Scotland and Ireland took a further stride towards the 1999 World Cup yesterday by winning their first ICC Trophy quarter-final group matches in Kuala Lumpur.
Scotland beat Denmark by 42 runs and Ireland defeated one of the favourites, the Netherlands, to put themselves in a strong position to reach the semi- finals and to fill one of the World Cup vacancies open to the Trophy's top three.
Scotland's victory owed much to George Salmond after an early slump left them on 58 for 5. The captain hit 59 off 115 deliveries to help Scotland reach 164 in 46.3 overs.
Denmark were then bowled out for 122 thanks mainly to a stunning spell of 10-2-23-4 from off-spinner Ian Beven.
Ireland beat the Netherlands on a faster scoring rate. The Dutch reached 211 for 8 in their 50 overs, but rain intervened with Ireland 91 for 3 in 23 overs and under the Duckworth-Lewis rules, they needed 87 for victory. Ireland's next game is against Bangladesh, while Scotland play Canada.