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Utseya to captain Zimbabwe side

ZIMBABWE selectors have named a 16-member select side for a short tour of South Africa next week.

Offspinner Prosper Utseya will captain the side for the first time in his career in the absence of Terry Duffin, who is yet to retu

rn from England.

Stuart Matsikenyeri completes his comeback on the tour.

The side also includes national team players Hamilton Masakadza, Piet Rinke, Vusi Sibanda, Tawanda Mpariwa, Brendan Taylor and Elton Chigumbura. Taylor is said to be arriving from the UK this week.

There were also call-ups, as expected, for young A side players, pace bowler Trevor Garwe, wicketkeeper/batsmen Tafadzwa Mufambisi, opening batsman Tino Mawoyo and top-order batsman Friday Kasteni.

But the surprise inclusion is diminutive pace bowler Admire Manyumwa, who bowled with modest success for the A side against Bangladesh A in Bulawayo.

Zimbabwe play franchise side Nashua Titans and a South African academy side in preparation for an ODI home series against Bangladesh at the end of the month.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe A coach Andy Pycroft said Bangladesh A raced to an unassailable 3-0 lead in the one-day games in Bulawayo because his young side was short of experience.

The Zimbabweans came back to win the fourth game by six wickets at Kwekwe Sports Club on Wednesday.

The two sides play the final dead-rubber in the Midlands today.

“In the second and third games, in Bulawayo we were in positions to win and we failed because of inexperience,” Pycroft said.

“We are using a rotational system, but still it was disappointing to lose. In the second game, we were 173/3 in 27 overs. If you get in these sorts of positions, you must go on and win.

“The problem is guys want to score quickly. If you get a good start, the aim must be to keep wickets in hand and score progressively, and then hit towards the end of the innings.”

The former Zimbabwe star player said Bangladesh’s invariable use of spin outshone his experimental side.

“The boys have had to play a lot of spin,” Pycroft said. “Once you finish the powerplay, it’s difficult to get it (spin) away. The guys have experienced playing a lot of spin; quality spin.” Pycroft, however, drew some positives from the games.

“On balance a lot of good has happened,” he said. “The top order batsmen and spinners have done well. Matsikenyeri comes in there. He’s done well with the bat and his spin bowling, and captained well too. (Ryan) Higgins and (Sean) Williams bowled well too.”

Zimbabwe squad to SA:

Prosper Utseya (captain), Stuart Matsikenyeri, Brendan Taylor, Chamu Chibhabha, Hamilton Masakadza, Tino Mawoyo, Tafadzwa Mufambisi, Friday Kasteni, Ryan Higgins, Piet Rinke, Elton Chigumbura, Vusi Sibanda, Admire Manyumwa, Trevor Garwe, Blessing Mahwire, Tawanda Mupariwa. — Staff Writer.

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