ZIMBABWE’S Under-19 cricket team were given a reality check ahead of tomorrow’s ICC Under-19 World Cup opener against Canada after suffering a six-wicket loss to minnows to the United Arab Emirates (UAE) in their second warm-up match at the Sevens Stadium in Dubai yesterday.
After thumping Australia in their first warm-up match on Monday, Zimbabwe were overwhelming favourites to brush aside the challenge of hosts UAE.
The Walter Chawaguta-coached side was, however, brought down to earth as they struggled to contain the UAE spinners after being sent in to bat first.
Only two Zimbabwean batsmen managed to reach double figures as they were bowled out for a paltry 100 runs in 39,1 overs.
Charles Kunje top-scored with 36 runs while Luke Jongwe added 18 to the small total. Ryan Burl, who hit a fluent 60 against Australia on Monday, could only manage seven runs.
Left-arm spinner Justin James and off-spinner Moaaz Qazi were the chief tormenters as they made full use of their home conditions to finish with three wickets apiece.
While Zimbabwe seemed clueless during their innings, UAE were hardly troubled as they comfortably chased down Zimbabwe’s total 29.5 overs of their allotted 50 overs.
Top order batsman Shorye Chopra top-scored for UAE with 37 runs while opener Chirag Suri sent the hosts on their way with 22 runs before retiring hurt.
Off spinner Patrick Mambo claimed two wickets while Herbert Chikomba and Luke Jongwe finished with a wicket each.
Zimbabwe’s performance yesterday was in complete contrast to their performance on Monday, when they stunned favourites Australia by three wickets in Abu Dhabi.
The Malcolm Lake-captained side will be hoping to quickly regroup ahead of their first World Cup match against Canada tomorrow.