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World Cup Qualifiers 2023

Scotland shatter Zimbabwe's World Cup dream



Photo: Craig Ervine had no clue about a Chris Sole fireball, ICC

|| AFP ||

Michael Leask helped Scotland to a stunning 31-run victory over Zimbabwe on Tuesday to set up a winner-takes-all clash with the Netherlands for a place at the World Cup.

Sri Lanka became the first of the top two teams in the Super Six table to have qualified for the October-November World Cup in India when they beat Zimbabwe on Sunday.

The hosts could have clinched the second spot with victory over Scotland in Bulawayo, but it was not to be after a poor batting display by their top order.

Leask top scored with a 34-ball 48 as Scotland racked up 234 runs for eight wickets off their allotted 50 overs.

Coming in at number eight, he combined with Mark Watt (21 not out) for an invaluable eighth-wicket partnership of 46 after the Scots had been left reeling at 170-7.

Three other batsmen -- Matthew Cross (38), Brandon McMullen (34) and George Munsey (31) -- all got into the 30s, but failed to build on their time at the crease.

Sean Williams grabbed 3-41 off his 10 overs, but failed to shine with the bat as Zimbabwe were quickly reduced to 37/4 in the run chase, under intense pressure from Scottish quick Chris Sole (3-33).

Wessly Madhevere hit 40 and the dangerous Sikandar Raza 34 as Zimbabwe fought back.

Ryan Burl gave the host nation most hope, however, hitting 83 off 84 balls.

But Burl crucially fell to the offbreak of Leask, who also had a smart catch off his own bowling to dismiss Richard Ngarava.

The Scotsman ended with 2-33 off six overs and his team left the field knowing that a victory over the Dutch on Thursday would see them headed for India in the Autumn.