Zimbabwe U-19 beat Namibia U-19 by 68 runs

Alvin Chiradza blitzed an unbeaten 40 that set Zimbabwe Under-19s en route to a comfortable 68-run victory over Namibia Under-19s in the second and final Twenty20 match played at Windhoek s United Ground on Friday. His 16-ball knock, which included four sixes plus a single boundary, helped the tourists to an innings total of 175 for six in 20 overs, before Oldreive Declan s insanely parsimonious figures of three wickets for six runs from his four overs guided Stephen Mangongo s charges home with precious little fuss. As in their first T20 clash at the same venue on Wednesday, Zimbabwe Under-19s won the toss but this time round opted to bat first.

Trent Jayden and Gregory Dollar started off steadily, if not aggressively, but their opening stand was soon broken in the third over when Jayden was dismissed for 13, with the pair having put on 26 together. Five overs later, Dollar departed for 27 after he was trapped lbw, leaving the Zimbabweans on 69 for two. Only 11 more runs had been added when Kieran Robinson (seven) became the third wicket to fall with 10.4 overs gone, but the visitors never looked in trouble, having batted at a rate of 7.69 runs an over at that stage.

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Milton Shumba and Jonathan Connolly made vital contributions with the bat of 31 and 25 respectively, while Liam Roche chipped in with 13, before the Chiradza swashbuckling exhibition began. The ruthless Chiradza twice carted Albert van der Merwe over line, smacked a four and added three runs to make it 19 runs off the 19thover.

In the final over, he again put the bowler, this time Ben Shikongo, to the sword, blasting two sixes before Kundai Tigere closed off the innings with a four as the Zimbabweans plundered an amazing 20 runs off the 20th over! A target of 176 for a win was not going to be easy for the Namibians and their chase was soon in trouble when Roche bowled out van der Merwe for eight off the last delivery of the first over.

Declan further rocked the hosts when he reduced them to 39 for two in the fifth over with the scalp of Lohan Louwrens, who top-scored for the home side with 20. After that, wickets fell like confetti at a wedding and only a laboured 16* by Mauritius Ngupita helped take the total to a three-digit figure as Namibia Under-19s were bundled out for 107 with three balls to spare.

Declan was easily the pick of the Zimbabwean bowlers, while Roche and Connolly were impressive with the ball too as they bagged two wickets apiece. With the 68-run victory, Mangongo s boys have won the T20 series 2-0 and will now face their Namibian counterparts in five 50-over matches starting tomorrow at the Centre for Cricket Development Ground in Windhoek.

Brief scores:

Zimbabwe Under-19s 175 for 6 in 20 overs (Alvin Chiradza 40*, Milton Shumba 31, Gregory Dollar 27; Albert van der Merwe 3 for 26) beat Namibia Under-19s 107 in 19.3 overs (Lohan Louwrens 20, Mauritius Ngupita 16*; Oldreive Declan 3 for 6, Liam Roche 2 for 15, Jonathan Connolly 2 for 19) by 68 runs.