The Zimbabwe U19 cricket squad kicked-off their campaign at the ICC U19 World Cup on a good note with a 6 wicket win over Canada in an encounter played today (14-Feb-2014) at the Sheikh Zayed Stadium Nursery 1 in the U.A.E.
Tinashe Kamunhukamwe delivered a man of the match performance, claiming the scalp of three Canadians for 17 runs in four overs. Kamunhukamwe went on to aid Zimbabwe to reach the required target by adding 24 runs to their tally off 34 balls. The all-rounder was run-out by Talha Shaik in the 30th over but by then he had already done enough to bring his country closer to world cup victory.
Zimbabwe skipper, Malcom Lake won the toss and elected to field first. Canada found the going tough from the onset, dropped their first wicket with only 20 runs to their name. Lake’s bowling attack led by Herbet Chikomba was taking no prisoners and did well to stall the North American’s run rate. After 26 overs Canada was reeling on 3-82. Nonetheless the Zimbos struggled to get breakthroughs in wickets and couldn’t see out Canada before the end of the innings. Nikhil Dutta top scored for Canada with a well played half century off 97 deliveries helping his team to score 192/9 after the allotted 50 overs.
Openers Joylord Gumbie and Tarisai Musakanda got Zimbabwe’s chase off to a flying start, scoring 95 runs in 15.1 over before Musakanda was trapped leg before wicket by Nikhil Dutta. Gumbie top scored for Zimbabwe with one run shy of a half-ton. Charles Kunje and Luke Jongwe were unbeatable at the crease, scoring 42 and 25 runs respectively to deliver Zimbabwe’s win. Zimbabwe scored 195/4 to win by 6 wickets with 37 balls remaining.
Zimbabwe’s next mission will be against West Indies on Sunday February 16. With a net run rate of 0.609, Zimbabwe sit in second place in Group C behind neighbours South Africa who registered a comfortable 94-run win against West Indies.
A win against West Indies on Sunday will up Zimbabwe’s chances of progressing to the final eight at the ICC U19 World Cup.