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Zimbabwe Cruise To Win
16 Feb 2005
By: Richard Twyman

Zimbabwe cruised to a comprehensive win after Hamilton Masakadza stared for the tourist with an undefeated century. The tourists though didn't have everything their own way as a combined Gauteng & North West XI held their own for much of the match at Sedgars Park in Potchefstroom.

Sent into bat first the combined XI reached 229 for 7 after their 50 overs, a somewhat smaller total than they would have been expecting after a display of wonderful strokes set up a impressive first wicket of 133 between Blake Snijman and William Motaung.

However the old motto of one could bring two was shown to be the case as despite the two openers looking at ease against a somewhat inexperienced bowling attack it was Gavin Ewing who made the breakthrough with William Motaung hitting straight to the hands of backward square leg for a well made 52.

The tourists then ripped the heart out of the middle order as a rushed of wickets fell, first to go was Mohammad Akoojee who clipped Ewing into the air, where Tatenda Taibu took the catch. Just five overs later and Blake Snijman's fine innings was ended by Matsikenyeri, who took the off the bowling of Rodgers to leave the host staggering at 167 for 3.

Things were about to get worse as the procession of batsman continued with wickets falling regularly in the last 15 overs, and it was only a couple of big overs and big sixes that allowed the Combined XI to reach a defendable total in the end.

In reply the tourists set off at a blistering pace scoring at nearly 10 an over as Rodgers smashed boundary after boundary before the wicket of Matsikenyeri for 12 slowed the pace slightly.

With the wicket of Rodgers five overs later the hosts sniffed a chance of getting back into the game, but Hamilton Masakadza came to the middle and set about dominating the bowling and taking the game well out of reach. Despite the wicket of Alester Maregwede for just 10 when the score was on 99 in the 19th over Masakadza found an able partner in B Taylor who struck a solid 41* to support his team through to victory.

Masakadza though reached his own milestone when he combined the winning runs and bringing up his century in the same ball smashing Gerhard de Bruin to the midwicket boundary.

Match Summary

Zimbabwe: 232 for 3 (Masakadza 103*, Rogers 42, Taylor 41*)

Gauteng/ North West XI: 229 for 7 (Snijman 97, Motaung 52, Rogers 3-38)

Match Result: Zimbabwe Won By Seven Wickets

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