The Zimbabwe “A” national cricket team avoided a potential banana skin to account for Canada by two wickets in the first of three one-day internationals at Harare Sports Club yesterday.
by Kevin Mapasure
With Zimbabwe “A” fielding a team dominated by their national team regulars, a defeat to the minnows despite the “A” tag would have been a huge embarrassment.
To their credit, they produced a polished chase befitting their status.
The hosts’ win was built on opening batsman Chamu Chibhabha’s half century, Sean Williams and Peter Moor’s 43 and 45 respectively as well as identical scores of 37 each from Malcolm Waller and Tymcen Maruma.
This after Canada won the toss and elected to bat to post a competitive total of 248 for 6 in 50 overs with Bhavindu Adhihetty making a top score of 70 before he was caught behind off the bowling of Sikandar Raza butt.
The tourists made a good start and managed to build on it losing their first wicket having put 57 runs on the board while the second fell after they had scored 102 runs.
They also accumulated at a good pace with Wikhil Dutta particularly brisk with 34 runs from 25 balls where he hit two boundaries while on two occasions he cleared it.
Canada showed they meant business and were never going to let their hosts have it easy.
Zimbabwe’s chase got off to a bad start when they lost Solomon Mire with just five runs on the board.
Two runs later, Sikandar Raza Butt, batting at number three, soon followed him to the pavilion.
Chibhabha and Williams knuckled down for an 84-run third-wicket collaboration which had Zimbabweans breathing easier.
From there on, the hosts never looked like losing the match losing Moor on 35.3 overs with 163 runs to their name.
Still Canada weren’t just going to fold as Zimbabwe went on to lose eight wickets and had to bat 48 overs.
Waller and Maruma put on a sixth-wicket stand worth 74 runs, which was broken by Satsimranjit, who finished with impressive figures of 5-53 in his 10 overs.
The two teams square off for the second match at the same venue tomorrow and Zimbabwe could ring some changes as they seek to give their players a run-out ahead of more important tours.