The Herald (Harare)

Zimbabwe: Zim Cricket U-14s Hold Their Own in SA

Holla Cool guys, it was a black week for the Zimbabwean football fraternity and perhaps let's have a moment of silence before we get into detail. Cool Sport joins the entire football fraternity and the

Ndlovu family in mourning the death of former national team striker Adam Ndlovu who died in a car accident last week.

To Peter, Adam's brother who escaped with severe injuries from the same accident, we wish you a quick recovery and may the Lord give you strength to cope with the bereavement.

Meanwhile, our Zimbabwe Under-14 Junior Cricket team returns home from a week-long Cricket South Africa (CSA) Week Festival held in Cape Town that ended over the weekend.

The team. which was captained by Taun Harrison of St John's, put up a commendable fighting spirit at this tournament which consisted of 16 provincial teams from all over South Africa to finish in second position.

The boys lost a single match from six of the matches that they played winning three, drawing one, playing one tie, and losing one.

The team's victories were recorded against the strong opponents with the first one being a four- wicket victory over Western Province that was followed by a 25-run win over Free State.

The last win was a convincing 26-run victory over North West with the draw coming against KwaZulu-Natal.

The game against Border ended in a tie with both teams scoring 150 runs.

The loss was against Northerns in a 20-20 fixture which the boys lost by 25runs.

Team coach David Mutendera, who is a former Zimbabwe cricketer, expressed satisfaction with his charges' performance at the festival.

"I was happy with the remarkable performance from these youngsters as they were able to contest well in all formats and managed to win a match ineach format," said David Mutendera.

He said participating at the tournament was good for the development of Zimbabwe junior cricket.

"What was encouraging for me as the coach was that the boys got exposed to declaration cricket at an early age which grooms future test cricketers.

"In Zimbabwe we do not play that format at such an early age of 13, so it was pleasing for our boys to record a victory against Western Province, in that format of the game," he said.

Richard Matewa was outstanding with the bat, scoring three half centuries during the tournament while his captain, Taun Harrison, picked up the most wickets ending with 15 wickets, and Manson Chikowero finishing the tournament with 12 wickets.

"These results were good, but the most important thing was for the players to showcase their talent with the best that South Africa has to offer.

More of these tours will see most of our players at grassroots level developing early and playing competitive cricket at 13," said Mutendera.

Mutendera has applauded the Zimbabwe Cricket for sending the team to participate at the festival of such a nature.

Zimbabwe is not new to such school-boy cricket festivals in South Africa as they regularly get invitations to participate at the tournaments.

This was the second time the Under-14 team representing the nation in South Africa this year.

In July they participated at the eighth Eastern Junior Club Cricket Association (EJCCA) festival which took place in Brakpan for a week again.

The CSA Under-14 week is a tournament where young cricketers experience the first form of competitive cricket during primary school and it has proved to be an important stepping stone for a fruitful cricketing career for the youngsters.

Started in 1986, the CSA Cricket Week is a key component of the South African board's development programme from grassroots levels through to the national team and provides aspirant cricketers with an opportunity to realise their full potential.

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