West Indies struggling at 30/4.

West Indies’ hopes of a successful rebuilding phase rested on the shoulders of Shai Hope and Nicholas Pooran, their top two run-getters in the Qualifier. However, their partnership was short-lived, as Hope was caught behind off Safyaan Sharif. Pooran also fell in the 21st over to Mark Watt’s delivery. Despite a 77-run seventh-wicket partnership between former captain Holder and Shepherd, West Indies could not recover adequately.

With a dominant performance, Scotland handed West Indies a defeat that ultimately eliminated them from the World Cup race. West Indies’ inability to secure a place in the top two of the Super Six stage prevents their participation in the upcoming Cricket World Cup. Scotland’s exceptional display with both bat and ball propelled them to their first-ever ODI victory over West Indies, solidifying their position as a formidable opponent in the tournament.

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