That probably sums up the events at Queens Sports Club Tuesday as Zimbabwe’s World Cup dreams ended up in smoke in Bulawayo.
It was like the ghost of 2018 had just struck again although this time the Chevrons self-destructed as they conspired to lose to Scotland in a must-win game.
Captain Craig Ervine summed up the mood in his dressing room, and the country, saying this was a “very difficult pill to swallow.”
It followed the Chevrons’ 31-run defeat in a must-win Super Six clash against Scotland at Queens Sports Club yesterday.
The locals needed victory to sail through to the 2023 ICC Cricket World Cup in India but with the 2018 United Arab Emirates ghost looming, crumbled under pressure.
Scotland laboured to 234/8 but Zimbabwe struggled to get there, pinning hopes on the tail pair of Tendai Chatara and Blessing Muzarabani to take them home.
It was Chatara, who fell for two runs off the bowling of seamer, Safyaan Sharif, to confirm the obvious as Zimbabwe were bundled all out for 203 runs inside 41.1 overs.
Scotland pacer bowler, Chris Sole, broke the hearts of Zimbabweans with three quick wickets.
He removed opener Joylord Gumbie off the first ball of Zimbabwe’s chase, clean bowled Ervine off his second ball of the third over, before claiming the big fish, Sean Williams, bowled by yet another second ball, this time of the seventh over.
Ryan Burl waged a lone battle but fell for 83.
Wessly Madhevere, batting down the order scored 40, while Sikandar Raza scored 34.
Raza’s dismissal was key in the Chevrons’ defeat.
“It’s a very difficult pill to swallow,” said Ervine.
“I thought we did well to restrict them to 230.
“Unfortunately, that first initial spell from Sole really put us on the back foot and just made it hard for us to recover from that position.
“Throughout the tournament we played some extremely good cricket.”
“It’s always nice to put those demons from 2018 behind us and had we gotten over the line today, nobody would have been asking about that unfortunately, we didn’t. “Williams has been fantastic, and we can take a lot of positives away.
“I’m extremely proud of the guys, and for their work and effort.”
The crowd, once again, was fantastic.
“We are thankful for the crowd that has come and supported us, especially over the last few weeks.
“I think we are playing a very exciting brand of cricket and that is the reason the crowd are coming to support us.”
Scotland captain Richie Berrington praised his charges for a job well done.
“Our boys have been fantastic. Credit to the way the lads played today.
“The way we came out and showed faith in the second innings and got these early wickets was fantastic.
“Really proud of the boys. Our bowlers have been fantastic all tournament, outstanding spells throughout the tournament.
“We knew there were going to be tough games and come to a stage where we would be in a must-win game.”
Scotland have now beaten Ireland, West Indies and Zimbabwe at this tournament and should now be favourites to qualify.