World Cricket League round-up February 4, 2007

Scotland book their place in the final

Cricinfo staff in Nairobi

Ravi Shah is cleaned up by John Blain as Kenya's batting failed © ICC
Scotland booked their place in Wednesday's final with a convincing 77-run win over hosts Kenya at at Nairobi Gymkhana. The results means that Kenya now need to beat Canada tomorrow to guarantee their own place in the final.

For the first time, Kenya's batting failed to perform and only a few late blows from Friday's hero Thomas Odoyo made the margin of their defeat less embarrassing. Three of the top six got starts but failed to press on, while the form of Ravi Shah is fast becoming a serious concern. He now has 22 runs from four innings in this competition, and while there is no doubting his class, his two-and-a-bit year lay-off seems to have taken a toll. Scotland bowled and fielded well, underlining that they seem to be coming good at just the right time.

They had made a flying start after winning the toss and batting. Fraser Watts (58) and Majid Haq (71) put on 103 for the first wicket, and then Haq and Gavin Hamilton took the score to 174 for 2 in the 37th over. But then Kenya struck back, with the gentle offspin of Steve Tikolo bemusing the middle order, and the innings struggled to regain any momentum. In the event, they had already done enough.

Canada's Ashish Bagai hits out on his way to his hundred © Eddie Norfolk
The match of the day was at Jaffery's Sports Club where Canada kept their hopes of reaching the final alive with a remarkable six-wicket win over Ireland, chasing down a formidable target of 309 with balls to spare. It was the 14th-highest chase to win an ODI and the best by an Associate country.

Canada's batting, which had been threatening to come good for several matches, finally exploded into life faced with a seemingly impregnable ask. The chase was kick-started by Ashish Bagai, whose hundred earlier in the week had almost upset Scotland. After a solid start, Bagai and John Davison hammered 106 in 16 overs, but when Davison fell for 57, Ireland were still favourites. As Bagai tired, Qaisar Ali, who was far from well, took up the attack, reaching his fifty off 35 balls. They needed 49 off 35 balls when Bagai departed for 122, but Qaisar Ali was unstoppable and he smashed the winning boundary with two balls remaining.

Eoin Morgan looked to have done enough for Ireland with 115 off 106 balls in their score of 308 for 7 Hisinnings was perfectly paced as his side recovered from a mini-wobble which left them 71 for 3 in the 14th over. He added 152 with Kevin O'Brien (52) for the fourth wicket. Morgan's ton was his first in ODIs, beating his previous best of 99, and the total was handed a late boost by Trent Johnston's 44 off 27 balls.

So while Canada can still qualify if they beat Kenya well tomorrow, Ireland are out. They will wonder how, but they have three times failed to defend large scores.

Ryan ten Doeschate on his way to an unbeaten 110 © ICC
Ryan ten Doeschate finally lived up to his pre-tournament billing with an unbeaten to lead Netherlands to a facile eight-wicket win over Bermuda at Ruaraka. Although Netherlands lost Darron Reekers in the first over chasing 192 ten Doeschate and Bas Zuiderent timed their innings to perfection in a second-wicket stand of 177, taking few chances and milking a mediocre bowling attack. Zuiderent fell for 71 within sight of victory, but ten Doeschate applied the coup de grace with almost seven overs to spare.

Bermuda's batting had again let them down. They slumped to 12 for 3 after being stuck in, and although Janeiro Tucker (32) and David Hemp (58) staged a recovery of sorts, and Hemp and Lionel Cann (48) continued that with a sixth-wicket stand of 63, the damage had been done.

Netherlands now need to beat Ireland in their last game and hope that Kenya lose to Canada if they are to reach the final. And even then, they will need to have a better run-rate than the Canadians.

As for this match, it was the most one-sided so far, and underlined, as if it needed doing, that Bermuda are simply not good enough at this level. One fears for them at the World Cup.