"Talent there but need more consistency": WI skipper Hope after team misses out on World Cup for first time

Harare | July 1, 2023 10:41:19 PM IST
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Following his side's seven-wicket loss to West Indies in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers to Scotland, captain Shai Hope said his team let themselves down in the tournament, adding that they have a wealth of cricketing talent but need to produce more consistent performances.

Scotland staged a major upset in the ongoing ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifiers on Saturday, defeating twice World Champions West Indies in a Super Six clash by 7 wickets. The once cricketing giants not only slipped to a new low with the loss but also failed to ensure qualification for the ODI World Cup, which is set to be hosted by India later this year.

"We certainly let ourselves down in the tournament. We need to look at how we start our innings definitely. We knew it would be challenging. The toss is always crucial but we need to find a way to counter that early movement. Every single captain who wins the toss here decides to bowl first and we needed to counter that early morning moisture. It really has to do with the attitude. The fielding is an attitude according to me, catches will be dropped and misfields will happen, that is a part of the game and I feel that we did not give 100% effort every time, we did it in patches," said Hope at the post-match presentation.

"It starts with the foundation - from back home, the preparation needs to be better. We cannot come here and expect to be an elite team without preparation. You can't expect to wake up one morning and be a great team. We need to give the West Indian fans something to cheer about. We have two more games and we need to find a way to bounce back. The talent is there, I always believe that, but we need to translate that into consistent performances. They played really well, especially their bowling. How disciplined they were, we need to learn from them. Credit to them. We have to understand each other even more and we have to go one way and that's up [on working with Daren Sammy]," added Hope.

This result ensured that West Indies, who were crowned champions of the world in 1975 and 1979, can, at best, finish with only four points in the Super Six stage of the tournament.

Asked to bat first by Scotland, West Indies were bundled out for 181 runs in 43.5 overs. At one point, Men in Maroon struggled at 81/6, but lower-order contributions from former captain Jason Holder and Romario Shepherd, who added 77 runs for the seventh-wicket stand. However, the stand came to an end in the 37th over when Sharif pulled off a one-handed blinder at the backward point off Watt to get Shepherd (36 in 43 balls with five fours). Holder (45 in 79 balls with three fours and a six) fell lbw in the very next over to give another blow to the West Indies. WI got folded before 200 runs.

Brandon McMullen was the pick of Scotland bowlers with his 3/32. Chris Sole and Mark Watt took two wickets too.

Chasing 182, Christopher McBride was dismissed for a golden duck. But a 125-run stand for the second wicket between Matthew Cross and McMullen helped Scotland get in a strong position. McMullen scored 69 in 106 balls, with eight fours and a six). Cross (74* in 107 balls, with seven fours) stayed unbeaten and had captain Richie Berrington (13*) by his side, when Scotland eventually overhauled the West Indies target in the 44th over.

Jason Holder, Romario Shepherd and Akeal Hosein took a wicket each for WI.