Canada kicked off the U-19 World Cup with a bang today with a tense victory over Zimbabwe. Canada won the toss and elected to bat and held off the a tough Zimbabwe team by 10 runs to get secure their first ever victory in the tournament.
Canada started off well within the first 10 overs with Ruvindu Gunasekara and Hiral Patel getting Canada off to a steady start. Ruvindu was the first batsman to depart after making 20, while Hiral made 29. In the next 10 overs Canada lost 3 quick wickets before Usman Limbada took charge with a superb 90 runs off only 114 balls. A knock which included 6 fours and 1 six which helped the boys reach a defendable target of 201-7 after batting their alotted 50 overs. Usman shared an important 57 run partnership with Darius D’Souza (20 from 34 balls).
Although it wasn’t a huge target it was certainly enough to put up a good fight and they held their nerve in the last few overs. Zimbabwe’s chase got off to a rocky start because of some great bowling from Zain Mahmood and Arsalan Qadir. Zain picked up 3 wickets for 31 runs to lead the bowling attack. Zimbabwe was 23-3 before Wicket keeper Dean Mashawidza and Andrew Lindsay steadied the chase for Zimbabwe with 75 and 40 runs respectively. Parth Desai got the crucial breakthrough by trapping Mashawidza in front for a big LBW. Zimbabwe fell short by 10 runs and were all out in the 50th over.
It’s the first ever victory for Canada at the U-19 World Cup and hopefully a good sign for things to come. But, while it is a big victory, it is only one game. The team must treat this like any another game and start preparing for the hosts New Zealand tomorrow. There will be plenty of time to savour this victory after the tournament is over… This game is definitely history.
Check out the full scorecard here.