Ryan Burl put up a splendid batting performance steering Zimbabwe on course to a great victory against Australia in an U19 World Cup warm-up match played at the Abu Dhabi cricket oval in the U.A.E today(10-Feb-2014).
Having won the toss the Australian skipper elected to bat first, but he must have dreaded making that decision at the end of the first over. Australia had already lost their opening batsman but had not put anything on the board yet. Their (Australian) ship steadied, but the Zimbabwean bowling attack kept them on their toes. Spinner Deven Bell, was particularly outstanding for Zimbabwe, picking up three wickets, as well as running out Australia’s Jake Doran.
Skipper Malcom Lake illustrated his squad’s depth by allowing everyone but the wicket keeper, to have a crack at the Aussies with the ball. This is probably what a team needs in a warm-up match so that the team’s strikers don’t tire or strain before the real business gets underway. Herbet Chikomba posted impressive figures as well, claiming two wickets for 20 runs, in seven overs, two of which were Maidens.
Australia was bowled-out for 195 runs with the first ball of the 47th over, Jaron Morgan top-scored for Australia with 36 runs off 41 balls.
The total wasn’t that imposing but against a side as good as Australia, the boys had to keep steady heads and play ball-by-ball. That they did – managing to stay on-top the required run rate throughout their innings. Zimbabwe’s chase got off to a good start despite losing Tarisai Musakanda’s wicket in the seventh over.
The Aussies caused a scare by taking three wickets within five overs, but then along came Patrick Mambo, who partnered well with Ryan Burl to put Zimbabwe back on course. Mambo scored 24 off 46 deliveries before departing. Burl continued with the “torment” scoring a well-deserved 109 off 60 balls. Seven of those deliveries were sent to the boundary by Burl, six of them fours and one six.
Lake and Kieran Geyle carried Zimbabwe to victory by holding-on towards the death off the innings to register an incredible moral-boosting 3 wicket victory for the Zimbabweans.
SSN managed to contact Zimbabwe’s team manager, Nick Singo who is in the U.A.E with the team. “Celebrations are all over, it’s like we have won the World Cup itself,” Singo confirmed. “A win against Australia is something to celebrate. We are happy, the boys are happy and even our neighbours, Namibia are celebrating with us for beating the Aussies. Remember last year in India we lost both games to Australia so this is a great result.”
Zimbabwe will face the host nation, U.A.E in their second and last warm-up match before they take on Canada on Valentine’s day at the same venue they played at today, to kick-off their World Cup campaign.
Australia and India were the finalists at the 2012 edition of the tournament which took place in Australia, and both teams lost their warm-up matches played today. India suffering a 5-wicket loss at the hands of Sri Lanka.