The Scots faced West Indies in Harare yesterday knowing a win would guarantee them a spot in next year’s World Cup, most likely at the expense of the two-time world champions. However, with Coetzer’s side seemingly on course to chase down 198, rain forced an abrupt end to proceedings with Scotland 125 for five. The Scots needed another 74 off 14.4 overs when the covers came on, meaning they were trailing by five runs on the Duckworth-Lewis-Stern (DLS) method. The DLS rules meant West Indies won and Scotland miss out on the 2019 World Cup in England and Wales.
The game hinged on the decision to give Richie Berrington out lbw for 33 despite the ball appearing to be heading down the legside, and with no reviews available it meant there will be no associate nation at next year’s tournament.
“It would have been nice to have a wicket in hand from that decision, but that’s the nature of the game and it has cost us – it’s cost us a lot of money as well,” said Coetzer, who expressed his surprise that there was no Umpire Decision Review System (DRS) used at the World Cup qualifying tournament in Zimbabwe to assist the match officials.
The restructuring of the World Cup has been heavily criticised since it was announced that it would be cut from 14 teams to ten – meaning there was likely to be less opportunity for teams such as Scotland to test themselves on the world stage, and Coetzer suggested it had not been a popular decision among the associate nations.
He said: “I’m gutted for our guys and every friend, fan or associate nation that was behind us.
“There is a clear reason why everyone was behind us: because they wanted a point to be proved. We were within five runs.
“I’m absolutely gutted for our guys, but I’m so proud of every single one of them.
“We have guys in the top wicket-takers and top run-scorers which just shows we are mixing with ‘full member nations’, as they’re called.
“Credit to Jason [Holder, West Indies captain] and his boys, they won the game fair and square in the end, but a competition like this... DRS?
“You’re playing with people’s livelihoods and there’s a lot of money at stake and it proved costly today.
He added: “We would have qualified for the World Cup last time around, now there are ten teams and no associate teams, which is pretty disappointing.”
The match could not have started better for Scotland when Chris Gayle and Shai Hope were dismissed without scoring, but Evin Lewis and Marlon Samuels made sure they were not embarrassed before Brad Wheal and Safyaan Sharif took three wickets apiece to limit the West Indies to just 198.
That total looked a long way off when the Grant Bradburn’s men lost early wickets to be reduced to 25 for three, but Calum MacLeod, Berrington and then George Munsey appeared to be taking them towards the finish line before heavy rain cruelly intervened.
Coetzer remained satisfied with the performance of his players, however, saying: “We restricted a good side to 198 today.
“Playing the associate/full member card – if we weren’t good enough we wouldn’t be bowling a West Indies side out for 198.
“There’s only been one team we haven’t bowled out in this competition so that’s something to take home with us. The guys have been exceptional and we will hold our heads high but be disappointed.”