Tuesday Mar 13, 2018
HARARE: Big-hitting opener Evin Lewis was the star as the West Indies made it four straight wins at World Cup qualifying by beating the Netherlands in Harare on Monday, while Ireland joined them in the Super Six stage.
Lewis hit 84 as the two-time World Cup winners racked up 309-6 from 48 overs in a weather-affected match, with the rain coming for a second time with the Dutch well adrift on 167-6.
That left Jason Holder´s Windies top of Group A, with Ireland progressing thanks to a 226-run thrashing of the United Arab Emirates.
Paul Stirling crashed a blistering 126 as the Irish posted 313-6 from only 44 overs, before skittling out the UAE for just 91.
William Porterfield´s men take two points through to the next round as the six remaining sides prepare to battle it out for the last two spots at next year´s tournament in England and Wales.
Afghanistan, one of the pre-tournament favourites, still have a slim chance of reaching a second successive World Cup, after Nepal beat Hong Kong by five wickets to send the Afghans through from Group B on net run rate.
The West Indies were already through to the next round, but played their strongest side against the Netherlands.
Chris Gayle was at his very best early on as the 38-year-old smashed five sixes in a 31-ball 46 before holing out off Paul van Meekeren.
Lewis continued where his opening partner had left off, before Marlon Samuels made a timely return to form with an unbeaten 73, while Rovman Powell crashed a quickfire 52 after making his maiden ODI hundred on Saturday.
The Netherlands were always behind the rate, and although key player Ryan ten Doeschate was still at the crease on 67 when the game was stopped, three earlier run outs had ended any chance of victory.
Zimbabwe and Scotland will start the Super Six round with three points apiece, after a thrilling tie to close out Group B in Bulawayo.
Needing two runs from seven balls with two wickets in hand to chase down 211, the Scots lost two batsmen in as many legitimate deliveries, with a wide in between ensuring a tie.
"Unbelievable game of cricket, in the end it went all the way to the death. Pretty exciting stuff," said Scotland all-rounder Richie Berrington.
"Obviously, from our point of view it is disappointing to get in that position, so close and not get over the line, obviously though we will take a point from it."
A five-wicket haul from Shafyaan Sharif and Michael Leask´s 4-37 restricted the hosts to 210 all out, before Berrington´s 47 took Scotland to 145-4.
But a clutter of wickets left the match delicately poised, and after Tendai Chatara had dismissed Mark Watt with the final ball of the penultimate over, Blessing Muzarabani bowled a wide before having number 11 Brad Wheal caught behind by Brendan Taylor.