Brian Bennett and Trevor Gwandu have been called up in Zimbabwe’s squad for Ireland T20Is – LSB

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Zimbabwe have called up the uncapped duo of middle-order batsman Brian Bennett and fast bowler Trevor Gwandu in their 15-man squad for three T20Is against Ireland in Harare starting on Thursday. This will be Zimbabwe’s first series after their recent failure to qualify for next year’s T20 World Cup. Zimbabwe finished third in the seven-team Africa Zone qualifiers that saw Namibia and Uganda qualify for the main tournament.
Experienced batsman Craig Irvine, who played just one match in the qualifiers before suffering a hip injury, is fit again and retained in the team.

Kaya and Welsh each played three matches in the African qualifiers and scored just 62 and 39 points respectively. Masakadza also made three appearances while Chatara got one, but both picked just one wicket each and leaked more than eight runs.

Mafuta, who has played nine T20Is, featured in a home ODI against Netherlands earlier this year but last played a T20I in May 2022, at home to Namibia. He has recently been scoring runs and picking up wickets for the Rhinos in the domestic circuit and also helped them reach the Pro50 final. He finished the tournament with a batting average of 65 while scoring 195 runs in six innings, including three fifties, and was also his team’s top wicket-taker with 15 and an economy rate of just 4.84.
Munyonga was also prolific in the tournament. He stood second in the run-scorers list with a total of 389 runs earning him an average of 55.57, with the help of one century and three half-centuries. Munyonga has played 13 T20Is and returns having last played against the same opponent he will play next – Ireland – also in the home T20I series earlier this year.

The 20-year-old Bennett has played just five T20 matches so far and has also represented Zimbabwe Under-19s and Under-25s. The 25-year-old Gwandu opened the bowling for the Southern Rocks recently, with whom he played eight Pro50 matches and took 17 wickets, the second most in the tournament.

The three T20Is will be played on December 7, 9 and 10 before the ODIs on December 13, 15 and 17, also in Harare.

Zimbabwe T20I squad for Ireland: Sikander Reda (captain), Brian Bennett, Ryan Burl, Craig Irvine, Trevor Gwandu, Luke Jongoi, Clive Madande, Wesley Madhevere, Tadiwanashe Marumane, Brandon Mafuta, Carl Mumba, Tony Munyonga, Blessing Muzarabane, Richard Ngarava, Sean Williams.

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