World Cup 2015 Qualifiers January 30, 2014

Scotland make third World Cup trip

ESPNcricinfo staff

Scotland clinched their third World Cup berth in dramatic fashion with a tense three-wicket win over Kenya with three balls to spare at Hagley Oval on the final day of the Super Sixes in Christchurch. Rob Taylor, who came into the match with only 56 runs in six matches at the tournament, entered at No.8 and hit three fours and a six on his way to an unbeaten 46 off 37 balls to take Scotland over the line and back to the World Cup for the first time since 2007.

Kenya won the toss and elected to bat first, posting a very competitive 260. Alex Obanda produced 89 at the top of the innings to lay a solid platform. Captain Rakep Patel made a vital contribution with 38 in the middle order but Scotland made life difficult on themselves with 24 extras, including 14 wides.

Matty Cross scored 55 to get Scotland's chase off to a positive start but his wicket in the 20th over was followed a short time later by the run-out of Freddie Coleman to generate a bit of tension. Stand-in captain Preston Mommsen took his time getting set, striking only one four on his way to a half-century off 81 balls. The wickets of Michael Leask and Richie Berrington swayed momentum Kenya's way making the score at 169 for 6 at the start of the 38th, but Mommsen counterattacked by striking a six and three fours in the space of seven deliveries to get Scotland back on track.

Mommsen finally fell for 78 with Scotland needing 35 off 25 balls and only three wickets in hand knowing by this point that only a win would take them through to the World Cup as Hong Kong's speedy win over PNG allowed Hong Kong to pass Scotland on the net run-rate tiebreaker. Scotland entered the final two overs needing 18 to win but a wide by Nehemiah Odhiambo was followed by a six off the bat of Taylor to bring the equation under a run a ball, and a World Cup berth was in sight. Taylor sealed the match with a pair of twos on the second and third deliveries of the final over, earning Scotland a return visit to New Zealand next year and dashing Hong Kong's dream of qualifying for the World Cup for the first time.

"It is absolutely awesome, we have worked really hard to get to this position and to actually get over the line is unbelievable. The feeling is immense," Mommsen said after the game. "We've had a bit of an absence, so to get back in there is unbelievable. The dressing room is very, very happy to say the least."

Khurram Khan once again steered UAE to a total that couldn't be overhauled in a 36-run win over Namibia at Rangiora to clinch the UAE's second World Cup berth and first since 1996. UAE won the toss and elected to bat first as Khan (49) was one of three players to get into the 40s without reaching 50 in UAE's total of 263. The score was 216 for 5 with two balls to go in the 45th but Louis Klazinga wiped out the tail, taking four of the last five wickets to fall, as Namibia bowled out UAE with one ball remaining in the innings.

Namibia got off to a slow start in reply as captain Sarel Burger crawled to a half-century, eventually getting dismissed for 54 off 102 balls. Amjad Javed claimed 3 for 35 while Khan completed his solid all-round display with 2 for 45 to restrict Namibia to 227 for 9 in their 50 overs.

"You can't describe in words the feeling. I've been playing for UAE since 2001 and it is an amazing feeling to help my team to qualify," Khurram later reflected. "It's a great achievement. It's been very, very hard to make it this far. Most of us are part time cricketers - we are not professionals. This is for everyone who trusted us and believed in us."

Hong Kong completed a furious charge to a three-wicket win over Papua New Guinea at Bert Sutcliffe Oval in a valiant effort to overtake Scotland on net run rate, but did not get the extra help they needed from Kenya to vault into the top two on the Super Sixes table. PNG won the toss and elected to bat first as Geraint Jones made his first major contribution of the tournament to top score with 82 for PNG in their total of 255 for 8. Haseeb Amjad finished with 3 for 70 in 10 overs to extend his tournament tally to 20 wickets, the most in the tournament.

Irfan Ahmed spearheaded a frenetic chase with 90 off 82 balls including four sixes before he was dismissed in the 29th over with the score on 193 for 3. Mark Chapman anchored Hong Kong after Irfan's departure with 64 off 50 balls as other batsmen fell around him while attempting to slog their way to the target as quickly as possible to eclipse Scotland's net run rate. Chapman was run-out 11 runs short of the target but player-coach Mark Wright and Amjad finished the job, with Hong Kong reaching victory on the first ball of the 37th over after Wright swatted a ball to the mid-wicket boundary.

Scotland and UAE will now contest the tournament final at the Bert Sutcliffe Oval on Saturday. The winner will join England, Australia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, New Zealand and Afghanistan in Group A at the 2015 World Cup while the loser will slot into Group B alongside South Africa, India, Pakistan, West Indies, Zimbabwe and Ireland.

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Iain on January 30, 2014, 21:35 GMT

    MeijiMura You clearly are bitter about Something. Looking at a players place if birth is NOTHING to do with nationality. If that was the case then John McEnroe is German.

    A piece of advice for you. Saffy Sharif learned his cricket at Largo, in Fife. Scotland Preston Mommsen went to Glenalmond School in Perthshire, Scotland. Richie Berrington's family returned HOME to Scotland when he was a young schoolboy. Matt Machan was brought up by a Scottish parent who was working in England when Machan was born. Rob Taylor was the same. As is Iain Wardlaw

    So that makes it 11 Scots. Hardly the 5 you state.

    There is a video on twitter of the ENTIRE Scotland team singing the National Anthem upon achieving qualification...

    So facts right before you speak with bitter tongue. TD

  • Dummy4 on January 30, 2014, 11:59 GMT

    The ICC could learn a great deal from tournaments like the World Rugby Sevens competitions. Sixteen teams take part in four groups of four - the top two in each group qualify for the main tournament, the bottom two compete in their own tournament. There is excitement in every game - especially those past the group stage - as teams meet and compete with other teams at their own level, and at the end of the tournament all teams finish with a ranking from 1 to 16. It encourages, rather than shuns, the emerging teams, and allows them to compete in meaningful games on the world stage. Given the competition in this qualification tournament, a number of sides could acquit themselves very well in such a set-up.

  • Justin on January 30, 2014, 10:06 GMT

    @Tromperie, call me old-fashioned but I regard a person's nationality to be the country they were born in and accordingly I do indeed regard Strauss and Prior to be South Africans instead of Englishmen. We'll just have to agree to disagree on that point and also on the development of a particular player's skills and experience as I think it starts at a much, much earlier age than you seem to. In reference to Scotland, the reason these foreign-born players continue to pursue cricketing careers in their adopted country is because they have cricket in their blood having been born in cricketing countries, having access to the sport on TV, on the radio, having parents and siblings and other relatives and friends who play the sport around them and with them makes a world of difference. It is much harder for someone born into a non-cricketing country or in a country which doesn't have saturation coverage and where it is widely played to establish themselves. Macleod is a notable exception.

  • Marius on January 30, 2014, 9:11 GMT

    @smokem - looking at the HK team that played the last game, two were born in Hong Kong, two in the UK, and 7 in Pakistan. Hardly a homegrown team, but perhaps you know more than I do.

  • Justin on January 30, 2014, 9:07 GMT

    I think Hong Kong can count themselves unlucky not to have qualified and that they are the victim of double standards. In the first game of the Super Sixes rain intervened in the Scotland v Namibia game when Namibia were in the 13th over of their innings. Rather than ruling the game a no-result and awarding both teams one point the authorities in question decided to use the reserve day to get a result handing Scotland a strong advantage given that Namibia had to deal with a slower outfield and had to start all over again when they had a set partnership at the crease and were just starting to gain momentum when the rain struck. At the same time the same authorities decided to use the D/L system to determine the winner of the Hong Kong v Kenya game rather than use the reserve day to see the game through to its natural conclusion with Kenya still needing 32 from 28 balls with six wickets in hand. If Namibia were made to resume their chase the next day why weren't Kenya?

  • Edward on January 30, 2014, 9:00 GMT

    @MeijiMura: Describing Sharif and Berrington as foreign players, when both have been involved with the Scottish team as early as under 15s level, is a bit like describing Strauss and Prior as 'South African'; irrelevant when all their cricket has been learned in the country for which they play.

    Moreover, the team's best bowler and batsman over the past couple of years (Haq and Macleod respectively) are as Scottish as a packet of porridge.

  • Rohit on January 30, 2014, 8:30 GMT

    I believe atleast 6 more teams need to be given ODI status, albeit with a Plate or Tier system. They should be playing more regularly and not just qualifiers like this. Till that time playing cricket will not be a serious profession in these countries. The 6 team could be any of Afghanistan, UAE, HKG, PNG, Netherlands, Namibia, Uganda, Scotland, Nepal & Denmark

  • Justin on January 30, 2014, 8:30 GMT

    In this day and age of globalisation it is difficult not to have at least a few foreign-born players in your line-up. Out of all the Super Six teams only PNG fielded a side that was entirely born in PNG. In the last round of games played today Namibia fielded eight home-grown players, Kenya ten, Hong Kong two, UAE none and Scotland five. It has to be said that Scotland would not have won a game in the Super Six stage without their foreign-born players. Mommsen and Taylor starred against PNG, Machan, Mommsen, Berrington, Taylor and Sharif starred against Namibia whilst today Mommsen, Taylor and Berrington played critical roles in the tight win against Kenya and none of these players were born in Scotland. The margins in all three matches were relatively tight and these players undoubtedly made the difference. Scotland have been embarrassing at international level every time I have seen them, so it will be interesting to see if they can actually play competitive cricket next year.

  • Vinny on January 30, 2014, 8:27 GMT

    @IainWadey: I can't speak for the other countries you referenced but the majority of the HK cricketers are born and bred in HK. Just because they are not of Chinese decent, it doesn't mean they are not produced from the local system. And it also doesn't mean the country is not trying to bolster the game within the local community. Please don't generalise based on appearances...

  • John on January 30, 2014, 8:26 GMT

    @ IainWadey - again another ignorant poster...half of Hong Kong's team are made up of homegrown talent...i.e they represented HK at U17 and U19 level. Roy Lamsam who is on team but never got a game in is 100% chinese, born and bred in HK. He used to come to our Saturday matches many moons ago as a toddler. Jaime Atkinson is in the same mould as HK's greatest product Dermot Reeve. Born and bred in HK and learned their cricket in HK before getting a county contract. Pretty amazing judging from the fact that all thru their school years they do not have access to the kind of support and structures that the test nations have as kids growing up in Hong Kong. Top 5 batting lineup all represented HK at U19 level. Captain born in HK and learn his cricket there just like I did 3 decades ago.

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