Mommsen, Taylor help Scotland clinch three-wicket victory with just three balls to spare
Scotland qualified for the ICC Cricket World Cup 2015 with a thrilling three-wicket win over Kenya in a Super Sixes fixture at the Hagley Oval in Christchurch on Thursday (January 30).
Preston Mommsen, the Scotland captain, led his team's chase of Kenya’s 260 before Rob Taylor made a quick-fire 37-ball 46 to take his team over the finish line with three balls to spare.
Scotland had a shaky start as it lost two wickets in the first ten overs. Elijah Otieno and Ragheb Aga dismissed Calum MacLeod and Matt Machan in a space of four overs to leave Scotland at 51 for 2 in 9.1 overs.
However, Matty Cross and Mommsen led the recovery, putting on a 51-run third-wicket stand in 10.4 overs to take Scotland past the 100-run mark. Shem Ngoche then trapped Cross lbw for 55 and with Freddie Coleman run out three overs later, Scotland needed someone to steady its innings. Mommsen did exactly that, adding 48 for the fifth wicket with Richie Berrington and 57 for the seventh wicket with Rob Taylor, en route to a 97-ball 78.
But Kenya wasn't going to let Scotland have it easy. Thomas Odoyo had Mommsen caught by Rakep Patel in the 46th over and Scotland was left needing 35 off 25 balls with only three wickets in hand. Taylor then collaborated with Safyaan Sharif for a 22-ball 35 stand to help Scotland qualify for the 2015 World Cup with three balls to spare.
Earlier, Alex Obanda’s 89 helped Kenya post its highest total of the tournament after it chose to bat. It got off to a good start, losing only two wickets in 17 overs. Although the Scotland bowlers grabbed wickets at regular intervals, Obanda batted undeterred and struck partnerships with four batsmen on his way to a 101-ball 89. With contributing knocks from Collins Obuya (29) and Patel (38), Kenya posted 260 in its 50 overs, but it proved to be insufficient.
UAE and Scotland will contest the final of the qualification tournament in Lincoln on Saturday to determine which pool they will play in at the World Cup.