Windies rub salt into wounds

THE West Indies broke Bangladeshi hearts with a thrilling three-wicket win over the hosts in Mirpur on Thursday, to set up the title clash with India in the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup tomorrow, and rub salts into the wounds of Zimbabwe’s teenage cricketers at the global showcase.

The Windies needed a controversial last over victory over Zimbabwe, to keep themselves in the main tournament and push the Zimbabweans into the Plate event, with the win roundly condemned by many cricket commentators.

The Zimbabweans lost the Plate final against Afghanistan yesterday and, given the way the Windies have progressed, they would be wondering the heights they would have scaled had they not been beaten in such controversial fashion. Shamar Springer followed his two for 36 with an unbeaten 62, which steered the West Indies past Bangladesh’s 226 all out with eight balls to spare in front of thousands of dejected home fans.

The West Indies, who had also reached the final when the tournament was staged in Bangladesh in 2004, will meet an undefeated India for the title in Mirpur tomorrow.

This will be the first-ever final between the two sides at the age-group level.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe captain Hamilton Masakadza clobbered a brutal unbeaten century to lead his side Mountaineers to a 115 run victory through the Duckworth and Lewis method over Mashonaland Eagles on the third day of the Domestic Twenty Competition at Bulawayo Athletic Club on Thursday.

The result means that Mountaineers remain unbeaten with five wins from the same number of matches they have played so far and will play in the final at Queens Sports Club tomorrow against either Eagles or Midwest Rhinos.

Masakadza, opening the batting scored 162 runs not out from 71 deliveries, an innings made up of 14 fours and 11 sixes as Mountaineers compiled 242 runs for the loss of three wickets in 20 overs.

The Eagles bowlers were put through the sword with the only bowler with decent figures being left arm spinner Brighton Mugochi, who took one wicket for 24 runs in the four overs he sent down at an economy rate of six runs per over. In their run chase, Eagles were 107 runs for the loss of nine wickets in 12.1 overs when the rain brought an end to the match.

Cephas Zhuwawo was the only Eagles batsman to put up a meaningful resistance with 58 runs off 26 balls. Fast bowler Donald Tiripano picked up three wickets for 19 runs while Shingirai Masakadza and his young brother Wellington took two wickets apiece.

Matabeleland Tuskers continued with their struggle in the tournament when they were beaten by Rhinos by eight runs through the Duckworth and Lewis at Queens Sports Club.

The match was heavily affected by the incessant rains which fell in Bulawayo, which saw the fixture being reduced to 14 overs a side.

Prince Masvaure top scored for Rhinos with 50 off 36 balls with 43 from 10 deliveries coming off the bat of Malcolm Waller as Rhinos posted 152 at the expense of four wickets in 14 overs.

Tuskers could only manage 64 runs for three wickets in six overs to suffer their fourth defeat of the tournament. — ICC/Sports Reporter.

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