Triangular series for Under-19 cricket team

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Zimbabwe’s Under-19 cricket team begins its preparations for August’s International Cricket Council Under-19 World Cup in Australia by taking part in a triangular series featuring hosts South Africa and Pakistan from January 11-18 in Cape Town.

The young team, which is coached by former New Zealand all-rounder Chris Harris, will play a total of six matches during their stay in South Africa in preparation for the global showpiece where they were drawn in Group D alongside Papua New Guinea, Sri Lanka, South Africa, Bangladesh and Namibia.

Harris told NewsDay Sport yesterday said his charges were geared for the triangular series, which will no doubt test Zimbabwe’s preparedness for the World Cup.

“It’s definitely going to be a tough tour as Pakistan and South Africa will no doubt be among the top teams at the World Cup, but we are looking forward to the challenge as it will no doubt give us some good preparation.

“The guys will be eager to show some improvement from our performances against South Africa in the past and hopefully we will come back with some good performances,” Harris said.

The vastly experienced former Black Caps all-rounder said he was happy with the composition of his squad.

“We have some very bright prospects in the team and all the guys in the team deserve to be in the squad based on their performances last year. Obviously more will be expected from Kevin Kasuza and skipper Mathew Bentley because of their experience and hopefully they will lead from the front.”

Mountaineers’ youthful sensation Kasuza has been a revelation at the Mutare-based franchise this season after helping his team to some crucial wins in domestic competitions including the Stanbic Twenty20 title.

Zimbabwe usually take part in the Cricket South Africa (CSA) Franchise Clubs Week which started yesterday, but are currently in camp before their departure next week as the hosts will be using the tourney to select their own Under-19 team.

Zimbabwe Under-19 squad: Mathew Bentley (captain), James Bruce, Kyle Bowie, Ryan Burl, Atish Choughan, Shaun Handirisi, Malcolm Lake, Light Campbell, Luke Jongwe, Charles Kunje, Kelvin Kasuza, Andre Odendaal, Peacemore Zimwa, Liberty Nherera, Luke Masasire
Pakistan Under-19 squad: Sami Aslam, Babar Azam (captain), Syed Faraz Ali, Umer Waheed, Shahan Akram, Syed Saad Ali, Adnan Mahmood, Muhammad Irfan, Shahid Ilyas, Ehsan Adil, Azizullah, Zia ul Haq, Fawad Khan ,Usman Qadir, Saifullah Bangash