Scotland, UAE grab final 2015 World Cup berths
(Reuters) – Scotland pipped Kenya to secure their third World Cup appearance on Thursday while United Arab Emirates (UAE) also booked their ticket for next year’s marquee 50-over tournament in Australia and New Zealand.
On the final day of the Super Sixes in Christchurch, Rob Taylor shrugged off his poor form and, batting at number eight, blasted 46 unbeaten runs off 37 balls to help Scotland reach the 261-run victory target with three balls to spare.
Opting to bat first, Kenya rode Alex Obanda’s 89 off 101 balls to post a competitive 260 before being all out on the last ball of the 50th over.
Matty Cross (55) and captain Preston Mommsen (78) shone with the bat for Scotland but it was Taylor’s late assault that earned them a thrilling three-wicket victory and their first World Cup appearance since 2007.
“It is absolutely awesome, we have worked really hard to get to this position and to actually get over the line is unbelievable. The feeling is immense,” Mommsen said.
At Rangiora, UAE beat Namibia by 36 runs to secure their second World Cup appearance, first since 1996.
“You can’t describe in words the feeling,” UAE captain Khurram Khan said. “I’ve been playing for UAE since 2001 and it is an amazing feeling to help my team to qualify.
“It’s been very, very hard to make it this far. Most of us are part-time cricketers – we are not professionals. This is for everyone who trusted us and believed in us,” he said.
Having decided to bat first, none of the UAE batsmen could reach fifty but they still put up 263 before folding in the final over.
Amjad Javed (3-35) was the pick of the UAE bowlers who first denied Namibia a flying start and claimed wickets at crucial times to restrict their opponents to 227 for nine.
Scotland and UAE will now play the tournament final at Bert Sutcliffe Oval on Saturday.
The winner of the contest will join England, Australia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, New Zealand and Afghanistan in Group A while the loser will be clubbed in Group B alongwith South Africa, India, Pakistan, West Indies, Zimbabwe and Ireland.