Crunch Time For Chevrons
One of the two slots for next year’s International Cricket Council Cricket World Cup will be decided at Harare Sports Club Wednesday when West Indies face Scotland.
West Indies, who looked like they would miss out on qualification roared back into contention when they outfoxed Zimbabwe by four wickets at the same venue on Monday. A win for the Chevrons would have seen them book a ticket to England but instead the host nation had to hold onto the champagne bottles as the Windies rose to the top of the table.
The Jason Holder-led Calypso Kings were, before defeating the Chevrons, in danger of missing out on qualification after their loss to Afghanistan in their first Super Six match last Thursday. With Ireland also victorious over Scotland on Sunday, the situation is looking much better for the two-time World Cup winners.
West Indies just need a win over Scotland to guarantee their qualification as a victory moves them to eight points. Scotland, on the other hand, are also still in the running for a place in the World Cup. The Scots have to overcome the Windies, move to seven points to seal one of the spots.
Even if Windies lose to Scotland, the two teams can still go to England if United Arab Emirates shock Zimbabwe at Harare Sports Club tomorrow. Should the unthinkable happen Zimbabwe would be stuck on five points and miss out on the World Cup.
Speaking after his side’s victory over Zimbabwe, Stuart Law, the West Indies coach is mindful of the fact that they cannot underestimate their opponents in light of hectic schedule in the tournament. The Windies only had Tuesday to rest prior to their clash with Scotland Wednesday.
“We can’t take anyone lightly in this competition. I think everyone sees that it’s been brutal the schedule, we have a game today, we have a day off tomorrow and we play the next day,’’ Law said.
The former Australian batsman indicated that they were going to rejoice their win over Zimbabwe with firm focus on the challenge posed by the Scots who have lots of experience in their ranks.
“We have to put this to bed quickly, celebrate what we have achieved today (Monday) but also put into account, in our minds what Scotland have in store for us. They have some good cricketers in their ranks, plenty of experience, we need to turn up on Wednesday full of energy and full of fire,’’ he said.
West Indies have the big-hitting Christopher Gayle together with Evan Lewis, Shai Hope, Marlon Samuels and Rovman Powell who should play a big role for them with the bat. Skipper Holder bowled brilliantly against Zimbabwe. Fellow seamers Kemar Roach and Keemo Paul also had success against the Chevrons.
For Scotland, captain Kyle Coetzer, Matthew Cross, Calum MacLeod, Richard Berrington have stood out with bat in hand. Their bowling attack of Safyaan Sharif, Brad Wheal, Tom Sole, Michael Leask as well as Mark Watt has bowled brilliantly so far in the tournament and is capable of troubling the Windies batsmen.