Zimbabwe Under-19s – 166 all out in 48.4 overs (Brian Bennett 37, David Bennett 35, Steven Saul 24; Muzamil Sherzad 5/20, Matthew Humphreys 3/32, Jamie Forbes 1/29)
Ireland Under-19s – 169-2 in 32 overs (Jack Dickson 78*, Tim Tector 76*, Nathan McGuire 6; Tendekai Mataranyika 1/31, Mcgini Dube 1/32)
Ireland Under-19s won by eight wickets
The Zimbabwe Under-19s suffered an eight-wicket defeat at the hands of the Ireland Under-19s in an ICC Men’s Under-19 Cricket World Cup Plate semi-final match played at the Queen’s Park Oval at Port of Spain, Trinidad, on Saturday.
The Zimbabweans’ good fortune with the toss continued and they again batted first.
This time, though, their innings did not start well and they never really recovered.
Their star batter, Matthew Welch, was unable to get off the mark, and after facing nine balls he ran himself out in a rather desperate attempt to score.
The captain, Emmanuel Bawa, soon followed for four, lbw to Matthew Humphreys, and the score was five for two wickets.
Brian Bennett had just come in when a slight earthquake was felt, but it lasted so briefly that play was not interrupted.
Steven Saul and Brian Bennett worked hard to bring about a recovery, and for a while they succeeded, taking the score to 57 before Saul (24) was bowled by Humphreys.
Brian Bennett and Connor Mitchell took the score to 82, but both were out in quick succession, the former for 37, while the latter struggled to score nine off 34 balls.
David Bennett fought hard and well, but he could not find a partner to stay with him until Tendekai Mataranyika came in at number nine, with the score 127 for seven in the 37th over.
Mataranyika did a fine job in holding his end up while David Bennett sought the runs.
David Bennett finally fell for 35 as he tried to increase the scoring rate in the death overs, the score then being 155 for eight after 45 overs.
The last two batters did not last long against Muzamil Sherzad and the innings ended for 166 with eight balls unbowled, with Mataranyika not out with 11.
The Zimbabwe Under-19s badly needed at least one batter to go on to a big score, but only three of them scored more than 12 runs, and none reached 40.
Sherzad was the best of the bowlers, with five wickets for only 20 runs, and he had done most to prise out the middle order, while Humphreys took three for 32.
The Zimbabwe Under-19s had only a small total to defend, but they briefly had hopes of success when they took two wickets for only 10 runs on the board: Nathan McGuire was caught off Mcgini Dube for six, while Joshua Cox was lbw to the first ball he faced from Mataranyika.
But there followed the partnership that decided the match, as the Irish captain Tim Tector joined the remaining opener Jack Dickson, and they mastered the bowling with an outstanding third-wicket partnership.
They completed the job to win the match after only 32 overs.
Dickson finished it in fine style with a six and a four off successive deliveries from Alex Falao – he was 78 not out at the end, off 88 balls.
Tector had 76 not out off 94 balls.
The unbroken partnership itself was worth 159 runs, and both played remarkably well.
Mataranyika, with one for 31 off his eight overs, had the best figures of the Zimbabwe Under-19 bowlers, although Matthew Schonken and Brian Bennett also bowled five economical overs each for less than four an over – but were unable to take the vital wickets.