THE Zimbabwe Under-19 cricketers got their World Cup campaign to a good start with a seven-wicket crushing win over Fiji in Chittagong, Bangladesh, yesterday. The Fijians were coming from a 299-run thrashing at the hands of England.
This time Fiji batted first and were shot out for 81 in 27,4 overs, with only three batsmen making double-figure scores and no one getting past 20.
Off-spinner Wesley Madhevere began his tournament with figures of five for 24, while leg-spinner Blessing Mavuta claimed 3 for 13 in Zimbabwe’s victory.
Zimbabwe made short work of the chase, getting to 84 in 18,5 overs, but lost three wickets in doing so.
They were 27 for two at one stage.
However, opener Brendan Sly made an unbeaten 29, while Jeremy Ives scored 23 off 26 balls, to seal victory.
Medium-pacer Josaia Baleicikoibia took two for 19 for Fiji.
“We have beaten Fiji in our first match of the 2016 International Cricket Council Under-19 Cricket World Cup, at the MA Aziz Stadium in Chittagong, Bangladesh,” a statement from Zimbabwe Cricket media and communications manager, Lovemore Banda said.
“Zimbabwe Under-19s won by seven wickets with 187 balls remaining. Congratulations to coach Stephen Mangongo, manager Admire Marodza, captain Blessing Mavuta and the rest of the Zim party!”
The Namibia Under-19 bowlers dismissed Scotland Under-19 for 159 in Cox Bazar after which their top-order batsmen polished off the chase in 26 overs with nine wickets in hand.
After winning the toss, Scotland lost their opener Jack Waller to Fritz Coetzee off the first legal ball of the game and never really recovered.
They slumped from 59 for two to 97 for eight, before their last two wickets propped them up to 159 before they were all out in 36,3 overs.
Owais Shah’s 39 at No.3 was Scotland’s top score, while Michael van Lingen took three for Namibia.
Unlike Scotland, Namibia had a strong start to their chase, with their openers adding 95 in 15,3 overs.
Niko Davin fell for 52 off 37 balls, while SJ Loftie-Eaton was unbeaten on 67 when the winning runs were hit with 144 balls to spare.
He had added 67 for the second wicket with his captain Zane Green, who was unbeaten on 39 off 42 balls.
England Under-19 fast bowlers Sam Curran and Saqib Mahmood took two and four wickets respectively to help dismiss West Indies Under-19 for 221 and complete a 61-run victory in Chittagong.
Curran began the defence of 282 in splendid fashion, dismissing Tevin Imlach and No. 3 Shimron Hetmyer for ducks in the first over of the West Indies chase. The other opener Gidron Pope made 60 out of the team’s first 84 runs at a run a ball before he was dismissed in the 18th over.
The only other innings of substance came from the No. 7 Keemo Paul, who made 65 off 58 deliveries. Mahmood ran through the lower order and West Indies were all out in 43,4 overs.
England had relied on a collective performance to post 282 for 7 after winning the toss, their second successive imposing total of the tournament.
Opener Dan Lawrence was impressive again, making 55, while Callum Taylor top scored with 59. Jack Burnham made 44 and George Bartlett 48 and Curran also contributed 39 off 36 balls at No. 6 before wrecking the start of the chase.
Fiji Under-19s — 81 all out in 27.4 overs (Cakacaka Tikoisuva 19, Jordan Durham 15; Wesley Madhevere 5/24, Blessing Mavuta 3/13)
Zimbabwe Under-19s — 84 for 3 in 18.5 overs (Brendan Sly 29*, Jeremy Ives 23; Josaia Baleicikoibia 2/19) — zimcricket/Cricinfo