West Indies reach 2019 Cricket World Cup as Scotland are denied by rain in Qualifier

World Cup Qualifier Super Sixes, Harare Sports Club:
West Indies 198 (48.4 overs): Lewis 66, Samuels 51; Sharif 3-27, Wheal 3-34
Scotland 125-5 (35.2 overs): Berrington 33, Munsey 32no; Roach 2-20, Nurse 2-35
West Indies win by five runs (DLS method)

Scotland's hopes of reaching the 2019 World Cup are effectively over after West Indies won a rain-affected game in Harare to qualify for the tournament.

The Scots needed another 74 off 14.4 overs when the deluge intervened, Kyle Coetzer's side trailing by five runs on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method.

They had earlier bowled the Windies out for 198, Safyaan Sharif and Brad Wheal both taking three wickets.

Richie Berrington hit 33 after Scotland were reduced to 25-3 in reply.

But his controversial dismissal, given out lbw to a ball that replays appeared to show was heading down the leg side, proved costly as Scotland's hopes of a fourth World Cup appearance - after reaching the 1999, 2007 and 2015 tournaments - were ended by the weather.

Two-time champions West Indies secure their spot at the 2019 tournament in England and Wales, having been forced to qualify after dropping out of the automatic ranking spots.

Zimbabwe will take the second and final qualifying place if they beat UAE, who are already eliminated, on Thursday. A shock defeat for the hosts would see the winner of Ireland against Afghanistan on Friday go through.

Did this wicket cost Scotland the win?

Scotland were 105-4 in the 32nd over when Windies off-spinner Ashley Nurse rapped Berrington's pads and umpire Paul Wilson raised his finger after lengthy deliberation.

Although the ball deflected into the off side, replays showed it had struck Berrington in or just outside the line of leg stump and would have gone past the stumps with the spin.

Berrington was unable to review, with the International Cricket Council electing not to use the decision review system in this tournament.

Scotland were already behind the DLS par score when Berrington departed and George Munsey (32 not out) and Michael Leask (14 not out) did subsequently up the scoring rate with a series of boundaries.

Yet the loss of a fifth wicket put the Scots further behind the par score, with Munsey and Leask not able to make up the deficit in adding 20 more runs in 22 balls before heavy rain forced the umpires to call for the covers.

It looked at first to be a passing shower, only for the rain to get heavier and, with the outfield at the Harare Sports Club becoming increasingly waterlogged and the light getting worse, the match was called off.

Shocking, sensational starts

The Scots made a sensational start when the excellent Sharif (3-27) had Gayle caught behind with the first ball of the match, then removed Shai Hope in his second over.

But from 2-2, Evin Lewis and Marlon Samuels put on a stand of 121 to steady the Windies innings.

Opener Lewis struck 66 off 87 balls, with seven fours and two sixes, before falling lbw attempting to slog Hampshire pace bowler Wheal. who finished with 3-34.

Samuels holed out for 51 off 98 balls to off-spinner Leask, who removed Shimron Hetmyer with his next ball to reduce the Windies to 135-5.

Rovman Powell (15) survived Leask's hat-trick ball and staged a brief rally with captain Jason Holder (12) before both fell to poor shots, with only a breezy 24 from Carlos Brathwaite dragging West Indies towards 200 as Scotland continued to take wickets at regular intervals.

In reply, the Scots lost captain Kyle Coetzer and fellow opener Matt Cross inside the first four overs to slump to 12-2, echoing their opponents' early struggles on a tricky pitch.

Michael Jones played well for his 14 but fell into a trap, hooking a well-directed Kemar Roach bouncer straight to fine leg to leave Scotland 25-3, before Calum MacLeod (21) and Berrington put on 42 for the fourth wicket.

Nurse (2-35) then dismissed MacLeod with a wonderful low catch to his left off his own bowling, before he saw Munsey dropped by Gayle for just five at slip, with the Scot hitting back through a series of superb reverse sweeps.

Yet Scotland had perhaps ultimately given themselves too much to do to get in front of the par score as they failed to score fluently off miserly bowling by Roach, Nurse and Keemo Paul.

Super Six table
West Indies (Q)5410+0.4728

Post-match reaction:

Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer: "There is a bit of emotion upstairs after all the hard work. I'm extremely proud of how we've gone in this tournament and we've shown what we're capable of.

"There are a couple of decisions that have hurt us in the last two games and obviously another one [Berrington's lbw decision] didn't go our way today.

"Our seam bowling has been exceptional. It's been up there with the top quality in this tournament. Credit to West Indies for getting through but I've got to give a lot of 'well dones' and thanks to our boys."

Scotland bowler Safyaan Sharif, named man of the match for his 3-27: "The bowling group has been outstanding and achieved terrific results for us.

"I've done a decent job in the last two qualifying tournaments but been much improved in this qualifying event.

"Everyone is disappointed at how the game has ended but that is cricket for you."

West Indies captain Jason Holder: "I'm extremely pleased to get through to the World Cup. We've been through a lot in the last two years.

"We had to play to expectation - there was pressure in every game and the guys really put their hands up. I'm really pleased to get over the line but my thoughts go out to Scotland for how they've played in this tournament."

Scotland in the World Cup Qualifier

Group B

Sunday, 4 March - Afghanistan v Scotland (won by seven wickets)

Tuesday, 6 March - Scotland v Hong Kong (won by four wickets)

Thursday, 8 March - Scotland v Nepal (won by four wickets)

Monday, 12 March - Zimbabwe v Scotland (match tied)

Super Sixes

Thursday, 15 March - United Arab Emirates v Scotland (won by 73 runs)

Sunday, 18 March - Ireland v Scotland (lost by 25 runs)

Wednesday, 21 March - Scotland v West Indies (lost by five runs on DLS method)


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