Sean Williams went on an incredible scoring streak for Zimbabwe while amassing the most runs at the Cricket World Cup Qualifier, as Sri Lanka’s openers proved to be crucial to their success.
A red-hot Sean Williams was the leading run-scorer at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023 after a stunning five-innings stretch that included three centuries and 532 runs.
Williams’ pile of runs took the tournament hosts to the brink of an all-important top two finish before they dropped their last two matches to cruelly miss a place at the ICC Men’s Cricket World Cup on net run-rate.
A dominant Sri Lanka claimed one of those two spots with much of their success built on the platforms set by their opening pair Pathum Nissanka and Dimuth Karunaratne.
We take a closer look at the Zimbabwe standout and Sri Lanka’s top two, as well as other leading run-scorers at the Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023:
1: Sean Williams (Zimbabwe) - 600
The left-hander put together one of the all-time great scoring streaks to compile the third-most runs ever in a five-match stretch of ODIs.
Williams amassed 532 runs in Zimbabwe's opening five matches at the Cricket World Cup Qualifier with three centuries and a 91, and finished with another fifty in his 600 runs for an average of 100 at the tournament.
The 36-year-old scored at a rapid rate too, plundering 13 sixes and 67 boundaries across his seven innings for a devastating strike rate of 139.21.
2: Pathum Nissanka (Sri Lanka) - 417
The rising star of the Sri Lanka batting line-up impressed with back-to-back centuries late in the tournament but was just as crucial early as the competition pacesetters made a statement.
Nissanka made at least a start in all but one innings to add two fifties to his tons, while only being dismissed six times for an average of 69.5.
3: Dimuth Karunaratne (Sri Lanka) - 369
The left-handed veteran was the perfect foil for his younger opening partner as he perhaps finally proved he can make an impact in the white-ball format.
The 35-year-old notched his maiden ODI century against Ireland and put together three fifties across the tournament to finish with an average of 61.5.
4: Brandon McMullen (Scotland) - 364
The young gun smashed two centuries at the tournament including 106 in the do-or-die clash with Netherlands when Scotland ultimately had a Cricket World Cup spot fall from their grasp.
McMullen was also among the top-10 wicket-takers at the Cricket World Cup and looms as an exciting prospect to lead Scotland onto grander stages for many years to come.
5: Nicholas Pooran (West Indies) - 350
The linchpin of the West Indies’ white-ball batting line-up stepped up with important runs and the most sixes at the tournament (16) even as the former powerhouse’s campaign crumbled.
Pooran notched just his second century in the format against Nepal then later added an undefeated 104 against Netherlands even as West Indies qualification hopes started to fade.
6: Shai Hope (West Indies) - 341
The West Indies skipper rose to the occasion with a strong start to the tournament but his efforts with the bat were ultimately in vain among a dismal campaign.
Hope scored his 15th ODI ton in the match against Nepal to now have the fourth-most centuries in the format for West Indies, and added two fifties to finish the tournament with an average 56.83.
7: Vikramjit Singh (Netherlands) - 326
The young gun was a steady contributor for Netherlands and reached a first ODI century against Oman, while 88 against Zimbabwe in the tournament opener set up his campaign.
The 20-year-old also proved to be a capable seamer and claimed six scalps as Netherlands booked their ticket to India for the Cricket World Cup.
8: Sikandar Raza (Zimbabwe) - 325
The all-rounder was again one of the stars of an international tournament, while also being one of the most reliable batters with a lowest score of 31 in seven innings.
While Raza’s efforts were not quite enough to propel Zimbabwe into the Cricket World Cup, his blistering century against eventual qualifiers Netherlands is now the fastest in his side’s ODI history.
9: Ayaan Khan (Oman) - 315
The left-hander broke through for a maiden ODI century with 105* against Netherlands and was a consistent contributor throughout with a lowest score of 21 in seven innings.
Aayan averaged 52.5 across the tournament as Oman progressed to the Super Six stage with wins over Ireland and the UAE.
10: Scott Edwards (Netherlands) - 314
The Netherlands captain led the way for the eventual Cricket World Cup qualifiers with four half-centuries in Zimbabwe.
Edwards was particularly influential as Netherlands chased ominous targets against the hosts in the tournament opener and later in the Super Over defeat of the West Indies, to play a crucial role in their progress to the main event in India.