Celtic charge for World Cup finals

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Scotland and Ireland are a step closer to qualifying for the 1999 World Cup after clinching places in the quarter-final of the ICC Trophy in Malaysia yesterday.

Scotland strolled through to the last eight, beating Bermuda by 57 runs, making it four wins out of four to head their group. The Scotland opener, Ian Philip, hit 49, while his captain, George Salmond, weighed in with 44 as the Scots posted 231 for 8 from their 50 overs. In reply, Bermuda could only muster 174 all out.

Ireland needed a victory over Singapore to make sure of second spot in their group - behind the tournament favourites, Kenya - and made no mistake with a 10-wicket victory. Batting first, Singapore struggled against the Irish bowling and slumped to 110 all out. Such a small target was never going to trouble the Irish, who denied Singapore even the small consolation of a wicket.

In the round-robin quarter-final groups, Scotland will face Kenya, Canada and Denmark, while Ireland have a potentially tougher test, drawn with the Netherlands, Bangladesh and Hong Kong. The top two from each group go into the semi-finals, with the top three teams at the end of the tournament qualifying to play in the 1999 World Cup in England.

Maurice Odumbe, captaining the dominant Kenyan team, followed up his 99 against Ireland with 83 against the United States. Kenya scored 243 for 6 then bowled the Americans out for 32, the second lowest score in the history of the competition.