Zimbabwe U19 bowled out by England

Zimbabwe U19 bowled out by England

England beat Zimbabwe by 146 runs in Potchefstroom. England 237/7 (50 overs) v Zimbabwe 91 (24.5 overs)

England recovered from a precarious position against Zimbabwe to register a win in their final match of the tournament. Zimbabwe, opting to bowl first, were met with the aggressive opening duo of Theo Wylie and Ben McKinney. The openers raced to 39, maintaining a brisk run rate of seven runs per over. However, the partnership took a hit when skipper McKinney drove a full delivery from Anesu Kamuriwo straight into the hands of the cover fielder, squandering a promising start. 

Jaydn Denly then came to the crease, looking to anchor the innings alongside the more enterprising Wylie. With the partnership starting to gain momentum, Denly went for a big loft down the ground, but miscued the hit to be caught out for 11. 

England’s position worsened when Hamza Sheikh was controversially ruled out for obstructing the field. Sheikh had passed the ball from the batting crease with his hand to the wicket-keeper, prompting a Zimbabwean appeal that led to the third umpire’s intervention. After multiple replays, the third umpire’s decision went against England, much to their dismay.

Newman Nyamhuri added to England’s woes when he came around the wicket to induce an edge off Luc Benkenstein’s bat. Amidst these setbacks, Wylie remained composed and reached a brilliant fifty, continuing to make a significant impact in the tournament. With Charlie Allison providing support, England staged a promising recovery after being reduced to 79 for four.

Skipper Matthew Schonken brought himself into the attack and struck in his first over with a big scalp of Wylie for 61. The right-handed opener attempted a big sweep off the leg-spinner and a leading edge was pouched by the running fielder at fine leg.

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Despite Wylie’s departure, Allison found a reliable partner in wicketkeeper Haydon Mustard. The two batsmen built a carefully crafted partnership, characterized by steady accumulation rather than explosive hitting. Only six boundaries were scored during their 71-run stand as England aimed to set a solid foundation for a late-innings surge.

But, a dent in that plan came when a mix-up between Allison and Mustard saw the latter run out for 41. Sebastian Morgan added a few vital runs from the down the order, forging a useful stand with Allison. 

Allison only fell in the final over of the innings, having made a vital 76 to rebuild England’s innings that had suffered a mid-innings slump. His heroic effort allowed England to post a total of 237 runs on the board in their allotted fifty overs.

Zimbabwe were jolted early in the chase by left-arm spinner Charlie Barnard, who sent back Munashe Chimusoro and Ronak Patel, who came in earlier at No.3, in the same over. Panashe Taruvinga and Campell Macmillan looked to revive the innings, but the latter was bowled by Jaydn Denly’s left-arm spin for 10 in the eighth over. 

Tazeem Ali’s introduction spelt doom for Zimbabwe as the leg-spinner ran through the rest of the batting line-up in arguably the best spell of the tournament. Ali, who had been the pick of England’s bowlers in the tournament, gave a strong impression in his final outing at the event with a remarkable seven-wicket haul.

Except Taruvinga, who played a lone hand in salvaging Zimbabwe’s innings, none of the other batters could handle Ali. Three of Ali’s seven wickets were bowled while another was leg-before-wicket as Zimbabwe went from 51/3 to 91 all out. Ali registered the best figures in the tournament, and the fifth-best in the history of the Men’s U19 World Cup, with his exceptional 7/29.

England skipper Ben McKinney praised Tazeem Ali’s brilliant spell and spoke of his experience in the tournament.

“Obviously a bit disappointed with how the tournament panned out, but very happy with a win like that today. Tazeem was outstanding, it’s the best I have seen him bowl. The tournament has been a great experience for me and the team as well.” 

Tapiwa Rubaya

Tapiwa Rubaya is the current affairs, fashion and sports reporter at My Afrika Magazine.

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