Zim Cricket Under 19 coach positive ahead of Australia clash

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By Sports Reporter

The Zimbabwe Under 19 men’s cricket team coach Prosper Utseya is still hopeful that his boys will find the winning formula at the ongoing ICC men’s Under 19 World Cup in South Africa despite losing their opening match to Sri Lanka on Sunday.

The Young Chevrons lost by 39 runs through the Duckworth Lewis Method as the match was rain-affected.

Prosper Utseya’s side will be back in action on Thursday when they face Australia.

“We just need to make sure we qualify for the next round.

We are taking every game seriously because I believe every game is a challenge but the hope of doing good is still there,” said Utseya in an interview with this publication ahead of tomorrow’s clash.

This year’s World Cup edition comes with a new format as the top three teams from the competing four groups now stand a chance to qualify for the Super Six.

Against Sri Lanka, Peter House student Kol Esteen was the peak of the bowlers for the Young Chevrons as he grabbed three wickets which played a pivotal role in restricting Sri Lanka to 204 runs in 48.3 overs.

Zimbabwe took charge of the game in the early stages, as it managed to eliminate Sri Lanka’s top batting order for 88 runs in 31 overs before Sri Lanka was rescued by Dinura Kalupahana and Sharujan Shangmuganathan who posted 60 and 41 runs respectively.

A poor performance with the bat cost the young Chevrons as they posted 89 runs in 21.1 overs.

“Against Sri Lanka, it was disappointing to lose I thought we had a good chance, the bowlers gave us a lot of chances. Our batting was probably our biggest letdown, we need to show more intent and not allow opposition bowlers to dominate us.

“So the next game we need to improve and grab positive results.”

Utseya added that other than progressing to the next stage, his primary goal with the team is to develop players for the senior team.

“At under 19 level, it’s not all about winning because it is all about development so we need to make sure we tick all the boxes and I’m quite positive that from this group there will be two all three players that will make it to the national team in the near future.”

Zimbabwe finished in position 12 at the last Under 19 World Cup held in 2021.

The Young Chevron’s best-ever finish at the tournament was in 2004 when they finished on position six.

Zimbabwe is in group C where it occupies third position with 0 points, the same as Namibia which is bottom.

Sitting on top of the group is Australia which has two points the same as second-placed Sri Lanka.