Series: South Africa Emerging Players in Zimbabwe May 2021
Venue: Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo
Result: South Africa EP by 32 runs
Two Captains Stand Tall
Zimbabwe’s stand-in skipper Josephine Nkomo won the toss at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo and invited opposition skipper, Andrie Steyn and her South Africa Emerging Players team to bat.
It was steady as she goes for the visitors with Tazmin Brits joining the skipper at the top of the order. Both looked comfortable against the opening attack of Nomvelo Sibanda and Esther Mbofana with the latter dishing up quite a few loose deliveries which Steyn pounced on eagerly. The left-arm Sibanda managed to get a little shape, moving back into the right handers, but not enough to trouble the openers.
A bowling change brought about a wicket. The off-spin of Tasmeen Granger completely deceived Brits (11), floating in the air then dipping sharply, clean bowling the opener with her first delivery. Then another. Neat work behind the stumps from Chiedza Dhururu had Robyn Searle (7) stumped. Granger had two.
Meanwhile it was a pleasant Sunday drive at the other end. Steyn changed gears up and down as needed and worked herself to a fine century, where upon she managed to get herself runout. The even 100 from the captain came from 132 deliveries and included nine boundaries. Two other knocks of importance, Nondumiso Shangase with 43, but a little on the slow side (70 deliveries) and Anneke Bosch with a spritely 46 from 47 balls.
South Africa EP finished with 232/7. Granger and Sibanda the pick of the bowlers, along with Precious Marange and the skipper who both went wicketless but had good economy.
Chiedza Dhururu opened up the batting for the home team with Modester Mupachikwa against the opening attack of Masabata Klaas and Michaela Andrews. The bustling Klaas bowled tightly and gave little room for the batters, but it was Andrews who made the breakthrough. She removed Dhururu (5) then Pellagia Mujaji (7) to leave Zimbabwe 34/2 in the 10th over. Christabel Chatonzwa (26) joined Mupachikwa (29) and the two slowly set about restoring order before the latter fell victim to Jane Winster’s off-breaks.
The captain came to the crease and attempted to resuscitate the innings and indeed stayed till the end, finishing with 70 not out. It was not enough. Zimbabwe only lost five wickets but could only manage 200 runs. The top order was slow to get moving and this put pressure down the order. A cameo of 41 runs from 42 balls from Marange gave hope but it was too steep a climb once she departed and South Africa EP were the victors by 32 runs.
Best with the ball for the visitors, Andrews with 3-48 and Klaas with 1-38. Both teams will be better for the run and the size of the victory suggests that the next game could go either way. Both skippers performed well in their role on the field and were notable standouts with the bat for both teams.
South Africa EP 232/7 50.0 (Steyn 100, Bosch 46, Granger 3-44) defeated Zimbabwe 200/5 50.0 (Nkomo 70*, Marange 42, Andrews 3-48) by 32 runs
Player of the Match: not announced