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West Indies miss out on World Cup for first time after Scotland loss

The West Indies failed to qualify for the Cricket World Cup for the first time as the two-time champions slumped to a seven-wicket thumping by Scotland at the qualifying event on Saturday.

The Caribbean side, needing a win to keep their slim qualification hopes alive, were bowled out for 181 in their 50 overs before Scotland chased down the target with 6.3 overs to spare in Harare.

Shai Hope’s men have zero points with only two matches remaining in the Super Six stage in Zimbabwe after previous defeats by the hosts and the Netherlands.

“There is not one thing I can put my finger on. We let ourselves down in the entire tournament,” said captain Hope.

“The preparation needs to be better. We cannot come here and expect to be an elite team without preparation.

“Cannot expect to wake up one morning and be a great team.”

The global one-day showpiece, which will be held in India from October 5 until November 19, will be notable for the absence of one of the sport’s traditional powerhouses.

Scotland exacted revenge for an agonising and controversial loss by the West Indies at the previous World Cup Qualifier in 2018 which saw them miss out on the main tournament with a first one-day international win over their opponents.

“A really important win. We know the importance of every game,” said Scottish skipper Richie Berrington. “Playing for the World Cup is as big as it gets. The boys were outstanding.”

They now sit just two points behind Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka, with the top two to qualify for the 10-team event, ahead of their final two games against Zimbabwe on Tuesday and the Dutch two days later.

“Should be another great game (against Zimbabwe). All to play for still,” added Berrington. “Two important points on the line, so should be a good test against them at home in Bulawayo.”

Scotland’s fast start

The damage was done early on by the Scottish seam bowlers as they reduced the Windies to 81-6 after winning the toss and electing to field first.

Young all-rounder Brandon McMullen dismissed the West Indies top three of Brandon King, Johnson Charles and Shamarh Brooks and finished with 3-32 from nine overs.

Scotland’s spinners kept the squeeze on despite a brief fightback from Jason Holder and Romario Shepherd.

Shepherd was brilliantly caught by Safyaan Sharif off the bowling of Mark Watt for 36 and Holder was trapped lbw by Chris Greaves three balls later, as the Windies lost their last four wickets for 23 runs.

Holder sent back Scotland opener Christopher McBride from the very first delivery of the Scots’ innings to give his team hope.

But a 125-run partnership for the second wicket between McMullen and Matthew Cross put Scotland firmly on course for victory.

McMullen holed out off Shepherd for 69 but the game was already all but won.

Left-arm spinner Akeal Hosein removed George Munsey with 20 required, leaving it up to Cross to guide Scotland home with an unbeaten 74 from 107 balls.

The West Indies had previously played at every World Cup, winning the first two editions in 1975 and 1979.