Bulawayo: Sri Lanka defeated Scotland by 82 runs Tuesday in Bulawayo to advance to the Super Six stage of the ICC Cricket World Cup qualifiers with maximum points.
Opener Pathum Nissanka made 75 and Charith Asalanka scored 63 as Sri Lanka were bowled out for 245, with Scotland spinners Chris Greaves (4-32) and Mark Watt (3-52) combining for seven wickets.
Scotland slid to 73-5 in reply and were eventually dismissed for just 163 after two run outs in the same over sealed their fate despite an enterprising 56 not out from Greaves.
Group B winners
Sri Lanka, the 1996 champions, go through as winners of Group B and will start on four points in the next round ahead of matches against the Netherlands, Zimbabwe and the West Indies.
Scotland carry over two points following Sunday’s win over Oman, the third team to qualify from the section.
Ireland win big
In the other match of the day, Ireland picked up a first win of the campaign with a 138-run success against the UAE, Paul Stirling hitting form with a blistering 162.
Paul Stirling was the standout performer, making 162 from just 134 deliveries, smashing 15 fours and eight sixes to set up a mammoth 349 for four from 50 overs.
He put on 184 with skipper Andy Balbirnie, who made a comparatively sedate 66 from 88 balls before he was caught behind off Ali Naseer to leave Ireland on 225 for two in the 39th over.
That brought Harry Tector to the crease and the run-rate ramped up as he and Stirling put on 57 in just 6.4 overs.
Sanchit Sharma (3/46), the pick of the UAE bowlers, finally removed Stirling with five overs remaining, but Tector started teeing off, eventually falling for a 33-ball 57 in the penultimate over.
The Netherlands showed on Monday that big chases are very possible in Zimbabwe, and Muhammad Waseem looked to give the UAE the perfect start with a quickfire 45 from just 32 balls.
An opening partnership of 58 was broken when Waseem was run out, straying out of his crease after wearing one on the gloves, with Balbirnie showing quick thinking to get him.
Aryansh Sharma (18) and Vriitya Aravind (10) then followed before Ethan D’Souza (3) became a second victim for Josh Little (2/30) to leave the UAE on 85 for four.
Dockrell completes the job
Basil Hameed hit three sixes on his way to a counter-attacking 39, adding 70 with Sanchit for the seventh wicket to get UAE to 179 for seven.
He was caught off the bowling of George Dockrell, while Curtis Campher ended Sanchit’s resistance on 44, trapping Junaid Siddique leg before in the same over.
It was left to Dockrell to complete the job, having Karthik Meiyappan caught for six as the UAE were bowled out for 211 with 11 overs still to bowl.
Super Six kicks off on Thursday
With the group stages now complete, there is a day off before the Super Six gets underway, Zimbabwe looking to build on their perfect campaign so far.
The host nation head to Bulawayo where they will take on surprise package Oman at the Queens Sports Club.
With four points already under their belts, Zimbabwe can boost their hopes of qualification for the main event with a win, while Oman will need a victory to stay in contention.
That is the day’s only game, with Friday then seeing the start of the play-offs when Ireland take on the USA, with the second Super Six match pitting the Netherlands against unbeaten Sri Lanka.
Fixtures for the Super Six Stage
June 29: Zimbabwe v Oman — Queen’s Sports Club, Bulawayo
June 30: Sri Lanka v Netherlands — Queen’s Sports Club, Bulawayo
July 1: Scotland v West Indies — Harare Sports Club
July 2: Zimbabwe v Sri Lanka — Queen’s Sports Club, Bulawayo
July 3: Netherlands v Oman — Harare Sports Club
July 4: Zimbabwe v Scotland — Queen’s Sports Club, Bulawayo
July 5: West Indies v Oman — Harare Sports Club
July 6: Scotland v Netherlands — Queen’s Sports Club, Bulawayo
July 7: Sri Lanka v West Indies — Harare Sports Club
July 9: Final — Harare Sports Club