Sikandar Raza and Sean Williams of Zimbabwe fist bump between overs during the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifier Zimbabwe 2023 Super 6 match between Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka
Cricket World Cup

Sizzling Zimbabwe veteran leads run-scorers at Cricket World Cup Qualifier

CWC23 Qualifier

By Martin Pegan

Hit For Six!

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.

Video CWC23 Qualifier 27 Jun 23
Sean Williams blazes incredible 174 for hosts Zimbabwe | CWC23 Qualifier
Zimbabwe batter Sean Williams plundered a huge century to set up a comprehensive victory over the USA at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023

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.

Video CWC23 Qualifier 07 Jul 23
Pathum Nissanka makes it back-to-back hundreds for Sri Lanka | CWC23 Qualifier
Sri Lanka opener Pathum Nissanka continued his hot-streak with a century against West Indies at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023

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.

Video CWC23 Qualifier 27 Jun 23
Dimuth Karunaratne in 'prime form' after breakthrough ODI ton | CWC23 Qualifier
Opener Dimuth Karunaratne is confident in his own form while guiding Sri Lanka to an impressive start at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023

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.

Video CWC23 Qualifier 06 Jul 23
Brandon McMullen century puts one foot in World Cup for Scotland | CWC23 Qualifier
Brandon McMullen smashed a stunning century for Scotland against Netherlands at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023

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.

Video CWC23 Qualifier 24 Jun 23
Nicholas Pooran making most of second chance after injury scare for West Indies | CWC23 Qualifier
Nicholas Pooran reveals how he has overcome serious injury to find form for the West Indies at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023

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.

Video CWC23 Qualifier 22 Jun 23
Captain Shai Hope out to build next dominant West Indies team | CWC23 Qualifier
West Indies ODI wonder Shai Hope is aiming to lead the former champions back to the top starting at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023

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.

Video CWC23 Qualifier 03 Jul 23
Vikramjit Singh dazzles with maiden ODI ton against Oman | CWC23 Qualifier

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. 

Video CWC23 Qualifier 20 Jun 23
Raza slams Zimbabwe's fastest-ever ODI ton | CWC23 Qualifier
Sikandar Raza slammed Zimbabwe's fastest ODI ton in the match against Netherlands.

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.

Video CWC23 Qualifier 19 Jun 23
Oman stun Ireland in record run-chase | CWC23 Qualifier
Highlights of Oman's brilliant win over Ireland in Bulawayo at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifier.

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.

Video CWC23 Qualifier 27 Jun 23
Netherlands and West Indies serve up ODI classic | CWC23 Qualifier
Match highlights of the Netherlands and West Indies clash at the ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifier 2023 that was packed with brilliant batting and a record-breaking Super Over


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