All On Track, Says Zimbabwe A Coach Steven Mangongo

Conant MasochaContributor IApril 6, 2009

After watching his young  side thrash Canada and the previously fancied Ireland last week, Zimbabwe A coach  Stephen Mangongo feels his side is well on track and could have a few of his players challenging for spots in the national side.

The outstanding Mbekezeli Mabuza, Cephas Zhuwawo, and captain Tymmcen Maruma stood out as Zimbabwe steamrolled Canada on Tuesday, then thrashed the hapless Ireland a day later.

Opening batsman Zhuwawo hit a belligerent 45 against Ireland, while Maruma had sparkled with a hundred runs a week earlier against the Namibian national team.

Western's batsman Mbekezeli Mabuza went unbeaten in both matches against Ireland and Canada , hitting 56 and 45 not out.

Said Mangongo: "It's been a good team effort altogether, although I cannot deny that
a few players have really come good in the last tour to Namibia  and South Africa.


“Timmy finally showed his potential with the bat against Namibia last week, and you have just seen first hand what Zhuwawo can do to an attack," remarked Mangongo as the left-hander went on a rampage.


"Mabuza has gone about with his innings patiently. So certainly the players are coming up well and so is the team, which acts as the feeder system for the national side.”


Indeed, top order batsman Zhuwawo did his prospects of a return to the
national team no harm after he hit a bullish 45 against Ireland the
following day.


Such was his dominance that when the left handed batsman was finally dismissed, he had blasted 45 of Zimbabwe's 55 runs.


He showed a wide array of stokes, hooking and pulling with panache and cutting ferociously.

Even Mabuza, normally so circumspect, lashed out against Ireland on Wednesday, with three massive sixes, to indicate what confidence can do to a player in form.

The previous day against Canada he had hit a more carefully constructed, but fluent, half century.


The match between Ireland and Zimbabwe had been eagerly anticipated after the thriller at the World Cup two years ago, and the Irishman belligerence all round.


Despite setting a bullish tone—Phil Simmons, the former Zimbabwe coach and now coach of Ireland, had visited the Zimbabwe camp a day earlier  and promised a good fight—the Irish were quickly put to the sword after being dismissed for just 118 runs in 38 overs, before Zimbabwe coasted home in good time. 


Bowlers Tendai Chisoro and Trevor Garwe stood out, and the 17-year-old leg spinner Natsai Mashangwe showed promise, as he outfoxed old hand Andrew White of Ireland to be smartly stumped.