Jason Holder and co. will board the flight to England for 2019 World Cup    Getty Images
Jason Holder and co. will board the flight to England for 2019 World Cup Getty Images

In a must-win encounter for both sides to qualify for 2019 World Cup, West Indies got the better of Scotland courtesy the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern method, after rain washed out the match 88 balls early. Chasing a paltry 199, Scotland fell 5 short of the par score at the time of rain interruption. With the victory, Jason Holder and co. will board the flight to England for 2019’s biggest cricketing event. The two-time world champions were made to fight hard throughout the tournament, and will breathe a sigh of relief by progressing to the big league once again.

Electing to bowl, Scotland opted to bowl: it is always advised to bat second when rain is expected to play a part. Their bowlers stepped up and rattled the strong West Indies line-up. Safyaan Sharif got Chris Gayle with the first ball of the match and Shai Hope in his second over, reducing West Indies to 2 for 2.

Evin Lewis (66) and Marlon Samuels (51) added 121, but that was hardly the end of the drama. Once the pair was back in the hut, Scotland bounced back, removing the last 8 wickets for 75. Carlos Brathwaite and Rovman Powell’s brief cameos weren’t enough to stretch the total significantly.

From Scotland’s point of view, their bowlers were disciplined and triggered regular breakthroughs. Sharif (3 for 27) and Bradley Wheal (3 for 34) shared the spoils.

Scotland had a poor start as well, being reduced to 25 for 3, and later 67 for 4. Holder and Kemar Roach’s early strikes showed that West Indies meant business. Their intensity was palpable, and bore effective results. Michael Jones and Calum MacLeod got starts before perishing. The innings was given a push courtesy Richie Berrington and George Munsey.

Scotland do a South Africa

However, Scotland will blame their ill fortune for an unceremonious exit. Before the rain interruption, Berrington was wrongly adjudged lbw off Ashley Nurse, which tilted the DLS par score to West Indies’ favour. With no DRS involved despite the significance of the tournament, Scotland paid the price for no fault of their own. The lack of a reserve day, even for the Super Sixes, also made little sense.

Scotland’s fortunes have betrayed them earlier as well. In their last fixture versus Ireland, an Andrew Balbirnie lbw decision went against them; and he went onto score a match-winning hundred, and Ireland beat Scotland. Phew!

Brief scores

West Indies 198 in 48.4 overs (Evin Lewis 66, Marlon Samuels 54, Carlos Brathwaite 24; Safyaan Sharif 3 for 27, Bradley Wheal 3 for 34) beat Scotland 125 for 5 in 35.2 overs (Calum MacLeod 21, Richie Berrington 33, George Munsey 32*; Kemar Roach 2 for 20, Ashley Nurse 2 for 35) by 5 runs (DLS method).

Man of the Match: Safyaan Sharif.