CRICKET WORLD CUP QUALIFIER: Take a Bow, Michael Leask! All-Rounder Powers Scotland to Victory Against Ireland; As Oman Defeat UAE


Michael Leask 's aggressive knock of 91 off 61 deliveries was a pivotal display of brilliant cricket action as Scotland edged Ireland by one wicket in a thrilling [Group B] Cricket World Cup Qualifier encounter at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.

ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifier Scotland beat Ireland by 1 wicket
Pic - ESPNCricInfo

The exhilarating match went down to the very last ball, as Leask bottom-edged one to the boundary off the bowling of Ireland’s Mark Adair; the latter who had bowled remarkably well after being tasked to defend eight runs from the last six balls of the game.

Ireland’s hopes of qualification skate on thin ice as they have suffered their second defeat in the Qualifier following their shock loss to Oman.

Ireland batted first, and they found themselves in all sorts of trouble early in the morning session.

They lost wickets in clusters and were wrapped up in a serious quandary at 33-4 after 8.2 overs. Brendan McMullen was instrumental as he got the big wickets of Paul Stirling and Andy Balbirne – with the pair not troubling the scorers.

McMullen also got the prized wicket of Harry Tector for 6 as the Scots were firmly in control.

The much-needed recovery act was led by a century stand between George Dockrell and Curtis Campher, as they valiantly steadied the Irish ship.

Dockrell got his second 50+ score before he was bowled by man of the moment McMullen for 69. Campher went a step further as he got his maiden One Day International hundred. Campher holed out in the deep at 120 but had enough runs to help Ireland post a competitive total.

Scotland had a relatively calm start to their chase before a mini-collapse ensued, and were left reeling at a precarious 92-4.

When Chris Greaves was the seventh wicket to fall with only 152 on the board, Ireland had the match on lock.

However Michael Leask and Mark Watt had other ideas as they combined for an 82-run stand to keep the match alive. When Watt eventually departed five short of his half century, Leask continued the battle as Scotland were keen on securing victory.

Leask soldiered on with some impressive striking which culminated to a thrilling final over in which Scotland managed to sneak through with a narrow but supremely-important victory.

Oman vs UAE

In the other Group B game at Bulawayo Athletic Club, twin fifties from Mohammad Nadeem (50) and Shoaib Khan (52) were pivotal as Oman beat the United Arab Emirates by five wickets with 24 balls remaining.

ICC Men's Cricket World Cup Qualifier Oman beat UAE
Pic - ESPNcricinfo

Oman followed up the impressive performance over Ireland a few days ago with another solid all-round performance over the UAE today.

The chase was characterized with a few wobbles, but Oman were comfortable throughout, controlling the game with assured certainty and determination.

The result gives Oman a huge psychological boost as they face fellow super-six contenders Sri Lanka in another Group B match.

As for the UAE, they will need to do some soul-searching before taking on Scotland, as their Cricket Word Cup dream is quickly fizzling out. The same goes for Ireland as well.

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