Wednesday, June 28, 2023

West Indies could miss the first ODI World Cup in the ICC World Cup 2023 qualifiers

 Zimbabwe and previous heroes Sri Lanka end up in a great situation to get the last two qualifying billets during the current year's ODI World Cup, while the West Indies, who have won the prize two times, gaze at the conceivable shame of missing the competition interestingly.

Having won in every one of the four gathering matches, Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka enter the urgent Very Six phase of the qualifiers with four focuses each, continuing the prizes acquired from overcoming the groups that likewise advanced from the underlying round.

With their noteworthy batting exhibitions, including a public record-breaking score of 408-6 against the USA, Zimbabwe can move toward the impending coordinates with certainty, anticipating that the runs should continue to stream as the stakes elevate from Thursday.

Sean Williams, who scored 174 in Monday's 304-run rout of the USA, said, "We have found our momentum and we are looking forward to carrying it."

With an impressive 390 runs, Williams clearly leads the charts as the highest run scorer. He displayed his strength with an unbeaten hundred years against Nepal and followed it up with a strong thump of 91 against the Netherlands.

Notwithstanding Williams, both Craig Ervine and Sikandar Raza accomplished astounding hundreds of years. The bowling attack, led by left-arm fast bowler Richard Ngarava, was strengthened by Raza's off-spin skills, which not only contributed to his batting prowess but also led to eight wickets.

For their impending matches against Oman, Sri Lanka, and Scotland, Zimbabwe will be moving their base from Harare to Bulawayo. The home team will unquestionably benefit from the unwavering support of their fans, despite the change in venue.

Williams asserted, "It's a different venue, and everything about it is different." However, "having that crowd behind us is always like having a 12th man."

Sri Lanka, the tournament's champions in 1996, breezed through the group stage with relative ease. However, their Friday match against the Netherlands presents a fascinating challenge due to the Dutch team's renewed confidence following their remarkable super over victory over the West Indies.

Wanindu Hasaranga, a leg spinner, has been a standout performer, taking an impressive 18 wickets. He joins Pakistan's legendary bowler Waqar Younis in esteem for his extraordinary achievement of three consecutive ODI five-wicket hauls.

"He's a boss. Dasun Shanaka of Sri Lanka stated, "He delivers for me whenever I throw him the ball."

Zimbabwe and Sri Lanka have bright futures, but the West Indies are in dire straits after consecutive losses to the hosts and the Netherlands.

The once-mighty Windies, who won the first two World Cups in 1975 and 1979, now face the challenge of securing victories over Scotland, Oman, and Sri Lanka in order to have a chance of qualifying.

Communicating his consciousness of the difficulties ahead, mentor Daren Sammy, who recently drove the West Indies to two T20 World Cup wins as commander, expressed, "I completely grasp the way I should set out upon with this group."

"Sometimes you have to hit rock bottom before you can get back up. I am aware of the difficulties that lie ahead and the fact that changes will not occur overnight.

It accurately reflects our cricket's current position. There is a lot of work to be done.

The Netherlands and Scotland will both beginning on two focuses. The Scots were eliminated from the tournament four years ago as a result of a contentious lbw decision, and the Dutch have not competed in the finals since 2011.

"We're good enough to compete with the world's best teams; Logan van Beek, whose heroics in Monday's super over stunned the West Indies, stated, "We're just getting better."

"The more we play the best groups, the better we get. Additionally, the more players we have, the more fun we have, and we ought to be on that level."

The Super Six lineup for the event, which comes to a close with the final on July 9, is completed by rank outsiders Oman.

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