After a thrilling two-wicket victory against Scotland in Aberdeen, the United States of America gave their chances of qualifying for the Cricket World Cup a big boost.
Jaskaran Malhotra seized over at Mannofield Park when he needed 22 runs off the final nine deliveries, keeping the strike crucially for the final over to secure victory. Jessy Singh, Malhotra’s partner, outran Safyaan Sharif in a race for a winning single off the penultimate ball because the Scottish quick short throw wasn’t in time to run Singh out.
With the victory, the Americans surpass the UAE for third place in League 2 and a position in the Cricket World Cup Qualifier for India 2023 that will take place the following year.
In the Aberdeen tri-series match against the UAE, Monank Patel’s team successfully earned points by winning by one wicket in the final over. Two victories and a no-result gave the team five points overall, with the washout representing UAE’s lone point on the trip.
The Scots’ 133 not out from 144 balls against the USA may have been in vain, but the right-incredible hander’s run of form was the driving force behind three triumphs on the home leg, making them the odds-on favourites to win the series.
In the tri-series, MacLeod scored 76 and 77 against UAE, respectively, while his 117 versus USA in the first matchup helped the hosts chase down 296.
Even though Oman is in first place and has played every one of the competition’s 36 games, the Scots are four points behind them. Richie Berrington’s team would certainly finish first in the group with just three victories in their last eight games.
Namibia (fifth, 18 points) has a 10- and 8-match lead over the USA and UAE, respectively, and benefits from numerous home series as they make a late push. The USA and UAE are now vying for third place. Although they have time on their side, Nepal (sixth, 17 points) has to get going quickly under new coach Manoj Prabhakar.
The top three teams from League 2 advance automatically to the Cricket World Cup Qualifier in Zimbabwe the following year, where they will play the bottom five teams from the Super League.
The top four teams in League 2 are still in the running, but they must first advance through a six-team playoff in which the losers of each Challenge League division join them.
Earlier this week, Jersey secured their place in the playoffs by defeating Uganda and Hong Kong to win Challenge League Group A. As the teams play their final five games in Malaysia later this year, Canada is leading the other group.
(Inputs from IANS)