Scotland take on Zimbabwe
The disappointment of Scotland’s 14-run defeat at the hands of Afghanistan at the ICC World Twenty20 in Nagpur, was palpable in many forms.
In a game the Scots felt they really should have won, the look on their faces after the loss said it all - none more so than captain Preston Mommsen’s thousand-yard stare, during the post match presentation with Mpumelelo "Pommie" Mbangwa.
A fabulous start to the run-chase on what was a slow, low pitch (not unexpected in India) fell apart dramatically after opening batsmen George Munsey and Kyle Coetzer were dismissed.
Set a challenging total the pair got their team off to the perfect start, taking 60 from the power play without the loss of a wicket (Afghanistan only mustered 41 for one after six overs).
The 84-run opening stand was broken after 8.5 overs. Coetzer scored 40 off 27 balls (strike-rate 148) hitting four fours and a six, while Munsey 41 (strike-rate 141), came from 29 deliveries, including nine boundaries.
However, both got out within the space of two balls. In the sub-continent, batting is never harder than when two new batsmen are at the crease during a run-chase.
Subsequently, the Scots lost three wickets in 11 balls for eight runs. The mini-collapse accounted for four wickets for 24 runs and was down to the pressure of the situation as much as it was good bowling.
Munsey believes that Scotland should have won after he and Coetzer had laid the platform.
“It was a disappointing result yesterday after [losing] a game we all felt we should have won,” the 23-year-old said.
“If myself or Kyle would have made 70, the result could have been very different.
“We'll regroup for tomorrow where we will face a stern test against a decent Zimbabwe side. We've now got two must win games.”
Mommsen was impressed and praised the way the duo played: “Kyle and George batted beautifully,” he said.
“Through good cricket shots they gave themselves a chance up front and importantly, they went beyond the power play and got ahead of the game, which is vital when chasing.
“Unfortunately a cluster of wickets [fell] and [we] couldn’t find any rhythm or momentum after that. Their spinners did a good job in the middle and we couldn’t combat that.”
Scotland can still qualify for the Super 10s but they will need to beat Zimbabwe and Hong Kong, have other results go their way and then be at the mercy of net rune-rate.