MADRAS United and Ndola cricket clubs have emerged regional winners of the Zambia Cricket Union (ZCU) national Under-17 cricket week championships after tournaments held in Lusaka and on the Copperbelt respectively.
The competition played at the Central grounds in Lusaka and then at Kanini Sports Club in Ndola was used to pick players a national Under-17 team that will feature in the 2013 international engagements.
ZCU president Rueben Chama expressed happiness with the competitions which attracted five teams in each region and one winner in each zone at the end of it all.
"The tournament was of great importance as it acted as a dress rehearsal for the selection of Under-19 provisional teams for next year's international engagements. It also acted as a step in the right direction for some players who are much younger than 17.
These are young players and will be in the sport for a long time to come. Overall, it helped the coaches identify the areas where their respective teams need to improve on, especially on batting and bowling aspects," Chama said.
The teams that took part in the Midlands region are Black Swallows, Kabwata Shooting Stars, Woodlands Bombers, Madras United and Kanyama Warriors and watched on by ZCU General Secretary, Ebrahim Yousuf.
Chama was on hand to oversee the Copperbelt event together with his treasurer Peter Kang'ombe and office manager Mwila Chungu which featured Nkana from Kitwe, Ndola, Luanshya, Mufulira and Nchanga from Chingola.
The Lusaka game won by Madras was, however, washed out on the third and last day due to rains with the winners decided on results from day two which had Madras way in front with nine points with Kanyama Warriors in distant second with three points.
Madras were anyway deserving winners as they beat Woodlands Bomber by 87 runs before overcoming Black Swallows and later bashed Kabwata Shooting Stars by 40 runs to claim the nine points.
In the best game of the Midlands competition, Black Swallows and Kabwata Shooting Stars had a tense match after Kabwata, needing one run to win from the last ball failed to score a run with the batsman getting stamped instead to end the game as a tie.
Madras Jabir Patel top scored with 58 runs and though Black Swallows Ayush Patel finished second on 53 runs he was the best bowler with an economy of just 24 runs but taking out five wickets in his six overs.
On the Copperbelt, Ndola were crowned champions after picking up seven points from four games beating Luanshya Nchanga and Nkana as well as drawing with Mufulira on the way to the title.
Ndola's Abias Mwansa top scored with 57 runs while his clubmate Maxwell Chanda was the best bowler for taking eight wickets in eight overs and giving away 28 runs and was closely challenged by James Chembo who took seven wickets in seven overs and giving away just six runs.