Scotland suffer World Cup heartache as Netherlands claim dramatic victory in qualifying decider
The Scots were undone by a sensational all-round performance from Bas De Leede, who took five wickets before smashing a remarkable 92-ball 123 as the Dutch overhauled their 278-run target inside 43 overs.
The number of overs bowled was significant as, to climb above Scotland in the qualifying table, the Dutch needed not only to win but to do so with at least six overs to spare.
De Leede produced a stunning late flurry to carry his side to victory, completely eclipsing Brandon McMullen’s century for Scotland earlier in the match.
The Netherlands now go through to this autumn’s showpiece in India alongside qualifying tournament winners Sri Lanka.
Scotland had defeated West Indies, Zimbabwe and Ireland in an impressive qualifying campaign but came up short at the final hurdle.
Scotland captain Richie Berrington told Sky Sports: “It’s a really tough one to take today.
"The guys will certainly be hurting right now. From my side, I’m extremely proud of the guys for the fight we’ve shown throughout this tournament.
“Unfortunately today it wasn’t quite enough, but we also have to give credit to the Netherlands for the way they played.”
Scotland had seemed to be in control of their destiny for much of the game. They began with a strong advantage, occupying second place in the table behind Sri Lanka, two points above the Netherlands and with a superior net run rate.
They built on that by posting 277 for nine from their 50 overs thanks to McMullen’s 106 from 110 balls and 64 from captain Richie Berrington. While it may not have been the 300 they might ordinarily have wanted, the net run rate factor gave the total a more imposing feel.
Scotland began badly as Matthew Cross was clean bowled by Logan Van Beek in the first over.
Christopher McBride set about repairing the damage but fell for 32 when he mishit a short delivery from De Leede to midwicket and George Munsey – who had one reprieve when dropped on nought – feathered a legside catch to Scott Edwards off the same bowler.
That left them 64 for three but McMullen found a solid partner in Berrington and the pair put on 137 for the fourth wicket.
McMullen hit three sixes and 11 fours, mixing some classical lofted drives with a few more agricultural blows. The Dutch had little answer until he nicked through to Edwards off Ryan Klein soon after reaching three figures.
Michael Leask lasted just four balls but Berrington maintained the momentum, hitting three fours and two sixes in a well-constructed 84-ball knock before De Leede removed his middle stump.
Tomas Makintosh weighed in with 38 but Scotland’s hopes of passing 300 were dashed as De Leede claimed two more victims to finish with five for 32.
It nevertheless seemed a daunting target. The Dutch made a solid start in their reply as Vikramjit Singh (40) and Max O’Dowd (20) put on 65 for the first wicket but Scotland seemed to have the edge.
Both openers fell lbw to Leask before McMullen accounted for Wesley Barresi and Chris Greaves had Teja Nidamanuru caught on the boundary to leave the Dutch 108 for four.
Yet the Netherlands were still not out of the contest and their hopes were revived in a 55-run fifth-wicket stand between De Leede and captain Edwards.
Mark Watt relieved some of the pressure when he trapped Edwards leg before for 25 but De Leede than stepped up a gear.
Ably supported by Saqib Zulfiqur (33 not out from 32 balls), De Leede cracked seven fours and five sixes in a superb display of hitting to all but complete a glorious win. He was run out two runs short of victory but the Dutch were not to be denied.
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