NETHERLANDS, January 30- Scotland clinched their third World Cup berth in dramatic fashion with a tense three-wicket win over Kenya with three balls to spare at Hagley Oval on the final day of the Super Sixes in Christchurch.
Rob Taylor, who came into the match with only 56 runs in six matches at the tournament, entered at number eight and hit three fours and a six on his way to 46 off 37 balls to take Scotland over the line and back to the World Cup for the first time since 2007.
Kenya won the toss and elected to bat first, posting a very competitive 260. Alex Obanda produced 89 at the top of the innings to lay a solid platform.
Captain Rakep Patel made a vital contribution with 38 in the middle order but Scotland made life difficult on themselves with 24 extras, including 15 wides.
Matty Cross scored 55 to get Scotland’s chase off to a positive start but his wicket in the 20th over was followed a short time later by the runout of Freddie Coleman to generate a bit of tension.
Stand-in captain Preston Mommsen took his time getting set, striking only one boundary on his way to a half-century off 81 balls.
The wickets of Michael Leask and Richie Berrington swayed momentum Kenya’s way making the score at 169 for 6 at the start of the 38th, but Mommsen counterattacked by striking a six and three fours in the space of seven deliveries to get Scotland back on track.
Mommsen finally fell for 78 with Scotland needing 35 off 25 balls and only three wickets in hand knowing by this point that only a win would take them through to the World Cup after Hong Kong’s speedy win over PNG allowed Hong Kong to pass Scotland on the net run rate tiebreaker.
Scotland entered the final two overs needing 18 to win but a wide by Nehemiah Odhiambo was followed by a six off the bat of Taylor to bring the equation under a run a ball and a World Cup berth was in sight.
Taylor sealed the match with a pair of twos on the second and third deliveries of the final over, earning Scotland a return visit to New Zealand next year and dashing Hong Kong’s dream of qualifying for the World Cup for the first time.
Khurram Khan once again steered UAE to a total that couldn’t be overhauled in a 36-run win over Namibia at Rangiora to clinch the UAE’s second World Cup berth and first since 1996.
UAE won the toss and elected to bat first as Khan (49) was one of three players to get into the 40s without reaching 50 in UAE’s total of 263.
The score was 216 for 5 with two balls to go in the 45th but Louis Klazinga wiped out the tail, taking four of the last five wickets to fall, as Namibia bowled out the UAE with one ball remaining in the innings.
Namibia got off to a slow start in reply as captain Sarel Burger crawled to a half-century, eventually getting dismissed for 54 off 102 balls.
Amjad Javed claimed 3 for 35 while Khan completed his solid all-round display with 2 for 45 to restrict Namibia to 227 for 9 in their 50 overs.
Hong Kong completed a furious charge to a three-wicket win over Papua New Guinea at Bert Sutcliffe Oval in a valiant effort to overtake Scotland on net run rate, but did not get the extra help they needed from Kenya to vault into the top two on the Super Sixes table.
Scotland and UAE will now contest the tournament final at Bert Sutcliffe Oval on Saturday.
The winner will join England, Australia, Sri Lanka, Bangladesh, New Zealand and Afghanistan in Group A at the 2015 World Cup while the loser will slot into Group B alongside South Africa, India, Pakistan, West Indies, Zimbabwe and Ireland.
Hong Kong and Papua New Guinea will have a rematch in the third place game at the qualifier while Kenya and Namibia will play in the fifth place match.