Mangongo praises U19 side

HARARE - Zimbabwe U19 cricket team coach Steve Mangongo was thrilled by his side’s series whitewash over Namibia, adding that hard work in training was slowly paying dividends.

Mangongo’s youngsters bagged the series with a 5-0 score-line in spectacular fashion winning the final match by a massive 83 runs at Harare Sports Club on Sunday.

After batting first, the hosts posted a total of 284 largely thanks to an unbeaten 96 by all-rounder and captain Liam Roche.

Milton Shumba (30), Kieran Robinson (39) and Wesley Madhevhere (35) also made useful contributions with the bat.

Medium seamer Jonathan Connolly was the pick of the bowlers for the home side with figures of 3-29 from 8.2 overs as the visitors were dismissed for 201. Madhevere finished with figures of 2-42 while Tinotenda Jakachira and Shumba picked up a wicket each. 

‘‘I’m very happy for the boys. These boys have worked very hard, there’s been a lot of commitment and sacrifice training four times a week, leaving school as you know they have got school commitments but they are all very focused about the World Cup journey,” Mangongo told the Daily News.

“So I’m very proud of them that they have come and have resoundingly beaten Namibia whom in our last encounter we beat only 3-2 but now we have whitewashed them so you can see the gap from December last year to now that it’s improving and it’s getting better.”

The former Zimbabwe national team coach said they are focused towards building a side that can compete in New Zealand at the ICC U19 World Cup next year.

“Basically, I think we are a very well balanced side, we have had batters doing their job upfront scoring runs consistently and the spinners department has been absolutely phenomenal,” Mangongo said.

“They have managed to bowl very tight in middle periods and also at the end taking wickets. Dion Mazhawidza (seamer) has been a revelation with the new ball — the boy is bowling in mid 130s and I think he’s the future for Zimbabwe bowling attack.

“...what we are doing is putting together a World Cup project and what we have done is a two-year programme where we are willing to make sure by the time we get to New Zealand we will have a solid unit.

So we have embarked on a two-year programme where we got 10 provinces to bring all their players to Prince Edward last year.

We initially selected 80 players and then by August we trimmed it down to 60 and by December trimmed it down to 43.

Mangongo said they want to play enough warm-up matches to fine-tune the team before they go to New Zealand next year.

“So this time ZC has taken the route of making sure that we leave no stone unturned in terms of the preparations and game time because of our school calendar,” he said.

“Our youth cricket in Zimbabwe; we are lucky to play eight games in a year but what we have done with this programme is to put down the international goal of playing 40 games before the World Cup.”

Comments (1)

5-0 kupi when first game was washed out. Get your facts right how are to believe the rest of your story

mee - 3 May 2017

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