Zimbabwe defeat Composite XI againPosted by brmtaylor.com admin on December 22, 2007
For the second time running, Zimbabwe have defeated the South African Composite XI. This match was played in Paarl at Boland Park, which frankly, isn't up to domestic standard, let alone a semi-international match such as this. Both Zimbabwe and SAC XI were bowled out for under 100 at least once in the match.
Batting first, Zimbabwe were all out for a mere 89. Elton Chigumura and Tatenda Taibu were the only batters to reach double figures, with 35 and 20 respectively. Jandre Coertzee was the pick of the bowling side, with 4/19.
At zimcricketforums.com, there was a general feeling that Zimbabwe had regressed, but it soon became apparant that the pitch was substandard, with the SAC XI reaching 186 due only to an unbeaten 70 from Wayne Madsen. Prosper Utseya, uncharacteristically, was the leading wicket taker for Zimbabwe, with 5/40.
In their second innings, thanks to 100 by Tatenda Taibu, Zimbabwe reached 246. Shane Burger took 5/59 in the innings, leaving SAC XI requiring just 150 runs for victory.
Thanks to an awesome spell of fast bowling from Christopher Mpofu, who went on to take 3 wickets, and Elton Chigumbura, who went on to take 5/33, SAC XI were wobbling at 4/42 at stumps on day 2. Resuming on day 3, things went from bad to worse for the home team, soon to be on 9/70. Jandre Coetzee and Paul Adams put on a 28 run partnership for the final wicket, but were never in the hunt, as Chris Mpofu took the final wicket, giving Zimbabwe a 51 run victory.
A win is a win, but frankly, this South African team is very weak and we should not be asking ourselves if Zimbabwe will beat them, but by how large the margin will be. A 10 wicket win in the first game was a good comprehensive win, but 51 runs is too close for comfort. While the pitch was bad, as demonstrated in Zimbabwe's second innings, it wasn't impossible to score off, and in reality, Zimbabwe should have posted 250 in the first innings too.