Kyle Coetzer believes Scotland have reached the brink of World Cup qualification – without playing their best.
The Scots have come through the group stage and their first Super Six match of the qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe with an unbeaten record.
A tie with the hosts has been the only blemish so far but captain Coetzer says there is more to come and is looking for his side to move up a gear when they face Ireland tomorrow and West Indies on Wednesday.
He said: “I’ve spoken about peaking at the right time and my point still applies – we’ve done well to get to the stage we’re at but there is more to come.
“We still haven’t put a full game together so let’s hope we do in our next two games.”
Scotland have lost seven of their last eight one-day internationals to the Irish and also went down to their old rivals off the last ball in a WCQ warm-up match in Bulawayo a fortnight ago.
Coetzer added: “We’ll be looking to get our own back on them for that one. There’s always a big rivalry any time we face Ireland and this will be another tense game. I think both sides probably have a point to prove.”
A Scotland victory at the Harare Sports Club could be enough to see Coetzer’s men clinch one of the two places on offer at next year’s World Cup.
Ireland, who lost heavily to Zimbabwe at the same venue yesterday, cannot afford another defeat. Zimbabwe’s 107-run victory took them above Scotland in the Super Six table on Net Run Rate.
Sikandar Raza top-scored with 69 not out as the hosts made 211-9 off their 50 overs. Ireland were then bowled out for just 104 in 34.2 overs in reply. Paul Stirling scored 41 and Tendai Chisoro and Graeme Cremer each took three wickets.
Even if Ireland beat the Scots and then Afghanistan in their final match, it may not be enough to qualify for next summer’s World Cup in England.
Afghanistan, who sneaked into the Super Six, beat fallen giants West Indies on Thursday, meaning five teams stayed in contention for the two qualifying spots but Zimbabwe and Scotland are best placed for now.