THREE things we learnt from the Zimbabwe-West Indies Under 19 series

Zimbabwe put on a spirited performance as they fell 2-1 to world champions West Indies in a the recent Youth One Day International series.

The run of matches held in Harare and Marondera are part of preparations for the 2018 World Cup set for New Zealand.

After those matches, Kenya’s Under 19 team will visit Zimbabwe for a few matches after which Stephen Mangongo’s charges will dart off to Australia and then India for more action.

There are three things we learnt from this run of matches

Under 19 cricket is competitive

The matches were full of action, very aggressive and full of ambition. We saw two sides who gave a go and impressed for long periods. The West Indies show right now that they have huge talent, very athletic, focused and this was illustrated a lot by how much their shies at the stump often were on target. Impressive for Zimbabwe was captain Liam Roche who we have been made to believe is the confirmed substantive skipper for the finals.

What was that with the wicket keeper?

We (and obviously Mangongo in particular) all like Ryan Murray. His keeper game is on fleek and he looks like he will be a capab;e batsman. Given he will be too old for the under 19 world cup next year, why he played in this series is beyond us. We understand the need for game time bu that was three games less experience for the wicket keeper meant for next year’s showpiece.

More games away from Harare Sports Club please

We went out to Marondera at Peterhouse Boys High School. It gave the team a different lift and experience. We sometimes feel the international stadium should be something of a holy grail which the young kids can only aspire to one day. It should be like our Lords. And school grounds like those at Peterhouse are good options.

Sports and recreation minister Makhosini Hlongwane and Zimbabwe Cricket chairperson Tavengwa Mukhuhlani were present for the second match in Marondera.