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Rain Saves Zimbabwe Blushes
21 Feb 2005
By: Richard Twyman

Zimbabwe had the rain gods to thank after rain interrupted the final two days of the match to allow the tourist to sneak a draw.

Day 1: Zimbabwe were made to toil on the opening day of their tour match with a combined Easterns/Northerns XI in Benoni.

After losing the toss and being put into bat the tourist capitulated to just 206 all out with Chigumbura top scoring with a defiant 40.

The home side then stormed to within 75 runs of the target at stumps on day 1 as Andre Seymore struck 13 fours in an unbeaten 77, brining a fine 132 run first wicket to an end. The tourist ended the day in better fashion than they started as Williams struck again to leave the hosts 132/2 at stumps.

Day 1 Summary: Zimbabwe 206; Easterns/Northerns XI 132/2

Day 2: An improved effort by the Zimbabwe bowlers was not enough to rescue the tourist from deep trouble on day two against a combined Easterns/Northerns XI.

The home side started strongly but a middle order collapse saw the hosts bowled out for 275 a lead of 69 runs, with Tawanda Mupariwa claiming the best figures of the innings with 3/82.

Zimbabwe began their second innings 69 in arrears but Barney Rogers and Hamilton Masakadza were out for ducks, before Stuart Matsikenyeri (45) and Alistair Maregwede (44) put on 76 to steady the ship but their efforts seemed in vain as the tourist slumped to 138-6 at stumps on day 2.

Moren Morkel was the pick of the home attack, taking 4-26 from 13 overs.

Day 2 Summary: Zimbabwe 206 & 138/6; Easterns/Northerns XI 275

Day 3: Just 21 overs were possible in Benoni, in which time the 18-year-old Sean Williams was able to moved to his maiden first class half century ending the day 53 not out from 106 balls.

Having resumed on 138/6, the tourists reached 193/8 before bad light hit.

Day 3 Summary: Zimbabwe 206 & 193/8 v Easterns/Northerns XI 275

Day 4: Rain denied either side a firm result on the final day of the tour match in Benoni.

The tourists added a further 40 runs for their last two wickets on the final day to reach 233, giving the hosts a target of just 165 to win. Sean Williams who reached his maiden first class half-century the previous day moved on to 82 not out.

Pace bowler Morne Morkel took the last wicket to finish with figures of 6-66 in only his sixth first-class match.

But as the hosts came out to bat the South African rains set in and no more play was possible.

Match Summary:

Zimbabwe 206 & 233
Easterns/Northerns XI 275

Match Result: Match Drawn

Cricket Web MOM: M Morkel 3/57 & 6/66

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