Eddie Chikamhi Senior Sports Reporter
THE Zimbabwe Under-19 Cricket team today have no other options except to win their game against Pakistan if they are hoping to keep alive their dream of reaching the Super League stage at the ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup currently underway in South Africa.
The youth side opened their campaign on a rather disappointing note when they lost to Bangladesh by nine wickets at the weekend.
As a result, coach Prosper Utseya will be looking for a big response from his charges who never really got themselves into any kind of momentum in the first game when they batted to 137-6 in 28.1 overs before rain intervened and caused a long delay in the game. With Bangladesh having been set a revised target of 130 in 22 overs, the Zimbabwean bowlers were thoroughly punished as the young Tigers reached the target in just 11.2 overs. Bangladesh needed a good start and Tanzid Hasan provided that with a quickfire 32 off just 10 balls with three fours and three sixes.
After losing his wicket, Bangladesh made sure that no further damage was done. Parvez Hossain Emon (58*) and Mahmudul Hasan Joy (38*) helped Bangladesh chase down the target easily with 8.4 overs to spare, completing a comprehensive victory over Zimbabwe.
The Utseya-coached side sunk to the bottom of the group because of the heavy thumping. They now have bigger fish to fry in Pakistan who demonstrated their mighty by blowing Scotland away with a superb bowling prowess in that seven-wicket thumping on Sunday.
The Pakistanis made it all look easy when they had the Scots all out for 75 despite losing three wickets in the run chase. But Zimbabwe have good prospects in their skipper Dion Myers, Wesley Madhevere, Milton Shumba, Tadiwa Marumani and Dane Schadendorf.
Zimbabwe still have mathematical chances in this tournament but their fate will be good as decided if they lose this particular game.
“I believe we can progress if we execute better than the teams in our group on the day. All teams are equally strong and the whole nation should keep rallying behind us,” said Utseya.