Zimbabwe def. Sth Afr Composite XI by 10 wickets

Posted by brmtaylor.com admin on November 22, 2007

Before we go into the cricket, a special mention must be made of Ian Smith. In his own words, he was an "absolute lunatic about sport". Being Rhodesian, surely we must assume that that included cricket. RIP Ian Smith, the last Rhodesian prime minister, who passed away in Cape Town on Tuesday, November 20, 2007.

Currently, Zimbabwe is playing a South African Composite XI in Potchefstroom. The SAC XI is made up of the best players from the SuperSport series and the SAA Provincial matches.

Zimbabwe win by 10 wickets: A satisfying win for Zimbabwe, although not one that they should be too excited about. Zimbabwe is supposed to be a Test nation, so you would expect them to dish it out to a team comprised of domestic players. Zimbabwe can take many positives out of the game, such as the spin bowling due of Prosper Utseya and Timycen Maruma. Maruma's rise in this match could, unbelievably, see him edge Ray Price out for a spot in the team against West Indies. It will be very interesting to see what happens there. Other positives include the batting, everyone but Chamu Chibhabha and Stuart Matsikenyeri batted very well. In particular, Prosper Utseya, who made an unbeaten 115 and won the man of the match award. Hamilton Masakadza was classy in his 88. Even at the end, when the result was beyond doubt, Brendan Taylor showed what he is capable of, smashing an unbeaten 35 that included 5 fours and 2 sixes. This was a good warm up for Zimbabwe ahead of the upcoming West Indies series. There were two injury worries for SAC XI, losing Cliff Deacon early in the match and Pepler Sandri just before the winning runs were scored.

Update ZIM 0/47: Taylor has got his strike rate up to 180 after hitting a second six. Currently on 27*, this is a fantastic end to the game for Zimbabwe.

Update ZIM 0/39: Brendan Taylor obviously wants this game over soon - he struck the first 6 of the match moments ago, and currently has 21 runs at a strike rate of 150!

Update ZIM 0/14: Zimbabwe are edging closer to victory, requiring just 43 more runs for a deserved, but not unexpected, win over SAC XI. Brendan Taylor is leading the way with 9 not out, while opening partner Vusi Sibanda is on 3 not out.

Update LUNCH DAY 4 ZIM 0/3: It looks like lunch has been taken after 1 over, which was pointless. Score updates have dried up for a few minutes leading me to think this. I will make an update if the situation changes.

Update ZIM 0/3: It's not lunch, I thought it would be taken early. Scheduled lunch is in 1 minute, so surely they wouldn't send Zimbabwe out for one over... hopefully they just let Taylor (2 not out) and Sibanda (1 not out) knock off the remaining runs over the next 20 or 30 minutes. As if the guy didn't bowl enough in the first innings, SAC XI opened with Jean "Superman" Symes - who incidentally is a left arm orthodox bowler. I can't remember a spinner bowl the opening over since Chris Gayle did, against Australia I think, in the ICC Champions Trophy last year.

Update SAC XI ALL OUT 261: As expected, Deacon was injured and unable to take the field. Zimbabwe require just 57 runs for victory. Prosper Utseya looks set to be man of the match after match figures of 2/75, 3/92 and 115*.

Update SAC XI 9/261: Maruma just accounted for Athenkosi Dyili and Mjuks (or Sinethemba Mjekula) was run out. Deacon batting at number 11, suggesting he might be injured and unable to bat - will be interesting to see whether he takes the crease. Great work by Zimbabwe, a 7 wicket session so far.

Update SAC XI 7/260: Zimbabwe have had an absolutely brilliant start to the day, taking 5 wickets. Jean Symes on 14 not out is the dangerman, but Zimbabwe only need three more wickets. SAC XI currently lead by 55 runs. Utseya has taken 3 wickets today, Maruma 2 - the Zimbabwe spinners have dominated this match.

Update STUMPS DAY 3 SAC XI 2/137: The match is delicately poised, and the most likely result now would be a draw. Zimbabwe have to take 8 more SAC XI wickets, as well as knock off any excess runs the opposition score. I think the decision not to declare will come back to haunt Zimbabwe, but hopefully they can get some early breakthroughs tomorrow. In all though, Zimbabwe won the day, even if the last session was quite expensive for them. Early on, Elton Chigumbura fired for Zimbabwe with 47, but it was Prosper Utseya who played a captains innings. He led the way with an unbeaten 115, his first First Class century. Tomorrow is the final day, and I think the match will be decided from the outcome of the first session.

Update SAC XI 2/125: Gary Brent gets the breakthrough with just under 2 overs before stumps! Perfect end to the day for Zimbabwe, and SAC XI send out a nightwatchman. A good chance for another wicket now, although Zimbabwe would have been more satisfied if they had taken another wicket or two before conceding most of their 200+ run lead.

Update SAC XI 1/100: The Zimbabwean bowlers are struggling with the 3rd day pitch, with Hector and Snijman dominating as we approach stumps. Only Brent and Chigumbura have looked good with the ball, the spinners and part timers have been hammered. Time to get Elton back into the attack if you ask me, with only 7 overs before the close of play.

Update SAC XI 1/23: BREAKTHROUGH! Just what Zimbabwe needed. Chigumbura was the man again, taking the early wicket of Cook. Benjamin Hector, SAC XI's top scorer in the first innings is now at the crease though. He is the prize wicket, if Zimbabwe can get him early they are likely to make good progress before stumps. Good start for Zimbabwe.

Update ZIM ALL OUT 493: We finally have an end to the innings! I think Utseya should have declared earlier, but none-the-less Zimbabwe lead by a comfortable 205, which should see either a Zimbabwe win or at worst, a draw. Maruma was the one to go, for 35, while Utseya is unbeaten on 115. Maruma played very well, he is no number 11. It certainly paid off for the Zimbabweans to go in with such a batsman-heavy lineup. As it turned out, there was batting right down to number 11. Tea has been taken a few minutes early, so we are in for a very interesting final session. It is important for the Zimbabweans to take some early breakthroughs. A few wickets tonight would be vital, or else the game could peter out to a draw. After such great batting and bowling, Zimbabwe deserve nothing less than a win. Jean Symes was SAC XI's best bowler, if you can say that, with 4/191. He bowled 62 of 155.4 overs - he is South Africa's most promising young allrounder, I am surprised he isn't playing for a franchise to be honest. Play will restart in about 20 minutes.

Update ZIM 9/491: Timycen Maruma has made his highest First Class score, currently 35 not out. It is quite possible he will make a half century, which is fantastic for him. There is only 10 minutes until tea, surely Zimbabwe will make a declaration. Utseya on 115 not out. Zimbabwe 9 runs away from 500, hopefully they get there in the next 10 minutes.

Update ZIM 9/471: Not really sure what is going on to honest. Zimbabwe must be very confident that they can bowl SAC XI out pretty quickly. Zimbabwe have a lead of nearly 200, which means that regardless of what SAC XI score, Zimbabwe shouldn't have to bat for too long. I suppose ideally, Zimbabwe don't want to bat again at all - even though they are 9 wickets down, Utseya and Maruma are batting very well. Maruma is not a true number 11, in club cricket he bats higher up the order. Utseya is on 111 not out now, which means everyone in the current Zimbabwe XI bar Timycen Maruma has scored a First Class century. Maruma's highest First Class score in the 1 year he has been playing First Class cricket is 27. He will probably pass that today, currently on 18 not out. Some great batting by Zimbabwe, although as I have been saying all day, the sooner they declare the better. Having said that, if they get to 500, and they are getting quite close, it will be a massive morale boost.

Update ZIM 9/451: Utseya scored his maiden First Class century - currently 103 not out. No declaration yet, which is quite odd. Zimbabwe currently lead by over 160, a very good lead. I think Zimbabwe should declare soon to give themselves the best chance of a win.

Update ZIM 9/435: Prosper Utseya currently on 93 not out, but the biggest news at the moment is not in South Africa - but Australia. Prime Minister John Howard has conceded defeat in the Federal election!

Update ZIM 9/408: Gary Brent has just been clean bowled by Jean Symes. If Prosper Utseya wants to get a century he better get a move on. Timycen Maruma is a stroke-maker, he may not stick around like those before him have. Utseya still 75*

Update LUNCH DAY 3 ZIM 8/407: It appears Zimbabwe have not declared, despite leading by 119 runs at lunch on day 3. Utseya is on 75 not out, and may be waiting until he scores his maiden First Class century - although Zimbabwe need to declare soon to give themselves as much time as possible to knock SAC XI over. I suppose the thinking is that they don't want to bat for too long on day 4, just in case they have a terrible batting crash. At least they look very composed and set for 450+ at the moment. It took just over three sessions to bowl out SAC XI in their first innings, unless Zimbabwe are looking for a draw, they really should declare soon. Needless to say the next session of play will be very interesting, we are either going to see a declaration or an Utseya century... hopefully both, quickly.

Update ZIM 8/401: 400 up for Zimbabwe. Currently trying to track down the last time the Zimbabwe XI scored over 400 runs in a First Class innings... if you know, please email me using the email address on the bottom right of this page :-)

Update ZIM 8/396: Utseya is playing like a top order batsman for his 71 not out. At this rate, he will pass Masakadza's score of 88. It is possible Utseya will declare once Zimbabwe pass 400, but one would expect he would swing the bat a bit, and see if he could possibly bring up his maiden First Class century.

Update ZIM 8/370: Prosper Utseya just brought up his 50 in style, with a 4. He is on 53 not out at the moment, Gary Brent is unbeaten on 4. Zimbabwe are approaching 400, which would be quite a feat. I don't remember the last time they scored 400 runs in an innings!

Update ZIM 8/354: Chigumbura was just clean bowled unfortunately, which could see Zimbabwe play until they are bowled out. Utseya and Brent are now batting, two specialist bowlers - albeit, if they are no bunnies with the bat.

Update ZIM 7/353: Elton Chigumbura rapidly approaching 50. It is very early into the day, so we might not see a declaration for another hour or so, which could see Zimbabwe leading by well over 100. Especially if Utseya instructs Chigumbura to swing his bat. If only this was a 5 day match, you would pencil in Zimbabwe for a win.

Update ZIM 7/339: Zimbabwe starting to gain a bit of momentum now, with Utseya and Chigumbura both well into the 30's. Chigumbura playing at a strike rate of over 70. A current lead of 49

Update ZIM 7/306: 300 up for the Zimbabweans. This is day 3 of 4, so a declaration may be at the back of Utseya's mind. Under Kevin Curran's leadership, the Zimbabweans would have gone for the draw - whereas new coach Robin Brown is far more attacking. I would expect a declaration at some point between a 60-100 run lead. If Zimbabwe can bowl out SAC XI in the same sort of timeframe as the first innings, it should give the Zimbabweans about 50 overs to chase a score of around 200.

Update ZIM 7/295: Zimbabwe have passed their first innings target of 288. This is quite a achievement, it has been the first time they have, in a First Class match, looked to be firmly in the drivers seat for quite some time. Chigumbura is on 22 not out and playing his shots - he has four boundaries from the 20 balls he has faced. It is now time for Zimbabwe to build a solid lead. Thankfully they have a very short tail, with Prosper Utseya and Gary Brent both very capable with the bat.

Update ZIM 7/271: Day 3 has begun, and Elton Chigumbura is batting well. Currently he is on 8 not out at a strike rate of over 100 - typical for him! Utseya is on 2 not out and Zimbabwe trail SAC XI first innings score by just 17 runs now. Gary Brent, who has 2 First Class centuries to his name is still to bat.

Update Stumps Day 2 ZIM 7/262: The worst possible ending for Zimbabwe, losing Mawoyo and Masakadza in succession. In all, it was a good day for Zimbabwe, and Elton Chigumbura and Prosper Utseya should guide Zimbabwe to a first innings lead tomorrow morning. Currently they trail by 26 runs, but considering where they were when Matsikenyeri got out, that is pretty good. One would expect Zimbabwe to get a 50 or so run lead, with most of the remaining runs to come from the bat of Elton Chigumbura. He just needs Utseya or Gary Brent to hang around for a while with him. We have a game on our hands though, hopefully we have a positive outcome in two days time, although a draw is looking quite likely. The bad news was that Masakadza missed out on his 100 by 12 runs, holing out with only minutes before stumps.

Update ZIM 5/250: 250 up for Zimbabwe. About 5 overs to go before stumps and Masakadza is on 83 not out. We are all hoping he can crack the ton before close of play. Tino Mawoyo is providing great support with 28 not out.

Update ZIM 5/209: 50 up for Hamilton Masakadza. The job's not done yet mate, turn that 50 into a hundred! Masakadza 52*, Mawoyo 18*

Update ZIM 5/199: Cricinfo have released details of the other 2 SuperSport Challenge matches:
South African Composite XI v Zimbabwe at Paarl - Dec 20-23, 2007
South African Composite XI v Zimbabwe at Kimberley - Jan 3-6, 2008

Keep up the good work CSA, what you are doing for Zimbabwe Cricket by allowing them to play good quality opposition will no doubt pay off in the long run. Meanwhile, Masakadza is approaching 50 and Mawoyo is hanging in there on 16.

Update ZIM 5/177: Zimbabwe are on shaky ground after Taylor went for 41 and Taibu went for 49. Tino Mawoyo is at the crease and is on a mission to prove maehara and myself wrong, currently on 10 not out. Hamilton Masakadza is the settled batsman, on 29 not out. It is up to him to go on to make a big score. Zimbabwe are still just over 100 runs from a first innings lead. In my opinion, Zimbabwe must at least bat out the day if they are to win this match.

Update ZIM 1/56: Unfortunately, Sibanda just fell on 33. The key man, Brendan Taylor, is still going strong on 21 though. Chamu Chibhabha to come to the crease.

Update ZIM 0/56: Zimbabwe are on fire with the proven opening combination of Brendan Taylor and Vusi Sibanda performing as usual. Currently Sibanda is playing the leading role with 33, while Taylor is playing a good supporting role on 21.

Update 288: SAC XI bowled out for 288 in a fantastic performance by the Zimbabwean bowlers. Timycen Maruma ended as the leading wicket taker with 4 wickets.

Update Stumps Day 1 6/236: As expected, Zimbabwe are well on top at the end of day 1. Elton Chigumbura has done most of the damage, with 3/54. Timycen Maruma has taken 2 wickets. Zimbabwe are already into the SAC XI tail, with dangerman Jean Symes the only thing standing between Zimbabwe and a very successful first innings. Symes is on 20* and averages over 50 in First Class cricket, including 4 centuries. Play restarts at 8:00GMT.

Update 4/184: The game has just swung into Zimbabwe's favour with Prosper Utseya clean bowling Benjamin Hector who was on 79.

Update 3/181: The teams are evenly poised at the moment, with Elton Chigumbura having added to his 1 wicket with the scalp of Petrus Koortzen. Stephen Cook was caught off the bowling of Timycen Maruma to depart for 45. At the moment, it's captain Benjamin Hector doing the damage, unbeaten on 78. Chigumbura and Prosper Utseya are currently bowling. Chamu Chibhabha was the first change bowler, in the absence of any specialist fast bowlers other than Chigumbura and Gary Brent.

Update 1/18: At time of writing, play only just got underway, and Zimbabwe are well on top. Elton Chigumbura got the prize scalp of Blake Snijman for 7 runs. SAC XI, batting first, are currently 1/18 after 5.1 overs.

To view the most up to date scores, go to Cricinfo's live scorecard of the match. The live scores on the right side of brmtaylor.com will be updated periodicallly.