CWC Qualifier 2023: Zimbabwe’s WC Dreams Crushed, Scotland Still In Contention. Zimbabwe’s batsmen made a brave effort to recover from the early loss of wickets during the chase but fell short by 31 runs of their target of 235 runs. Despite Ryan Burl’s impressive innings of 80 runs, he couldn’t guide his team to victory despite staying at the crease for a long time.
The Scottish bowlers, led by Chris Sole, posed a strong challenge and caused significant damage, particularly by dismissing key players Craig Ervine, Sean Williams, and Joylord Gumbie. Despite the efforts of Sikandar Raza, Ryan Burl, and Wessly Madhevere to strengthen the chase, Zimbabwe struggled due to consistent wicket-taking by the opposition. As a result, Zimbabwe ended up on the losing side of another exciting match.
Scotland batted first and scored 234 runs without any player reaching a half-century. Michael Leask, a lower middle-order batsman, was the team’s top scorer, while Matthew Cross contributed 38 runs. Although several batsmen made contributions, none of them managed to score big.
In Zimbabwe’s batting, none of the top four batters managed to score more than 15 runs as Sole bowled some amazing swinging deliveries that caused trouble. Scotland probably had a little heart attack when Raza was dropped on 6 by Chris Greaves. But the off-spinner made up for it by dismissing Raza in his first over, and Raza had made 34 runs by then.
Ryan Burl was the standout performer for the hosts, giving them hope. He and Madhevere formed a partnership of 73 runs for the 6th wicket. Zimbabwe had a difficult start at 37/4, but some valuable contributions kept them in the game. However, Michael Leask made a crucial breakthrough by dismissing Burl, which turned out to be the decisive moment. The final wicket fell after adding only 6 runs, reaching a total of 203.
At present, Scotland and Netherlands remain the sole contenders, alongside Sri Lanka, for securing a spot in the upcoming tournament in India. Zimbabwe, with 6 points in the Super Six stage, lags in terms of net run rate when compared to the other teams in contention.