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UAE, Scotland win places at Cricket World Cup, reach final of qualifying tournament

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WELLINGTON, New Zealand - Scotland and the United Arab Emirates secured the final places at next year's Cricket World Cup after reaching the final of a 10-team qualifying tournament in New Zealand.

Top seed the UAE beat Namibia by 36 runs in their final match in the Super Six stage to reach the tournament final while Scotland beat Kenya by three wickets.

Saturday's final which will determine which group the teams play in at the World Cup, which will be co-hosted by Australia and New Zealand in February and March.

Hong Kong and Papua New Guinea were also in contention for World Cup places during the final round of Super Six matches but the wins by UAE and Scotland snuffed out their chances.

The UAE will make its second appearance at a World Cup after qualifying in 1996, while Scotland played at the cup in 1999 and 2007.

"It has been a tough tournament, one in which every game counts, and both teams have performed remarkably well to finish in the top two," ICC chief executive Dave Richardson said of UAE and Scotland.

UAE captain Khurram Khan was thrilled.

"You can't describe in words the feeling," Khan said. "I've been playing for UAE since 2001 and it is an amazing feeling to help my team to qualify.

"It's a great achievement. It's been very, very hard to make it this far. Most of us are part-time cricketers, we are not professionals. This is for everyone who trusted us and believed in us."

UAE coach, former Pakistan test bowler Aqib Javed, said his team had to stay mentally strong throughout the qualifying tournament.

"It was a tough task coming to New Zealand and making the top two," he said. "They had in their mind that the pitches would have a lot of sideways movement.

"But in seven games our batting has done really well and now they are saying these conditions are good for cricket. There won't be any hurdle coming back to play in Australia and New Zealand."

Scotland captain Preston Mommsen said he was delighted his team had been able to win a place in the World Cup after an absence of eight years.

"It is absolutely awesome, we have worked really hard to get to this position and to actually get over the line is unbelievable," Mommsen said. "The feeling is immense.

"The dressing room is very, very happy to say the least."

The UAE sealed top spot on the Super Six table with its win over Nambia. Khurram Kham, the top run-maker at the tournament with 547, made 49, Shaiman Anwar 47 and Amjad Ali 46 as UAE made 263, batting first. Louis Klazinga took 5-36 as UAE was dismissed in 49.5 overs.

Captain Sarel Burger top-scored with 54 while Gerrie Snyman made 48 and Nicolaas Scholtz 33 as Namibia was dismissed for 227 in reply.

Scotland finished second after its tense, three-wicket win over Kenya.

Alex Obanda made 89 as Kenya reached 260 and Scotland chased down its winning total with three balls to spare, led by Mommsen who made 78, opener Matthew Cross who made 55 and Rob Taylor, who made 46 not out coming in at No. 8.

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