Lewin Zoe Sports Correspondent
EVERY Thursday now brings back a flood of memories about that day — beautiful and overcast in the morning when our Chevrons won the toss and elected to field against the United Arab Emirates in an ICC Cricket World Cup Qualifier at Harare Sports Club.

From the Castle Corner, a fortress for the hardcore fans of the game, to the Centurion, where scores of merrymakers and beer drinkers converge during a game, from the grandstands to the embankment and that lovely green grass of home, we packed our Theatre of Dreams.

This is the place where we recorded that 24-run Test win over Pakistan in 2013, our two-run win over India in a T20 match in 2016 and that incredible victory over Australia in a tri-series, which also featured South Africa, in which Prosper Utseya was the hero.

A dark rain cloud sat on top of our beautiful ground but that could not stop us from singing and dancing in support of our boys.

The rains came, and went, and still the singing and dancing continued.

UAE found a way to finish on 235/7 after 47.5 overs and when we came in to bat we were asked to get 230 in 40 overs.

This game can be cruel and our top order went sooner than everyone had expected while PJ Moor tried to hold our innings together.

Sikandar Raza and Sean Williams gave us some hope before they holed out.

The whole ground and everyone watching were on their feet as a six was needed off the last delivery and it was left to Craig Ervine, somehow pushed down the ladder, to provide that magic, that Cinderella ending to this story.

Like how Denish Karthik had done the previous week on the sub-continent with a six off the final ball.

But, under pressure, Craig swung his bat and didn’t get the full connection and we could only get two and it was all over.

Hearts were broken and the only way to supporters inside the ground could respond was through silence.

There were some crumbs for us to take home amid all this disappointment — Brendan Taylor was the leading run scorer in the tournament, Raza was the player of the tournament.

But the team which had produced the two standout performers had failed to make it to the World Cup while Afghanistan, a team which we beat in Bulawayo and who came into the Super Six without a point after having also lost to Hong Kong, emerged as the winners of the tourney.

The question is where do we go from here?

It’s another Thursday, of course, and it still hurts because such disappointments don’t happen all the time.

Missing the World Cup means a lot of revenue which could have gone into the Zimbabwe Cricket coffers and would have been poured into various programmes, including developmental ones, has been lost in just one game.

Then there are the players, who could also have earned a little fortune had we qualified for the World Cup and, for us, the fans, we won’t have the chance to feel the pride — which is priceless — which comes with supporting our sporting heroes at such a grand occasion.

No more dreams of a giant-killing act where we could have hoped to see our boys, maybe, beating the likes of Australia, England or South Africa.

We go back to the drawing board, of course we do, we can’t mourn forever, but the pain of that Thursday will take long to heal.

Lewin Zoe is a UZ student who is also a passionate cricket fan

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