HARARE - Zimbabwe returns to the ICC U19 Cricket World Cup action tomorrow with a date against Canada in the less-fashionable Plate Championships after the two-run controversial defeat to West Indies cost them a place in the quarter-finals.
The locals were knocked out of the World Cup in a painful manner after West Indies’ bowler Keemo Paul completed an unsporting Mankad run-out on Zimbabwe’s last batsman Richard Ngarava from the non-striker’s end.
Zimbabwe needed three runs to win the match from six balls therefore losing the match by a narrow margin of two runs.
Mankad is a run-out which is out of the ordinary where a bowler runs out a batsman from the non-striking end before completing his delivery. It is largely not a sporting gesture but the ICC allows for its existence as it is contained within the laws of the game.
Tomorrow, Zimbabwe will play against Canada with not much to play for in terms of this edition of the World Cup but only to ascertain their rankings.
U19 bowling coach Prosper Utseya who is still upset with the way they exited the tournament said his boys will play with pride and finish the games on a high.
“It never rains but pours, though it’s within the rules, it’s not good sportsmanship and against the spirit of the game,” Utseya told the Daily News from Bangladesh.
“For us, it’s now a closed chapter, the boys will continue to play freely and enjoy the game in the same way they have been doing throughout the group stage games and hope we can end the tournament on a high note.”
Head coach Steve Mangongo who charmed the world with a vintage performance from his charges also expressed his disappointment on Tuesday.
“I am disappointed with the way the game ended. I have debriefed the boys in the dressing room and they were all crying. We have explained that technically the run-out is legal.
“We left it to the last man and we should not have done that.
“It was a hard lesson and they have learnt it the hard way,” said Mangongo.
Neighbours South Africa who were also relegated to the Plate Championship, kick-start the wooden-spoon games with a clash against Ireland today while New Zealand take on Scotland in another encounter.
The other match tomorrow features Afghanistan against Fiji.