West Indies’ World Cup ambitions are crushed by Scotland
At Scotland’s expense, West Indies earned a spot in the 2019 ODI World Cup five years ago in Harare thanks to a contentious umpiring call and a timely rain delay.
West Indies’ luck was out in 2023 when they were defeated by Scotland in Harare by a score of 7 wickets, eliminating them from contention to advance to the World Cup in India.
Since the West Indies, who won the first two competitions in 1975 and 1979 and also advanced to the final in 1983, will not be participating in the 13th ODI World Cup, it will be the first time that this has happened.
While Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka are tied atop the Super Six with six points each, Scotland has four points and is a strong candidate for one of the two World Cup slots up for grabs at the Qualifiers. In Scotland’s first ODI victory over West Indies, all-rounder Brandon McMullen was the star with both the ball and the bat, taking three wickets and making 50 runs.
Due to the Qualifier structure, which saw West Indies carry 0 points from the group stage to the Super Six, they knew going into this game that a loss would eliminate them.
Richie Berrington, the captain of Scotland, asked them to play in difficult circumstances to add to the pressure, and their top three wickets fell to McMullen in the first six overs. Shamarh Brooks was out after cutting a wide ball to slip, Brandon King was double-bluffed by the cover fielder being shoved back, and he spooned a full and straight ball back to the bowler. Johnson Charles blew one to cover point.
Kyle Mayers’ off stump was turned upside down by Chris Sole’s bouncer and length combination. Safyaan Sharif put an end to Shai Hope’s attempt to control his rage with caution. By opening up and nicking off Hope, she reverted the situation to their matchup in the 2018 Qualifier. Nine consecutive overs were bowled by McMullen, who finished with the match-winning stats of 3 for 32.
Jason Holder and Nicholas Pooran focused on stabilizing a shaky start as the score reached 60 for 5, batting together for 50 balls and scoring just 21 runs. However, Christopher McBride at the cow-corner boundary was able to slog-sweep a flighted ball from Mark Watt that tempted Pooran.
When Holder and Romario Shepherd joined forces, they added 77 runs for the seventh wicket. However, when Shepherd tried to speed things up in the 37th over, a flying Sharif caught him at point. West Indies were eventually all out for 181 in the 44th over when Chris Greaves trapped Holder in the lbw position three balls later.
Scotland lost McBride in the first over of the chase, but the wicket brought McMullen and Matthew Cross together, and the two skillfully handled the threat of the new ball. In the 12th over, Mayers missed the opportunity at deep midwicket after Akeal Hosein tricked McMullen into a slog sweep.
In the 17th over, McMullen demonstrated that he was in charge of the chase by flat-batting an Alzarri Joseph hard-length ball for a six down the ground. During their 125-run stand, both batters mostly cycled strikes, moved the ball around, and piled up fifty runs. When McMullen was caught long-on off Joseph, Scotland did not panic since Cross was there to continue leading the pursuit, first with George Munsey and then with Berrington, to a decisive victory in the 44th over.
The West Indies’ fall in white-ball cricket was furthered by this loss. Last year’s edition of that competition saw the two-time T20 World Cup champions lose in the group stage. As a result, Nicholas Pooran was relieved of his captaincy and Daren Sammy was named the new white-ball coach, which resulted in a significant restructuring of the team. Sammy teamed up with Hope for this World Cup Qualifier, but the campaign has been dismal, with losses to Zimbabwe, Netherlands, and now Scotland eliminating West Indies’ chances of qualifying for the 2023 ODI World Cup in India this October.