Scots chase World Cup

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The Independent Online
Scotland are one win away from a potential cricket battle against the Auld Enemy after securing a place in the ICC Trophy semi-finals. If the Scots can defeat Bangladesh on Tuesday in Kuala Lumpur they will qualify for a place in the 1999 World Cup in England.

Even a defeat may not be the end, as three of four countries now qualify, a prospect which excites Alex Ritchie, the general manager of the Scottish Cricket Union. "It's marvellous as we went into this tournament as one of the second seeds and it's a credit to the lads we have proved the experts wrong.

"Our problem in recent years has been a lack of media attention, but during this competition the support we have received has been amazing," Ritchie added. "Now we need to build on this and I am sure that it will encourage youngsters to take up the game, which is one of our major aims."

The Scots, coached by the former Yorkshire batsman Jim Love, lost to Kenya on a slower scoring rate in their last match, which was rain-affected.

Denmark's seven-run triumph over Canada left them level on points in Group E, but Scotland went into the last four by virtue of beating the Danes by 45 runs earlier in the competition.

Ritchie added: "Bangladesh are a bit of an unknown quantity to us. We played them in a warm-up game before the competition but it was washed out. Ireland play Kenya in the other semi-final today.

Lancashire have lost the last match of their South African tour, going down by four wickets to Western Province in the final of the triangular Boland Bank tournament.

Lancashire batted first in the 45-over match and made 185. Graham Lloyd made 55, Mike Watkinson hit 47 and Ian Austin chimed in with a valuable 37.

But Western Province, who boast the South African Test stars Gary Kirsten, Brian McMillan, Brett Schultz and Paul Adams in their line-up, were never under pressure in their run chase. Lancashire, without the injured Neil Fairbrother, Jason Gallian and Glen Chapple, return to England on Tuesday.

Charlotte Edwards, who became the youngest player to represent the England women's cricket team last year when aged just 16, has retained her place in the squad for this summer's visit of South Africa and the defence of England's World Cup title in December.