Zhuwao blasts his way to contention

CEPHAS Zhuwao blasted himself into contention for a place in the squad for the cricket World Cup qualifiers after scoring 131 runs off just 52 balls in the first of the four-match one-day international series between Zimbabwe A and Kenya A at Mutare Sports Club yesterday.

by SPORTS REPORTER

After the tourists, who are at full strength, set up Zimbabwe a winning target of 220 runs from 50 overs, the hosts raced home in just 23.1 overs thanks mainly to Zhuwao’s blistering knock.

Zhuwao opened the batting with Chamu Chibhabha, but the former started like a house on fire and never slowed down as he reached his ton in just 42 balls.

In reaching his century, he cracked nine fours and the same number of sixes.

In the end, his total was laced with 10 boundaries, while he cleared the rope 13 times in a piece of batting that the selectors will find hard to ignore, especially after a number of batsmen struggled in their triangular series with Bangladesh and Sri Lanka recently.

Former Zimbabwe national team coach Alan Butcher tweeted: “Wow … hurricane Zhuwao causes destruction to @CricketKenya … bowling figures destroyed … hearts broken! Great striking Big Bully!”

Cricket fans immediately started making calls for Zhuwao to be included in the squad that will play Afghanistan as well as in the World Cup qualifiers.

Richard Ngarava also gave a good account of himself with the ball after taking three wickets, as Zimbabwe restricted Kenya to just 219 in 50 overs.

Chris Mpofu, Wellington Masakadza and Brian Vitori took a wicket each. The Zimbabwe innings was all about Zhuwawo, as Zimbabwe lost four wickets on their way to the win with Chibhabha falling for 20 runs, while Tarisai Musakanda had 19. Skipper Prince Masvaure and wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva guided Zimbabwe home finishing on 16 and 12 not out.

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