By Kevin Mapasure
SOUTH Africa A drew first blood in the five-match T20 series after cruising to a five-wicket victory with 14 balls to spare against hosts Zimbabwe XI at Harare Sports Club yesterday.
There wasn’t much to work with for the bowlers after Zimbabwe posted 114 all out having been put to bat first by Heinrich Klaasen, after winning the toss.
Opening batsman Takudzwanashe Kaitano was the top run scorer for Zimbabwe with 20, before he fell to the combination of Tristan Stubbs and Gerald Coetzee (with the ball) while skipper Sikandar Raza at 16 was the next top scorer. The next best score of 14 came from the extras as the visitors struggled to get their line and length right.
Zimbabwe XI lost opener Wessley Madhevere in the third over and never recovered and wickets fell at regular intervals.
Craig Ervine, who missed the one-day internationals, fell for one run after Lizaad Williams rearranged his stumps behind.
Just five of Zimbabwe’s batting line-up managed to get double figures as Zimbabwe were bowled out in 19.5 overs, leaving South Africa A with the easy task to go one up.
Glenton Stuurman was the pick of the bowlers for South Africa A with 3 for 18 in four overs while Bjorn Fortuin and Stubbs shared four wickets equally. Jason Smith, Leeza Hendricks and Williams had one each.
Zimbabwe managed to steal an early wicket with Wellington Masakadza bowling Hendricks, but the task was too big considering the batting talent that South Africa A have. Tendai Chatara, Raza and Tanaka Chivanga all got in among the wickets, but the tourists always looked comfortable in the run chase.
Zimbabwe XI, preparing for the World Cup qualifiers next month, will be hoping for a better show when they take on the visitors at the same venue tomorrow.
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