While the Zimbabwe Under-19 players have returned home to school, their cricketing education has been enhanced by their five- week tour. Although losing nine out of 11 matches, they gradually learned to play the longer game.
Andrew Pycroft, their manager, stressed how much their 539 for five in the second Test lifted their confidence. Douglas Marillier, who averaged 47.76, was the most consistent batsmen and has had professional approaches from two English clubs. Mluleki Nkala, at 16 the youngest player, was the most promising allrounder. Although each of his 14 wickets cost him 39.14, he averaging 36.276 with the bat. Pycroft says he has the technique and temperament to be a Test star. Nkala`s fellow pace bowler, David Muten`ndera, was the most improved player.
England, after outstanding victories in the one-day internationals, adapted their side to match the abilities of their opponents. John Abrahams, the manager, while setting distinct targets, brought in younger players still eligible for the international youth tournament in South Africa in January.
Among those who performed well were Essex`s Stephen Peters, who averaged 70.75 in the Tests, and the all-rounder Graham Napier, whom Abrahams calls "an exciting prospect". Kent`s Robert Key (46.75) and Graeme Swann, the Northamptonshire allrounder, also caught the eye.