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Scotland 'denied chance to make scene at World Cup'

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World Cup Qualifier Super Sixes, Harare Sports Club:
West Indies 198 (48.4 overs): Lewis 66, Samuels 51; Sharif 3-27, Wheal 3-34
Scotland 125-5 (35.2 overs): Berrington 33, Munsey 32no; Roach 2-20, Nurse 2-35
West Indies win by five runs (DLS method)

Scotland captain Kyle Coetzer has criticised cricket’s ruling body after his players were denied the chance to “make a scene” and reach the World Cup.

Victory over West Indies in their final qualifier would have seen them through.

However, the Scots lost by five runs on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method, and West Indies qualified instead for the 2019 event in England and Wales.

“It wasn’t to be and it’s hard to comprehend that there’s only going to be a 10-team World Cup,” Coetzer said.

Zimbabwe will join West Indies, the two-time champions, in qualifying should they beat United Arab Emirates on Thursday.

However, no other associate nation will be there after the tournament was controversially cut from 14 teams by the International Cricket Council (ICC).

A disconsolate Coetzer says “pretty much the whole world” was supporting Scotland in their quest to reach their fourth World Cup after appearing in the 1999, 2007 and 2015 tournaments.

But rain halted their pursuit of 199 on 125-5 in the 36th over.

“There is a clear reason why everyone was behind us: because they wanted a point to be proved,” Coetzer said.

“We wanted to make a scene and get to the World Cup. That was for what we feel was for the good of the game and we were within five runs.

“We have guys in the top wicket-takers and top run-scorers which just shows we are mixing with ‘full member nations’, as they’re called.

“Five runs and something pretty important could have happened there.”

‘You are playing with people’s livelihoods’

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Coetzer’s frustration was compounded by the controversial decision to give top scorer Richie Berrington out lbw for 33 to a ball that replays appeared to show was heading down the leg side.

Scotland, who were 105-4 at the time, could not challenge the decision as the Umpire Decision Review System (DRS) is not being used for the tournament in Zimbabwe.

“The lbw decision is not sitting very well with us,” said Coetzer, who was the first Scottish batsman to fall as the chase wobbled on 12-2 and then 25-3. “It has cost us, and it’s cost us a lot of money as well.

“They won the game fair and square in the end, but a competition like this… DRS? You’re playing with people’s livelihoods and there’s a lot of money at stake and it proved costly today.

“In a competition like this it comes down to a big game like that. We are feeling pretty rough right now. There’s a lot of emotion going round.”

Scotland had come through the four-match group phase unbeaten, opening with a win over Afghanistan and closing with a dramatic tie against Zimbabwe.

The Super Sixes stage began with victory against United Arab Emirates but a damaging defeat by Ireland meant the encounter with the West Indies was a must-win game.

Super Six table
West Indies (Q) 5 4 1 0 +0.472 8
Zimbabwe 4 2 1 1 +0.520 5
Scotland 5 2 2 1 +0.243 5
Ireland 4 2 2 0 +0.474 4
Afghanistan 4 2 2 0 +0.343 4
UAE 4 0 4 0 -2.381 0

How the Scotland players reacted

Matt Cross on Twitter
Scottish batsman Calum MacLeod on Twitter
Michael Leask on Twitter

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BBC Sport – Cricket