It was a tough day in the office for the Zimbabwe U19′s at the World Cup in Townsville, Australia who went down fighting to India.
In a match played this morning at the Tony Ireland Stadium, India beat Zimbabwe by 64 runs. For the first time in Australia, Zimbabwe won the toss, and opted to field first. The Indian duo of Prashant Chopra and Unmukt Chand(c) did enough to pose trouble for the Zimbabwe bowlers pulling off a partnership of 139 runs after 26.3 overs. Malcom Lake was first to breakdown India’s defense when he dismissed Prashant Chopra with 57 runs off 82 deliveries. A catch by Cuthbert Musoko denied India’s captain what seemed like an obvious world cup century with 78 runs off 85 balls. India’s batting progressed on well and after 45.5 overs they were at 216/5. Passi batting at eight had a superb innings scoring 24 runs of 5 balls to take India to a massive 261/6 after 50 overs. Campbell Light took three wickets for 22.
Chasing 262 to win, Zimbabwe’s start was not a favorable one as Passi had Kevin Kasuza caught behind in the fourth over. Luke Masasire was also bowled out by Passi with 6 runs off 17 balls. The pace-man continued on a rampage dismissing Matthew Bentley and Ryan Burl in an unbelievable opening spell.
Malcom Lake, “It’s definitely my highest score.”
Coming in at fifth, with the scoreboard reading Zimbabwe 30 for four, Malcom Lake embarked on a mission to restore Zimbabwean dignity and his 87-run stand with Luke Jongwe kept Zimbabwe’s hopes of victory alive, but Jongwe was run-out after being sent back by Lake while Campbell Light was trapped lbw just two overs later. Lake showcased his ability to play all kinds of strokes when he opened up in the batting power play towards the end of the innings hitting 10 fours and 5 sixes in his superb hundred. He harvested 14 from Sandeep Sharma’s over and then 18 from the next, bowled by Vikas Mishra. Lake continued his brave innings despite running out of partners as Nyasha Mayavo, Peacemore Zimwa and Kyle Bowie were also dismissed with 8, 3 and 0 runs respectively.
Nonetheless Lake still found time to bring up his century with a single to mid-off in the 41st over. It was Passi’s slower ball that deceived Lake ending in a Sandeep Sharma catch at cover to dismiss Lake with 118 runs and end his gallant innings and Zimbabwe’s too. Zimbabwe was 63 runs short off the target to see the two-time champions win their first at this year’s edition of the U19 World Cup.
Zimbabwe coach Chris Harris called Lake’s innings a “magnificent innings.” “It was one of those innings, when looking from the sidelines, you felt as though you had a chance, how well he was striking the ball,” Harris said. Lake’s century was a dramatic turnaround as he struggled for runs even before his duck against Papua New Guinea. Lake’s 118 is the third highest individual score at the World Cup so far after Quinton de Cock(126) of South Africa vs Namibia and Cameron Bancroft(125) of Australia vs Nepal.
Zimbabwe have dropped to third in group C but they still have an impressive net run rate of +0.410. The boys continue their campaign on the 16th of August when they play West Indies at Endeavour Park No 2 in Townsville.