Sean Williams led Zimbabwe XI’s fightback with an unbeaten 88 against Ireland on the second day of the ICC Intercontinental Cup cricket match at Harare Sports Club Wednesday.
At stumps, Zimbabwe XI were on 175 for three after 52 overs in response to Ireland’s 465 all out in the first innings and still trailing the visitors by 290 runs.
Zimbabwe XI was still 131 runs from reaching the follow on target of 306.
Ireland had threatened to overrun the hosts through veteran seamer Trent Johnston who took all the three wickets to fall during Zimbabwe XI’s innings. He completed the day with impressive figures of three for 30 in 13 overs.
Rejuvenated left handed batsman Williams led Zimbabwe XI’s fight back with an exciting 88 not out off 139 balls which included 13 elegant fours.
Williams was supported by another left hander Keith Dabengwa who 17 not out at close of play, and together they were sharing a partnership stand of 64, although it was still a long way to go for the hosts.
An off form top Stuart Matsikenyeri continued his awful run, managing just three runs before being trapped lbw by Johnston in the third over.
Johnston came back to haunt the hosts, with two quick wickets in two overs when he dismissed Steven Marillier (47) and skipper Vusimuzi Sibanda (4).
Marillier edged Johnston to first slip after sharing a 100 run second wicket partnership with Williams, while Sibanda was adjudged to have gloved Johnston’s delivery to the Irish wicketkeeper Niall O’Brien.
Sibanda was reluctant to depart from the field of play until the umpire Owen Chirombe raised the dreaded finger.
Andrew White who had an overnight score of 97 only added a further five more runs to finish on 102 which was his fourth century in the Intercontinental Cup.
Allrounder John Mooney would also add a further 87 runs before he was caught and bowled by Masakadza who completed his five-wicket-haul to finish with figures of five for 107 in 29 overs.
Spinner Nathan Mushangwe also chipped in with one more wicket after trapping their last man Allan Eastwood lbw after lunch to finish with figures of three for 106.