Chakabva, Maruma joins senior team

HARARE - Regis Chakabva and Timycen Maruma gave selectors plenty to ponder with impressive half centuries in Zimbabwe A’s seven-wicket win over touring Afghanistan in a warm-up match in Bulawayo on Tuesday and have been recalled to the national side.

Zimbabwe A captain Chakabva was unbeaten on 72 from 83 balls in a knock that comprised six boundaries and a six as the second-string side raced to 272-3 with seven deliveries left in their allotted 50 overs in response to the tourists’ 268-7.

Maruma weighed in with a 62-ball 63 batting at number five, smashing six boundaries and three maximums before being trapped plum by Afghan seamer Aftab Alam in the 43rd over with the team needing just 25 runs to win.

Equally impressive was opener and wicketkeeper batsman Richmond Mutumbami, whose solid foundation guided the team to a convincing victory with a masterstroke 68-ball 73 runs before retiring hurt. Mutumbami walked out when the team was on 127-2.

National team coach Andy Waller was impressed with the performance of the fringe players, revealing that Chakabva and Marima have already joined the rest of the squad.

“We arrived in Bulawayo on Monday and the training has been very encouraging,” Waller told the Daily News yesterday.

“It was a joy to watch these batsmen being aggressive while also sticking to their basics as much as possible. Reggie and Timycen have joined the squad although some senior guys will be given preference ahead of them.”

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe Under-10 all-rounder Luke Jongwe justified his selection into Zim A and was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets for 74 runs from 10 overs. Jongwe also starred with the bat, scoring 50 runs albeit in Zimbabwe A’s 16-run defeat to Afghanistan in the first warm-up encounter on Sunday.

“He’s not ready for it (national team call-up) yet,” Waller said of Jongwe.

“But he’s got a lot of potential and as youngster he can only get better with a lot of exposure of this magnitude.”

The first ODI is scheduled for tomorrow at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.

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