West Indies fail to qualify for World Cup for first time after defeat to Scotland

Sports Saturday 01/July/2023 18:34 PM
By: Times News Service
West Indies fail to qualify for World Cup for first time after defeat to Scotland
Photo Credit: ICC/Getty Images

Muscat: Scotland stunned two-time champions West Indies by seven wickets in the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifier Super Six match on Saturday to deny the former heavyweights a chance to compete in the forthcoming World Cup in India in October-November.

West Indies failed to qualify for the Cricket World Cup for the first time in their history after a humbling defeat to Scotland.

Scots cruised to victory after Windies bowled out for 181.

Shai Hope's side suffered a loss to see their hopes of reaching the tournament proper in India in October-November extinguished.

West Indies, who won the first two editions of the men's 50-over World Cup in 1975 and 1979, were bundled out for 181 in 43.5 overs before Scotland knocked off their target with seven wickets and 39 balls to spare.

They were runners-up in 1983; The 13th edition of the competition will be the first without the team from the Caribbean.

West Indies had to play the World Cup Qualifiers because they finished ninth in the ODI Super League, and only the top eight teams gain direct entry to the ten-team tournament.

West Indies were on the brink of elimination after successful losses to Zimbabwe and the Netherlands - defeat to the Dutch coming after a Super Over in which their opponents scored a record 30 - and will now be a notable absentee in the subcontinent later this year.

They slumped to 81-6 inside 21 overs against Scotland with opener Johnson Charles and No. 3 Shamarh Brooks dismissed for ducks by Brandon McMullen (3-32) and Kyle Mayers sent back by Chris Sole (2-43) after being bowled for just five.

Jason Holder (45) and Romario Shepherd (36) revived the innings with a seventh-wicket stand of 77 from 96 balls before the Caribbean team lost their final four wickets for 23 once Shepherd fell to a superb one-handed catch from Safyaan Sharif.

A superb 69 from Brandon McMullen helped Scotland recover from the loss of opener Chris McBride off the very first ball of the innings, with an unbeaten 74 from Matthew Cross, his 10th half-century in one-day international cricket, seeing the Scots home in cruise control. It was their first win over the Windies in ODI history.

Scotland now have two matches to play, against the Netherlands and Zimbabwe, in a bid to secure a top-two spot in the Super Six group.

The debacle of Windies in Zimbabwe

West Indies were grouped with Zimbabwe, Netherlands, USA and Nepal in Group A of the Qualifier, and the format of the tournament was such that the top three teams from each of the two groups made it to the Super Six stage. However, the teams that progressed would carry forward points earned from their results against the other teams that also qualified from their group.

West Indies began the Qualifier with victories against USA and Nepal but then lost to Zimbabwe and Netherlands. So while they qualified for the Super Six, it meant they took zero points into that round, while Zimbabwe carried forward four points and Netherlands two. From Group B, Sri Lanka qualified for the Super Six with four points, Scotland with two, and Oman with none.

Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka then won their first Super Six matches, taking their tally to six points each. It left West Indies needing to win all three of their games - against Scotland, Sri Lanka and Oman - to have a chance of catching up to Zimbabwe or Sri Lanka. But with the defeat to Scotland, the maximum West Indies can get to is four points - not enough for the top-two finish needed for a World Cup ticket to India.

This setback is a continuation of West Indies' decline in the limited-overs format. They only just made it to the 2019 ODI World Cup in England, via the World Cup Qualifiers, where they sneaked into the final at the expense of, coincidentally, Scotland in a rain-hit game. They then did not qualify for the Super 12 stage of the 2022 T20 World Cup in Australia, after winning just one (against Zimbabwe) and losing two (to Scotland and Ireland) of their group matches.