New Zealand Under-19s – 198 in 49 overs (Jesse Tashkoff 39, Ollie White 32, Beckham Wheeler-Greenall 24; Milton Shumba 4/23, Wessly Madhevere 3/45, Privilege Chesa 2/38)
Zimbabwe Under-19s – 199-8 in 49.3 (Milton Shumba 50, Emmanuel Bawa 41, Taurayi Tugwete 37; Jesse Tashkoff 2/32, Beckham Wheeler-Greenall 2/32, Joey Field 1/28)
Zimbabwe Under-19s won by two wickets
Milton Shumba, with a fifty and four cheap wickets, today starred for the Zimbabwe Under-19s in their thrilling victory over the New Zealand Under-19s by just two wickets with only three balls to spare in Durban.
At the death, Luke Oldknow held his nerve and smote a ball from the opening bowler Kristian Clarke for six to take Prosper Utseya’s charges home in a very tight finish.
Thus the Zimbabweans won the third-place playoff match and finished the Under-19 Quadrangular Series with two successive victories, the other one over the hosts South Africa.
The New Zealanders had the advantage of winning the toss and chose to bat first in the morning.
They put up a patchy batting performance after their opening batsmen, Rhys Mariu (23) and Ollie White (32), had scored 52 for their first wicket in less than 13 overs.
Then Shumba came on to bowl his left-arm spin and turned things around in the course of two overs, in which he took three wickets.
When he had White caught for 32 a few overs later, the New Zealanders were struggling at 77 for four wickets, all of them to Shumba.
Besides taking the wickets, Shumba bowled very economically to concede only 23 runs off his 10 overs, putting the pressure on the batsmen to score.
Then came a fighting partnership between their captain, Jesse Tashkoff, with 39, and Beckham Wheeler-Greenall, 24, that took the score to 133.
Both then fell in consecutive overs, and eight were down for 155 before Quinn Sunde, with 23 not out, helped by the last two batsmen, took their team to a final total of 198, the last wicket falling after 49 overs.
Wessly Madhevere took three wickets to back up the efforts of Shumba, but they came at greater expense, costing 45 runs in 10 overs.
No doubt this was a much smaller total than New Zealand had expected, and Zimbabwe scented victory.
They lost Madhevere for a single, but then came the crucial partnership as Emmanuel Bawa (41) and Shumba (50) put on 85 runs together, the highest stand of the match.
Bawa was aggressive, scoring his runs off only 56 balls, while Shumba played with more steadiness to be the backbone of the innings and staying till he was sixth out at 133.
At this point the New Zealanders looked favourites to win, as the Zimbabwe middle order had contributed little, but Taurayi Tugwete came to the rescue.
He finally found a reliable partner in Oldknow, who came in at number nine, starting his innings slowly, but he knew what he was doing.
This pair took the score from 152 to 189 before Tugwete, who had deserved to be there at the finish, was bowled for 37 with just 10 balls left to the innings.
Privilege Chesa came in to score two singles, but Oldknow obviously knew the burden was on him to take his team home.
The pressure was on, with nine runs needed off the final over.
Chesa scored a single and Oldknow two, before the left-hander made his mighty winning blow off the third ball of the over to end the match in a famous victory for the Zimbabweans.