THE Zimbabwe Under-19 cricket team begins its World Cup campaign with what should be a routine victory when it faces debutants Fiji in its Group C opener at the MA Aziz Stadium in the Bangladeshi port city of Chittagong today.
BY SPORTS REPORTER
After enduring a tough build-up to the global youth showpiece, the Zimbabwe team would be eyeing a positive start to their campaign ahead of tough group matches against England on Sunday and the West Indies two days later.
The local side produced mixed results in their official warm-up matches, losing to hosts and pre-tournament favourites Bangladesh by 63 runs last Saturday before registering a confidence-boosting eight-wicket victory over Namibia on Monday.
While results have not been forthcoming for Stephen Mangongo and his charges, they should have no problems beating Fiji, just like they encountered little resistance against Namibia in their second warm-up match.
Fiji, who are making their ICC Under-19 Cricket World Cup debut, also look to be there for the taking after a disastrous start to their campaign on Wednesday.
The Oceania side suffered a crushing 299-run defeat against England in their first-ever match at the Under 19 Cricket World Cup, after being bowled out for a measly 72 runs in pursuit of 372 runs for victory.
Zimbabwe’s batting hasn’t clicked as a unit either and it was individual performances that took them to a fighting total against Bangladesh in the warm-up clash and would be aiming to be more clinical against Fiji.
When it comes to bowling, Zimbabwe will depend on William Mashinge, who picked up a five-wicket haul against Bangladesh, while skipper Brendon Mavuta is also expected to make some valuable contributions after his six wickets against Namibia.
Zimbabwe Under-19 Squad: Brandon Mavuta (captain), Trevor Chibvongodze, Jeremy Ives, Adam Keefe, Kundai Matigimu, William Mashinge, Wesley Madhevere, Rugare Magarira, Sydney Murombo, Ryan Murray (wk), Richard Ngarava, Akshay Patel, Brendan Sly, Shaun Snyder, Milton Shumba.
Coach: Stephen Mangongo
Fiji Under-19 Squad: Saimoni Tuitoga (wk/captain), Petero Cabebula, Malakai Cokovaki, Vaibhav Kapadia, Ledua Qionivoka, Cakacaka Tikoisuva, Sosiceni Weleilakeba, Josaia Baleicikoibia, Jack Charters, Jordan Dunham, Delaimatuku Maraiwai, Samuel Saunokonoko, Peni Vuniwaqa, Tuwai Yabaki, T Veitacini