Scotland and Netherlands will meet in a do-or-die battle to decide which team claims the last remaining spot at the Cricket World Cup with six key players set to be critical to their hopes.
Scotland and Netherlands are both on the brink of qualification for the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup 2023 but only one team will book their ticket to India in their virtual decider.
Netherlands face an uphill battle as they need to not only beat Scotland but do so with enough runs or balls to spare to overtake their opponents on net run-rate.
But the Dutch have already shown at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023 that they have the players to step up when a game is on the line, while Scotland impressed in their winner-takes-all clash with Zimbabwe.
With a Cricket World Cup spot there for the taking, these are the in-form and big game players that could turn the decisive contest:
Scotland - Brandon McMullen
The young gun has been one of the standout performers at the Cricket World Cup Qualifier while compiling the most runs and taking the second-most wickets for Scotland.
The all-rounder showed his form with the ball from Scotland’s opening match with 5/34 against Ireland, then did as much damage with the willow in a ton against Oman.
But it is in the Super Six stage where McMullen has lifted along with the stakes, smashing 69 and taking 3/32 against West Indies, then backing up with 34 and 2/31 in the crucial victory over Zimbabwe.
Batting: 258 runs, 43 average, 86 strike rate
Bowling: 12 wickets, 13.41 average, 4.23 economy rate
Netherlands - Logan van Beek
The bowling all-rounder has the second-most wickets for Netherlands to go with only 54 runs at the Cricket World Cup Qualifier, but van Beek is a player Scotland are sure to be wary of after his heroics in the group stage.
Van Beek proved how devastating he can be with the bat when plundering a record 30 runs from a Super Over against West Indies, then took the ball to send down the six deliveries that clinched the remarkable victory based on a stunning individual display.
Batting: 54 runs, 27 average, 105.88 strike rate
Bowling: 9 wickets, 30.33 average, 5.21 economy rate
Scotland - Richie Berrington
While Brandon McMullen has scored the most runs for Scotland at the Cricket World Cup Qualifier, their skipper is not far behind and has a history of firing when it counts most.
Berrington already has a century and a fifty at the tournament, but is arguably due another big score after a lean run through Super Six stage so far.
Batting: 227 runs, 45.40 average, 85.01 strike rate
Netherlands - Scott Edwards
The captain has led the way throughout the Cricket World Cup Qualifier with four crucial fifties to now have the most ODI half-centuries ever for Netherlands with 13.
Edwards also has the most runs for Netherlands at the tournament while only being dismissed three times, but will be determined to notch a maiden ODI ton that could push his side to the brink of qualification.
Batting: 288 runs, 96 average, 113.38 strike rate
Scotland - Chris Sole
Leg-spinner Chris Greaves (13) and Brandon McMullen (12) have more wickets for Scotland at the Cricket World Cup Qualifier, but Sole saved his greatest impact for the biggest stage so far in the clash with Zimbabwe.
The right-armer found extra pace in a fiery opening spell that broke open the hosts’ top-order, starting with a wicket off the first ball of the Zimbabwe innings and adding another in his second over.
Sole also dismissed the in-form Sean Williams to leave reeling at 29/3 while chasing 234, to round out a devastating spell that all but set up Scotland’s qualification decider against Netherlands.
Bowling: 11 wickets, 21.45 average, 4.62 economy rate
Netherlands - Bas de Leede
The all-rounder is often the bowler that Netherlands turn to when the match is on the line, and while de Leede took some time to warm into the tournament he already has the most scalps for his side.
The 23-year-old has taken at least one wicket in every innings other than in the emphatic victory over Oman, but saved his best with the ball for tournament pacesetters Sri Lanka with 3/42.
De Leede is also a consistent contributor with the bat and has reached at least 33 in Netherlands’ past four matches at the Cricket World Cup Qualifier.
Bowling: 10 wickets, 28 average, 5.75 economy rate
Batting: 162 runs, 32.40 average, 85.26 strike rate