Scotland knocked Zimbabwe out of the ODI World Cup qualifiers 2023 after winning their Super Six match. The Scots won by 31 runs at the Queens Sports Club, dashing the hosts’ hopes of playing the ICC ODI World Cup. The loss shattered Zimbabwe’s hopes of qualifying for the upcoming ICC event in India later this year, following consecutive defeats to Sri Lanka and Scotland.
The upcoming match between the Netherlands and Scotland on Thursday now becomes a virtual eliminator, with the winner securing a spot alongside Sri Lanka in the Cricket World Cup 2023.
After setting a respectable total of 234/8, Scotland’s Chris Sole played a pivotal role with an impressive new-ball spell, taking 3 wickets for 33 runs. Sole dismissed Joylord Gumbie on the first ball and cleaned up skipper Craig Ervine in the third over.
Scotland maintained their dominance when in-form Sean Williams fell to Sole in the seventh over, with Zimbabwe struggling to surpass 30 runs. Although Scotland missed a catching opportunity off Brandon McMullen, they managed to take a wicket at the other end, sending Innocent Kaia back to the pavilion. However, Sikander Raza and Ryan Burl formed a solid partnership, reviving Zimbabwe’s chances.
Scotland found a breakthrough when Chris Greaves dismissed Raza in his first over, disrupting the promising partnership. Burl continued his excellent performance, reaching his fifty, and with Wessly Madhevere’s support, Zimbabwe gained confidence. In the 31st over, Mark Watt provided Scotland with a breakthrough by dismissing Madhevere for 40.
Despite Burl’s onslaught and Wellington Masakadza’s resilience, Scotland capitalised on the tail-enders when McMullen dismissed Masakadza. Richard Ngarava’s dismissal followed, and Burl’s impressive knock of 83 from 84 balls ended attempting another big shot after hitting a four and six off Leask.
Safyaan Sharif’s final wicket ended Zimbabwe’s innings at 203 in 41.1 overs. As a result, Scotland surpassed them in the points table, reviving their World Cup aspirations.
Earlier, Scotland’s strong start with Christopher McBride and Matthew Cross was halted by Sean Williams’ exceptional bowling. Williams, who had remained wicketless in the tournament until this match, turned the tables by removing Cross with a slower delivery. Williams further troubled Scotland with the wicket of Brandon McMullen, who slog-swept the ball straight into the hands of the fielder.
Williams continued to trouble Scotland with his deliveries that posed difficulties for their aggressive batting approach. Richie Berrington fell victim to the same shot, miscuing his lofted shot to long-off. Scotland’s collapse continued as Tomas Mackintosh was run out due to a mix-up and Richard Ngarava delivered a brilliant yorker to dismiss George Munsey.
Chris Greaves was also run-out, leaving Michael Leask to stabilise the innings. Leask played calculated shots including some against Ngarava and Muzarabani. His knock propelled Scotland to a total of 234/8. Despite Tendai Chatara dismissing Leask, Mark Watt’s contribution of 13 runs in the final over helped Scotland achieve a respectable score.