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Scotland stuns Zimbabwe, secures clash with Dutch for World Cup spot

(Last Updated On: July 4, 2023)

The Netherlands kept their bid to qualify for the Cricket World Cup alive as Vikramjit Singh’s hundred set up a comfortable victory over Oman on Monday.

The Dutch, who have not played at the global one-day showpiece since 2011, needed to win to stay in contention for a place at the tournament in India later this year.

Singh’s maiden one-day international ton and Wesley Barresi’s 65-ball 97 helped the Netherlands rack up 362-7 from 48 overs after being put in to bat first in a weather-affected match.

Oman never looked likely to complete the run chase despite 105 not out from Ayaan Khan, finishing on 246-6 after 44 overs when play was ended due to bad light.

The Netherlands’ winning margin of 74 runs on DLS method in Harare also boosted their net run-rate, which could prove crucial.

The top two teams in the Super Six table reach the World Cup, with one place still on offer after Sri Lanka qualified by beating Zimbabwe on Sunday.

Hosts Zimbabwe could clinch the second spot with victory over Scotland on Tuesday, but if the Scots win that match, it would all but set up a winner-takes all clash between Scotland and the Netherlands on Thursday.

“Obviously some results that have to go our way. We cannot do anything about it. We will prepare for our next game,” said Dutch captain Scott Edwards.

The 10-team World Cup will take place from October 5-November 19.

The Dutch made a solid start to their innings, trying to bounce back from a disappointing loss to Sri Lanka, until Max O’Dowd was bowled by Ayaan for 35.

Barresi’s arrival quickened the scoring, as the 39-year-old smashed 10 fours and three sixes before falling just short of a hundred.

Singh’s 110 came from 109 balls before he was dismissed by Mohammad Nadeem.

“Amazing. I waited a long time for this, finally getting my maiden ODI hundred, feels unreal,” he said.

Bas de Leede struck 39 off 19 balls and Saqib Zulfiqar 33 from 17 as the Netherlands posted a massive total.

Oman, who have yet to post a Super Six win, slipped to 78-3 in reply before Ayaan’s resistance.

He ended not out from just 92 balls but a strong Dutch bowling display was epitomized by spinner Aryan Dutt’s figures of 3-31 from 10 overs.

Oman will complete their campaign against fellow eliminated side the West Indies on Wednesday.

Pathum Nissanka’s sublime unbeaten 101 propelled Sri Lanka to a place in this year’s Cricket World Cup in India as the 1996 winners trounced hosts Zimbabwe by nine wickets on Sunday.

Sri Lanka had bowled out Zimbabwe for a modest 165 inside 33 overs and Nissanka never gave the hosts a hope of victory with his superb innings lifting Sri Lanka to 169 for one in their Super Six stage match.

Zimbabwe can still qualify if they beat Scotland on Tuesday.

Sri Lanka’s bowlers had performed admirably in skittling the hosts out – man of the match Maheesh Theekshana taking 4-25.

Sri Lankan captain Dasun Shanaka said it was crucial for them to be at the sport’s quadrennial showpiece – another former winner West Indies are missing out for the first time after losing to Scotland on Saturday.

“It was a much-needed thing for Sri Lanka to play on that big stage,” said Shanaka.

“See coming for the qualifiers. It’s always tough but still, if you go through the process…and we knew with the team we’ve got, we were going to qualify for the World Cup.”

The Zimbabweans had been up against it from the start after being put into bat by Shanaka and were left tottering on 30-3 due to a stunning opening spell by Dilshan Madushanka.

The hosts had prided themselves on getting through the first 10 overs in the previous matches in the tournament virtually unscathed – they had lost just the one wicket.

However, a fired-up Madushanka gave them a rude awakening reducing them to 8-2 beginning by dismissing Joylord Gumbie for a duck and then Wessley Madhevere for one.

He snapped up the key wicket of captain Craig Ervine for just 14, the 37-year-old with over 100 ODI appearances for the hosts nicking the ball to wicketkeeper Kusal Mendis.

Sean Williams and Sikandar Raza steadied the ship – only after the former had escaped when Matheesha Pathirana dropped a simple chance off Madushanka prompting a withering look from Sri Lankan coach Chris Silverwood.

They put on a fluent partnership of 68 but just as they were hitting their boot straps Raza on 31 holed out to Madushanka off the bowling of Shanaka to leave the hosts 98-4.

They recovered briefly thanks to 19 – including three sixes – coming off a Dhananjaya over.

Williams brought up his half century with a beautifully executed four in Shanaka’s next over.

However, his elation was to turn to despair soon afterwards.

Shanaka made an inspired bowling change bringing on Theekshana for his second spell in place of the the expensive Dhananjaya and with just his fifth ball bowled Williams for 56.

Theekshana struck again dismissing Burl for 16 with a similar type delivery to reduce the hosts to 130-6 and it became 144-7 when he trapped Luke Jongwe lbw for 10.

The Zimbabwe tail failed to wag with the unpredictable Matheesha Pathirana taking two of the remaining three wickets in one over.

Ervine said despite the heavy defeat they would stick to their gameplan for Tuesday’s match.

“I don’t think we need to prepare any differently from what we have been doing in this tournament (against Scotland),” said Ervine.

“We have been playing some very good cricket. Sri Lanka were much better than us today.”