Scotland’s consistent performance over the three-year cycle has helped them stay on track for India 2023, securing a spot in the Cricket World Cup Qualifier next year. Scotland is now assured of a top-three finish after a convincing eight-wicket win over Nepal at the United Ground in Windhoek, Namibia, giving them 46 points from 32 matches. The Scots overtook an Oman side (44 points) who had already completed their 36-match campaign, with Captain Richie Berrington successfully leading the side after Kyle Coetzer’s strong work earlier in the competition.
Scotland Secures Qualifier spot
Coetzer remains a key figure in the top order alongside his skipper, and contributions from across the playing group have highlighted the group’s collective strength. After their introduction, Brandon McMullen and Chris McBride made strong early impressions, while left-arm orthodox spinners Mark Watt and Hamza Tahir have led the bowling attack with 41 and 38 wickets, respectively. Meanwhile, Chris Sole, Gavin Main, and Safyaan Sharif have all taken over 20 wickets.
While Oman waits to see if their tally is sufficient for a top-three finish, Namibia has made a competition push, capitalizing on local knowledge in back-to-back home tri-series. Gerhard Erasmus’ men have won 11 of their last 13 games, only losing once to Scotland and once to the United States, and they also had a strong tri-series in Papua New Guinea in September. Erasmus has led from the front, scoring 1166 runs at an average of 48.58 in the competition, but the side’s long batting order and lack of all-rounders have allowed a number of individuals to shine.
Pikky Ya France, once a gritty opening batter in long-form cricket and now a spin-bowling all-rounder, was the hero in an unlikely victory over strong Scots to continue their push. Ya France walked out to join Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton at 111/7 in Namibia’s chase of 209, before hitting seven fours and a six in a knock of 52* from only 55 balls to help his side win. Namibia moved past the United States into third place with a win over Nepal in their next match, and their 30-match tally of 37 points puts them in a strong position to join the Scots at the Qualifier.
Meanwhile, the United States 35-point total from 36 matches prevents them from finishing in the top three, and Monank Patel’s men must now compete in a Qualifier Play-off to keep their Cricket World Cup hopes alive. Papua New Guinea will join them, having struggled for runs and only two victories in the competition. Nepal (6th, 18 points) and the UAE (5th, 27 points) are the other two teams in the bottom four, and they will have to work hard to climb into the top three.
The top three teams from League 2 will compete in the 10-team Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe from June 18 to July 9, with the bottom five finishers from the ODI Super League and two teams from the Qualifier Play-off joining them.