West Indies to miss World Cup for first time as Scotland claim historic win
Two-time champions the West Indies will be absent from the men’s Cricket World Cup for the first time in their history after suffering a seven-wicket qualifying defeat to a Brandon McMullen-inspired Scotland.
The Windies, winners of the first two editions in 1975 and 1979, saw their dwindling hopes of making this year’s tournament in India ended after crashing to a third successive qualifying defeat.
Scotland, in contrast, remain on course to reach their fourth World Cup after claiming their first-ever ODI victory over the West Indies in emphatic fashion in Harare.
After being sent in to bat in their opening match of the Super Six stage, Shai Hope’s side were bowled out for 181 in 43.5 overs with only middle-order duo Jason Holder (45) and Romario Shepherd (36) standing firm during a 77-run partnership.
Scotland’s seven-strong bowling attack shared the wickets around, with all-rounder McMullen leading the way with figures of three for 32, while Chris Sole, Mark Watt and Chris Greaves each picked up two scalps apiece.
Scotland could hardly have had a worse start to their reply, losing Chris McBride first ball, but that was as good as it got for the Windies as second-wicket duo Matthew Cross and McMullen took the game away from them.
They put on a stand of 125 in just under 30 overs before finally being parted when McMullen, having scored 69, pulled Shepherd to Alzarri Joseph at long on.
George Munsey also fell but the damage had been done and Cross (74 not out) guided Scotland to a famous victory alongside captain Richie Berrington.
Scotland will now look to secure a World Cup berth in their final two qualifiers against Zimbabwe and the Netherlands, but Saturday’s result means this autumn’s tournament will be missing one of the sport’s most famous names with the West Indies now out of contention.
Captain Hope said: “To be honest, there is not one thing I can put my finger on. We let ourselves down in the entire tournament. We have to look at the way we start our innings definitely.
“We knew it would be challenging (against Scotland). They played really well. Credit must be given to them.”
He added: “The preparation needs to be better. We cannot come here and expect to be an elite team without preparation.
“We cannot expect to wake up one morning and be a great team. We know there are two more games left, we need to find a way to bounce back.
“Lots to look forward to and we all have to go one way – that is up.”