World Cup 2023 Qualifiers Super Six, Match 3: Shambolic West Indies knocked out World Cup 2023 race following 7-wicket defeat to Scotland

West Indies, Scotland
The picture that tells the story of West Indies’ downfall. (Pic: Twitter)

West Indies cricket hit a new low on Saturday as they were knocked out of the World Cup 2023 race following a seven-wicket hammering at the hands of Scotland in match three of the Super Six round of the World Cup 2023 Qualifiers.

The 2023 men’s World Cup in India will thus be the first edition to not feature the West Indies, who won the first two editions of the competition in 1975 and 1979.

Sent into bat after losing the toss at the Harare Sports Club, West Indies came up with yet another chaotic performance to be bowled out for 181 in 43.5 overs. Johnson Charles was out for a duck, chasing a wide delivery from Brandon McMullen (3/32).

The Windies kept losing wickets after that and had lost half their side for 60 by the 13th over. Shamarh Brooks also perished without scoring to McMullen, caught at first slip as he too went after a wide delivery. McMullen had his third when Brandon King (22) chipped one back to the bowler.

Next, Chris Sole sent Kyle Mayers’ (5) off-stump cartwheeling, while Shai Hope was caught behind off Safyaan Sharif for 13. The West Indies captain attempted to open the face of the bat to a short-of-a-length delivery, but only managed an edge.

Nicholas Pooran (21) was the next to go. He tried to smash a tossed-up delivery from Mark Watt (2/25) but sliced a catch to deep midwicket. Jason Holder (45 off 79) and Romario Shepherd (36 off 43) featured in a defiant 77-run stand for the seventh wicket to give the West Indies innings some respectability.

Both the set batters, however, fell within a few deliveries of each other. Shepherd perished to a one-handed blinder by Sharif at point as he attempted to cut Watt. Holder was then trapped lbw by a smart delivery from Chris Greaves that skidded through and beat the batter.

Sole and Greaves took the last two West Indies wickets of Kevin Sinclair (10) and Alzarri Joseph (6) respectively as the batting side folded up with more than six overs remaining.

Cross, McMullen shine in chase as Scotland create history

Defending a low total, Holder gave West Indies early hope as Christopher McBride fell on the first ball. He flicked a low full-toss straight to midwicket. McMullen (69 off 106) and Matthew Cross (74* off 107), however, put Scotland on top, adding 125 runs for the second wicket. Both of them batted with defiance as West Indies hurtled towards another embarrassing defeat.

McMullen followed up with bowling heroics with a fine half-century to put Scotland on course for their first win over West Indies. He struck eight fours and a six before being caught at long-on off Shepherd’s bowling.

Cross and George Munsey (18) then added a valuable 37 for the third wicket to take Scotland closer to the finish line. The stand ended when Munsey holed out to deep point, going for a reverse sweep off Akeal Hosein.

Cross hit the winning runs, pulling Shepherd for a four and knocking two-time champions West Indies out of the World Cup 2023 race.

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