ICC World Cup qualifier: Scotland register stunning victory over Afghanistan

Calum MacLeod struck a magnificent 157 not out as Scotland stunned Afghanistan by seven wickets in their opening 2019 World Cup qualifier at Bulawayo on Sunday.

Chasing 256 for victory, Scotland were in some bother at 21 for two, but a 208-run third wicket partnership in nearly 37 overs between player of the match MacLeod and Berrington sealed the match in Scotland’s favour. This was only the second victory for Scotland over Afghanistan in 12 ODIs. The architects of Scotland’s victory were MacLeod and Berrington. MacLeod’s 157 not out came from 146 balls and included 23 fours and a six, while Berrington hit four fours in a 95-ball 67.

Huge win for Zimbabwe

Punishing centuries by Sikandar Raza and Brendan Taylor helped host nation Zimbabwe to post a colossal 380 for six in 50 overs, which proved too much for the opposition.

Raza belted nine sixes and seven fours in a 66-ball 123 and Taylor hit seven fours and a six in a 91-ball 100 as the two batsmen put on 173 runs for the third wicket in nearly 17 overs. Both the batsmen fell on successive deliveries of the penultimate over to fast bowler Sompal Kami, who finished with figures of two for 82. Left-arm spinner Basant Regmi bagged two for 69.

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Openers Solomon Mire and Cephas Zhuwao had earlier provided the launching pad when they put on 77 runs in seven overs. Zhuwao slapped three fours and four sixes in a 23-ball 41, while Mire’s 41-ball 52 was laced with five fours and three sixes.

In reply, Nepal scored 264 for eight in 50 overs. Sharad Vesawkar (52), Aarif Sheikh (50) and Paras Khadka (40) all got going, but could not stitch the kind of huge partnerships that were needed if they had to give a good chase and the writing was on the wall midway into the innings.

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