The team’s resounding nine-wicket victory over the host nation propelled them to the highly anticipated global event in India, scheduled to commence in October. Zimbabwe, meanwhile, remains in contention for the last spot but must defeat Scotland in their final game to ensure qualification.
The path to World Cup qualification was sealed for Sri Lanka through a comprehensive win against Zimbabwe at the Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo. Sri Lankan bowlers restricting Zimbabwe to a meager 165 runs, with spinner Maheesh Theekshana leading the way with remarkable figures of 4-25 off 8.2 overs.
Sri Lanka comfortably reached the target with just one wicket down, ending the innings at 169-1. Opener Pathum Nissanka’s unbeaten century was instrumental in their victory, as he notched up an impressive 101 runs off 102 balls, adorned with 14 boundaries.
Reflecting on the team’s achievement, Theekshana attributed their success to meticulous planning and effective execution. Sri Lanka’s flawless campaign in the qualifying tournament saw them emerge victorious in all six matches thus far, maintaining their unbroken record of participating in every Cricket World Cup since 1975.
With one final game remaining against West Indies in the Super Six stage, Sri Lanka will head into the qualifying tournament’s final on July 9 with confidence and momentum.
Zimbabwe, on the other hand, faced an uphill battle after being bundled out in just 32.2 overs. While Theekshana’s spin wizardry inflicted significant damage, pace bowler Dilshan Madushanka played a vital role by taking three wickets for a mere 15 runs. Zimbabwe’s Sean Williams displayed resilience with a top-score of 56 before being dismissed by Theekshana.
In order to secure their place in the World Cup, Zimbabwe must triumph over Scotland in their upcoming clash. A victory for Zimbabwe would level the points, setting up an intriguing scenario where Scotland would need to win their final Super Six game against the Netherlands to claim the coveted World Cup spot.
Remaining optimistic about their chances, Zimbabwe coach Dave Houghton expressed confidence in his team’s abilities and emphasized the importance of continuing to deliver exceptional cricket. The team is determined to avoid missing out on the World Cup for the second consecutive time.
Scotland, too, seeks redemption after their absence from the previous edition and aims to showcase their prowess on the global stage once again, having last participated in the World Cup in 2015.
As the qualifying tournament approaches its conclusion, cricket enthusiasts eagerly await the final results and anticipate an enthralling World Cup tournament that will showcase the best talents from around the globe.