The Netherlands have claimed the last spot at the 2023 Cricket World Cup after beating Scotland to reach the Qualifier final in Zimbabwe.
The Dutch claimed a thrilling four-wicket victory over the and now face Sri Lanka in Sunday's final in Harare with both teams qualifying for the 50-over World Cup which starts in India on 5th October.
|What||2023 Cricket World Cup|
|Where||Matches will be held at 10 venues across India|
|When||Thursday 5th October to Sunday 19th November 2023|
|How to watch||Sky Sports Cricket|
|Odds||India 11/5, England 3/1, Australia 4/1, Pakistan 7/1, New Zealand|
The Dutch are up against nine rivals – hosts India, 2019 winners England, Australia, Pakistan, New Zealand, , Sri Lanka, Bangladesh and Afghanistan – and, understandably, they are rated huge outsiders at 750/1.
The Netherlands have played in four 50-over World Cups, making their debut at the 1996 tournament in India, Pakistan and Sri Lanka.
They finished bottom of Group B, losing all five of their matches, but claimed their first World Cup victory in South Africa in 2003 when they racked up 314-4 to beat Namibia by 64 runs in Pool A.
In 2007, in the Caribbean, the Dutch lost to South Africa by 221 runs and Australia by 229 runs but bowled out Scotland for 136 to claim a consolation win. Four years later, however, they finished bottom of Group B, losing six out of six, and they failed to qualify for the 2015 and 2019 tournaments.
Scott Edwards' men swiftly picked themselves up to beat the USA and Nepal in comfortable run-chases before a stunning Super Over victory against the West Indies.
Chasing 375 to win, the Dutch produced a brilliant display of hitting with Teja Nidamanuru cracking 111 off 76 balls and the scores were level after 50 overs. Logan van Beek then hammered 30 runs in the Super Over – a record in international cricket – and the Windies managed just 8-2 in response.
In the Super Six stage of the Qualifier, the Netherlands lost by 21 runs against a classy Sri Lanka side but beat Oman convincingly with opener Vikramjit Singh scoring a century.
That set up Thursday's crunch clash with Scotland, which the Dutch had to win well in order to overturn a net run-rate deficit and qualify for the World Cup.
Brandon McMullen's 106 helped Scotland post a competitive total of 277-9 batting first in Bulawayo, leaving the Netherlands needing to reach their target inside 44 of the allotted 50 overs to make the Qualifier final.
Their prospects looked bleak as they slipped to 163-5 in the 31st over but Bas de Leede, who had taken 5-52 in Scotland's innings, led a brilliant fightback, hitting 123 off just 92 balls with five sixes.
The Dutch took 22 runs off the 41st over and 20 off the 42nd over, clinching a dramatic four-wicket win and a trip to the 2023 World Cup in India.
Two of the other teams involved in the ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier tournament were former world champions Sri Lanka and the West Indies, who have had contrasting campaigns.
They lost to Qualifier hosts Zimbabwe by 35 runs in the first group stage before the extraordinary Super Over defeat to the Dutch. The Windies' hopes of qualifying for the World Cup were ended by Scotland in the Super Six stage as they were bowled out for just 185 on their way to a seven-wicket loss.
Sri Lanka won the World Cup in 1996 and reached the final as recently as 2011 when they were beaten by MS Dhoni's India in Mumbai.
The Lankans have made smooth progress through the Qualifier, beating Scotland, Oman, Ireland and the UAE in the first group stage and booking their place in the final with Super Six wins over the Netherlands and Zimbabwe.
Sri Lanka are 25/1 to win the World Cup in India.