Scotland took a big step towards the final of the European Under-19 World Cup Qualifier in Almería on Tuesday with another dominant performance, this time posting a six-wicket victory over the Netherlands.
With a net run rate after two games of 2.202 and the other three teams all in negative territory, Scotland are almost guaranteed a spot in the final regardless of the outcome of their final round-robin match against Ireland on Thursday, while the Dutch will know that even if they beat Jersey on Friday their chances of making the final, and thus keeping alive their hopes of reaching the World Cup for the first time since 2000, are dependent on whether Ireland are able to upset the Scots, and if so, by how much.
The Netherlands will, however, have the advantage of knowing exactly what they have to do to squeeze into the final.
With the match reduced to 47 overs because of a wet outfield after overnight rain, the Dutch batters were never able to get on top of the Scottish attack after Vikram Singh won the toss and elected to bat, with Singh himself falling to Lyle Robertson at the end of the fourth over and wickets falling steadily thereafter.
Shirase Rasool again looked more likely than most to cope with the conditions, making 19 before he was dismissed by Sean Fischer-Keogh, and Aryan Dutt resisted for 17 overs in making the top score of 21, but once the slow left-armers Charlie Peet and Oliver Davidson took over there was a fairly steady procession of Dutch batters.
Peet had an almost mesmerising effect and claimed two for 7 in his ten overs, while Davidson finished with three for 28, and it took a dogged little last-wicket stand of 26 from Mees van Vliet and Tazeem Ali to get the total into three figures, with Ali run out off the final delivery of the scheduled overs and the score on 110.
Samuel Elstone (23) and Gabriel Gallmann-Findlay (18) then put on 43 for the first wicket to set the Scots firmly on the path to victory, and although the Dutch bowlers were able to pick up four wickets a brisk 17-ball 24 from Tomas Mackintosh and a more cautious 18 from Charlie Tear ensured that Scotland reached their target in just 27.4 overs.
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