ICC Media: Afghanistan kept their hopes alive for a place in the ICC Cricket World Cup 2019 when they defeated the Windes by three wickets in a match of fluctuating fortunes, while defending champions Scotland went to the top of the Super Six points table by defeating the United Arab Emirates by 73 runs in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2018 on Thursday.
At the Queens Sports Club, a career-best 114 by opener Matthew Cross and his 161-run second wicket partnership with Calum MacLeod (78) was the cornerstone of Scotland’s 73 runs victory over the UAE.
Thursday’s Super Six results mean Scotland have leapfrogged the Windies into the top position with five points with matches against Ireland and the Windies remaining, while the Windies have stayed on four points with their upcoming matches against Zimbabwe and Scotland. Afghanistan are on two points with their next opponents being the UAE and Ireland, whereas the UAE are now out of the World Cup race as the maximum points they can earn is four, which will not be sufficient.
Zimbabwe and Ireland will go head to head today at the Harare Sports Club in their first Super Six fixture. Zimbabwe will start with three points, while Ireland have two points.
Meanwhile in the Play-off Ranking Matches, Nepal grabbed the final ODI spot until 2022 when they defeated Papua New Guinea (PNG) by six wickets to set up a seventh-eighth position play-off against the Netherlands, who defended a small total of 174 to beat Hong Kong by 44 runs.
Irrespective of the outcome of the Netherlands v Nepal match, Nepal have joined Scotland and the UAE as the three highest-ranked Associate Members after the Netherlands (who qualified last year for the new 13-team ODI League commencing in 2020 by winning the ICC World Cricket League Championship), which was the criteria to earn ODI status for the next four years. In contrast, Hong Kong and PNG will be relegated to the ICC World Cricket League Division 2, but not before featuring in the 4000th ODI, which will be played at the Old Hararians on Saturday.
It was a one-way traffic at the Queens Sports Club after Scotland scored 322 for six and then dismissed the UAE for 249 in 49.4 overs with fast bowler Chris Sole taking four for 68. The highlight of Scotland’s innings was a second career century by Cross in his 40th ODI. The 25-year-old wicketkeeper-batsman scored 114 from 135 balls with five fours and four sixes, adding 161 runs for the second wicket with MacLeod, whose 79-ball 78 included eight fours and a six.
The only positive for the UAE was their captain Rohan Mustafa’s continued good form with the ball, when he finished with four for 56.
Dipendra Airee was Nepal’s star performer when the off-spinner took four for 14 to spin PNG out 114 in 27.2 overs, and then scored an unbeaten 50 after his side had slipped to 35 for three. Sandeep Lamichhane was another one to produce an impressive effort, grabbing four for 29.
In the Netherlands v Hong Kong match, the Dutch lost their last seven wickets for 29 runs to be dismissed for 174 in 48.2 overs. However, the target proved to be too stiff for Hong Kong who were bowled out for 130 in 43 overs with Roelof van der Merwe finishing with four for 18.
Scores in brief (Super Six): Afghanistan beat Windies by three wickets, Harare Sports Club.
Scotland beat UAE by 73 runs, Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo
Scotland 322-6, 50 overs (Matthew Cross 114, Calum MacLeod 78, Kyle Coetzer 43, Richie Berrington 37 not out, George Munsey 30; Rohan Mustafa 4-56)
UAE 249 all out, 47.4 overs (Mohammad Usman 80, Ahmad Raza 50, Rohan Mustafa 32, Ashfaq Ahmed 30; Chris Sole 4-68, Safyaan Sharif 2-36, Brad Wheal 2-45)
Player of the Match – Matthew Cross (Scotland)
Play-off Ranking Matches: Nepal beat Papua New Guinea by six wickets, Old Hararians
The Netherlands beat Hong Kong by 44 runs, Kwekwe Sports Club
In the event of teams finishing on equal points at the end of the Super Six stage, the order of teams will be decided in the following order of priority:
o The team with the most wins in all of the matches throughout the competition against the other Super Six stage qualifiers will be placed in the higher position.
o If there are teams with equal points and equal wins in the Super Six stage, the team with the higher net run-rate in all matches played against the other Super Six stage qualifiers will be placed in the higher position
o If two or more teams are still equal, they will be placed according to the head to head match(es) played between them (points then net run-rate in those matches).
o If still equal, any teams that cannot be separated in this way shall be placed according to their original Group seeding.
If all matches within the Super Six stage produce no-results, then the order of finishing will be determined by the teams’ performances in the Group stage as follows: Group standing, most points, most wins. If still equal, any teams that cannot be separated in this way shall be placed according to their original Group ranking