Scotland head coach Shane Burger insists they cannot afford to dwell on the chastening 130-run loss to Afghanistan in their Super 12 opener.
The momentum of their T20 World Cup campaign was given an almighty check in Sharjah and Burger concedes it will be a tough pill to swallow.
Najibullah Zadran was imperious in the Afghanistan innings, hammering his way to 59 off 33 balls to lead his side to a huge 190-4.
Mujeeb Ur Rahman (5-20) starred with the ball as Scotland limped to 60 all out, losing nine wickets to the Afghan spinners.
Scotland had been on a high after securing Super 12 qualification against Oman but they were stopped in their tracks on Monday.
“It’s obviously a tough pill to swallow, we have had really good momentum recently so you get into a rhythm of what that feels like and look, that’ll be tough to swallow,” said Burger. “But this competition doesn’t allow you to think about it for too long, we have another game in a couple of days and we have to regroup and reset and go again against Namibia.
“We will have learnt a lot, the game is all about small margins, fine margins and we didn’t quite get momentum on our side. They showed with world-class players that they were able to pile on pressure at the right times and in T20 cricket things can go against you quickly.”
Burger felt experience on the biggest stage told, with Afghanistan able to call on Rashid Khan when Scotland were already in trouble.
“It plays a huge role, when you’re able to play cricket all the time against some of the world’s best players on the biggest stage. You’re only going to get better,” he added.
“Our leg-spinner would have learned a lot from what Rashid did and I saw them having a chat after the game. That was great from him to hand over that experience.
“We have some world-class players in our team and given more opportunity, more time in the middle under pressure like we had this evening, performances will be more consistent.
“I don’t think this loss defines us a team or defines them an individuals. It’s a game of cricket where things turned pretty quickly. Character is defined by how you come back for something like this.”
Afghanistan flew out the traps with Hazratullah Zazai and Mohammad Shahzad taking no prisoners with the Scottish bowling.
Safyan Sharif removed Shahzad for 22 and Mark Watt bowled Zazai (44) but Rahmanullah Gurbaz (46) and Zadran picked up the baton, taking the run-rate above nine-an-over.
Scotland lost Kyle Coetzer, Calum Macleod and Richie Berrington in one devastating Ur Rahman over as they staggered to 30-4. Ur Rahman bowled George Munsey (25), who had provided the only Scotland resistance, before completing his five-for by dismissing Watt.
Khan (4-9) cleaned up the tail and Scotland will have to reset before their next game against Namibia on Wednesday.
“Clearly it wasn’t one of our better days,” said Coetzer. “We played some really good cricket to get to this stage and sometimes things don’t quite go to plan. It’s also a real sighter for us to see this is where the level is against a very good Afghanistan team, with some excellent bowlers on a slightly tricky pitch with their style of bowling.
“You’ve got to give them a lot of credit too as they bowled fantastically well. But there were some excellent performances from some of our guys too – Mark Watt was just brilliant again.
“I thought we fought hard in the field. It was just a level check for us to see where the standards are. It’s really good to be here and playing at that level and we’ll be better for it going into the next game.
“We’ve got a great bunch of players, there’s a lot of belief in that side and we’ll take it in our stride. We’ll have a bit of reflection over the next day or so and then we’ll be ready and raring to go as we’ve been playing some great cricket.”