Chevrons choke again, World Cup hopes shattered

HISTORY has repeated itself in Zimbabwean Cricket, this time at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.
An Associate nation has once again stood in the way of Zimbabwe qualifying for the World Cup.

The ghost of 2018 returned in the form of Scotland, haunting the team at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo yesterday as the Chevrons suffered a heart-breaking 31 runs defeat.

There will be no Zimbabwe at the 2023 Men’s Cricket World Cup in India and they will be missing out for the second consecutive edition. The Chevrons were one win away from the promised land but fell agonisingly close once again in front of a full stadium.

They had one job, win and go to the World Cup. It was that simple, however, it seems fate was not in their favour once more. Zimbabwe could have secured a place in India with a win of yesterday’s game but instead their hopes of qualification ended with their net run-rate worse than both the Dutch and the Scots.

In 2018 it was the United Arab Emirates (UAE) that hindered Zimbabwe from progressing in a match that was played at Harare Sports Club. Thousands who were watching the match live at Queens Sports Club and those who watched at Harare Sports Club left the two stadiums shattered.

“A big thank you to everybody that has supported us, how far we came in the competition is also credit to the amount of support we got. We are hugely thankful and appreciative of everyone who has come to support us, not only in this tournament but months before” said Zimbabwe captain Craig Ervine.

Ervine believes allowing pressure to get to them was where it went wrong and the quality of cricket that was played by Scotland.

“I don’t think it’s complacency, I think it’s nerves and the pressure and on top of that, Scotland played really good cricket today (yesterday). We can’t take any credit away from the way they played and they were coming from beating the West Indies as well so they were on a high and there was a little pressure situation,” he said.

Just like 2018, the Chevrons won the toss and elected to field first and their bowlers once again failed to strike up front with the new ball. Sean Williams had the best figures for Zimbabwe with the ball, taking three scalps for 41 runs in 10 overs while Tendai Chatara had figures of 2/46 in seven overs.

There were no half centuries from the Scotland batters with the top scorer being Michael Leask with 48 runs from 34 balls while Matthew Cross chipped in with 38 runs from 75 deliveries.

A Chris Sole bowling masterclass caused damage to the Zimbabwean batters at the top, claiming the wickets of the Chevron’s openers. Joylord Gumbie fell for a golden duck with the first ball of their chase while Ervine was bowled for just two runs off six balls. Struggling on 29/3, Sikandar Raza and Ryan Burl managed to stabilise the Chevrons ship with a 50 run fourth wicket partnership before the latter fell for 34 runs off 40 balls.

Wessly Madhevere also put up another gallant fight with the bat, scoring 40 runs from 39 balls.

Ryan Burl almost took the game away from Scotland with a brilliant 83 runs from 84 balls. Sole went on to finish with figures of 3/33 in seven overs while Brandon McMullen, and Leask took two each to round up Zimbabwe’s innings.

Scotland are now on the edge of qualifying for the World Cup and a win against Netherlands tomorrow will see them join Sri Lanka as the second team to book their place in India.

Yesterday’s defeat will live on as one of the worst days in the history of the sport in the country.

Chronicle

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