West Indies Earn World Cup Spot
West Indies Earn World Cup Spot, CricketHighlights
by Kristina Newsam, MyCricketHighlights Writer
On a rain-soaked day, the West Indies have staked their claim to a spot in the 2019 World Cup, to be hosted by England and Wales between May 30 and July 14, while the battle remains heated concerning who will join them from the Super Sixes.
Scotland Get 2 Ducks in a Row
Scotland gave away a distinct advantage that presented itself just after the first ball was scarcely released from the hands of right-arm medium-fast bowler and Player of the match, Safyaan Sharif. He sent a fiery one full and curving outside off, away from Gayle, who could only manage to get an edge to it before it sailed directly into the hands of wicketkeeper, Matthew Cross.
If Scotland's confidence was sky-high after the dismissal of Gayle, it would've reached the heavens when Shai Hope was sent packing for yet another duck in only the 2nd over. Same bowler, same keeper, same bowl-and-catch technique.
Scotland were high in hopes and expectations at this point: a victorious future clearly in sight—but Marlon Samuels and Evin Lewis would have none of it.
Samuels & Lewis Open Up the Scoring
Both Samuels and Lewis were able to crest the half-century mark, with Samuels ending on 51 runs, and Lewis earning a smooth 65-ball 50, to end on 66 runs. The pair were able to ascend to a joint stand of 121 runs, but were inevitably separated in the 30th over, when Brad Wheal trapped Lewis and forced the clear lbw call.
After Samuels re-entered the changing room three overs later, the West Indies experienced a dramatic anti-climax, as Carlos Brathwaite recorded the next highest score, at merely 24 runs.
The Windies would end 198 all out, with their hopes of qualifying for the World Cup automatically following a win, on the edge of doubt and despair.
Down Came the Rain and Washed the Batsmen Out
Following the rapid unravelling near the end of the Windies' innings, all Scotland now had to do was stay calm and bat—but they simply did not.
Calum McLeod and Richie Berrington would hold fast to a 42-run partnership, while George Munsey would lend his hand to the effort with a modest 32 runs. However, the skies to which their hopes had ascended when they had control of the ball, would open up once more to turn their fate with the bat; the striving Scotts would fall short of victory by just a 5-run margin, after the rains refused to let up and Duckworth Lewis was called to intervene.
While the Windies have now sealed their World Cup fate, while Scotland are left to ponder the upset that almost happened, after they came so close.