Scotland Team

Scotland secure Qualifier spot as Namibia make League 2 push

Scotland Team

Scotland are now guaranteed a top-three finish after an emphatic eight-wicket win over Nepal at the United Ground in Windhoek, Namibia, moving them to a tally of 46 points from 32 matches.

The Scots passed an Oman side (44 points) who have already completed their 36-match campaign, with captain Richie Berrington successfully leading the side after the strong work of Kyle Coetzer earlier in the competition.

Coetzer remains a key figure in the top order alongside his skipper, and contributions across the wider playing group have highlighted the collective strength in the playing group. Brandon McMullen and Chris McBride have made strong early impressions after their introduction, while left-arm orthodox spinners Mark Watt and Hamza Tahir have led the bowling brigade with 41 and 38 wickets respectively. Quicks Chris Sole, Gavin Main and Safyaan Sharif meanwhile all boast over 20 wickets each.

As Oman wait to see if their tally is enough for a top three finish, Namibia meanwhile have made a competition push, making the most of local knowledge in back-to-back home tri-series. Gerhard Erasmus' men have won 11 of their last 13 matches, only losing once to Scotland and USA each, and also enjoying a strong tri-series in Papua New Guinea back in September.

Erasmus has led from the front, making 1166 runs at an average of 48.58 in the competition, though the side's long batting line-up and dearth of all-rounders has meant a number of individuals have enjoyed the limelight.

Once a gritty opening batter in long-form cricket and now a spin-bowling all-rounder, Pikky Ya France at No.9 was the hero in an unlikely victory over strong Scots to continue their push. After taking 1/45 with the ball, Ya France walked out to join Jan Nicol Loftie-Eaton at 111/7 in Namibia's chase of 209, before hitting seven fours and a six in a knock of 52* from just 55 balls to help his side to victory.

A win in their next match over Nepal moved Namibia past USA into the top three, and their 30-match tally of 37 points puts them in a prime position to join the Scots at the Qualifier.

USA's 35-point tally from their 36 matches meanwhile rules them out of finishing in the top three, and Monank Patel's men now must go through a Qualifier Play-off to keep their Cricket World Cup dreams alive. Joining them will be Papua New Guinea, who have struggled for runs and collected just two victories in the competition.

Nepal (6th, 18 points) and UAE (5th, 27 points) are the other two teams in the bottom four, and face an uphill battle to climb into a top-three spot.

The 10-team Cricket World Cup Qualifier will be played out in Zimbabwe from June 18 to July 9, with the top three of League 2 joined in the competition by the bottom five finishers of the ODI Super League, and two teams from the Qualifier Play-off.