Zimbabwe v South Africa EP 20 May 2021

Series: Africa Emerging Players in Zimbabwe May 2021
Venue: Queens Sports Club, Bulawayo
Format: List A
Toss: South Africa Emerging Players
Result: South Africa by 90 runs

Runs Galore and Carried Bats

An opening batter from both teams carried their bats today as runs were piled on against some wayward bowling in the second match of the five List A encounters between Zimbabwe and the South Africa Emerging Players.

Andrie Steyn won the toss for South Africa EP and chose to bat. Literally. The captain and fellow opener Tazmin Brits used their height and their reach to get on the front foot and hammer some disappointing bowling from the locals. Brits was particularly belligerent and played some delightful drives as she raced through her innings. Her 84 runs from 59 deliveries was more T20 than ODI and she was the first wicket to fall, a strange scoop shot that went wrong and was caught by Audrey Mazvishaya to give Nomvelo Sibanda the first wicket for the Zimbabwe team, 129/1.

Robyn Searle came and went, bowled for 17 by Mazvishaya. Meanwhile Steyn continued on her way, but the frenetic pace of the first partnership had slowed. It became even more subdued with the arrival of Nondumiso Shangase who struggled to get the ball away and was eventually dismissed for 9 from 27 deliveries faced. She was caught by Mazvishaya from the bowling of Lorraine Phiri who was the most economical of all the Zimbabwe bowlers.

More wickets fell. Annerie Dercksen (18), Delmi Tucker (22), but Steyn just kept going and was still there at the end of 50 overs. Her 135 not out came from 142 deliveries and included eleven boundaries. It is her second century of the series. South Africa EP finished with 297/5. Zimbabwe’s bowlers struggled to penetrate. Captain Josephine Nkomo was the best of the quick bowlers, Phiri the pick of the spinners.

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It was a different start for the Zimbabwe opening batters, Modester Mupachikwa and wicket keeper Chiedza Dhururu, yet a similar finish. Dhururu was dismissed for a duck from the fifth ball of the innings hitting in the air to the covers where Brits took a comfortable catch from the bowling of Masabata Klaas.

Pellagia Mujaji (4) struggled to score during her 19 ball stay and was LBW to Klaas after the bowler sprayed the two previous deliveries wide of off stump. Christabel Chatonzwa (9) had a brief stay, bowled by Michaela Andrews. This brought the captain Nkomo to the crease and she set about rescuing the innings as she had done in game one. She looked far more composed than the earlier batters and might be a better option batting at three, setting the pace rather that repairing the damage. She had a good ally in Mupachikwa who built on her good start from game one. The partnership realised 124 runs before Nkomo was dismissed for 60, her second half century for the series and it came from 100 deliveries.

Mupachikwa just kept going. She’s a small package for sure, but she can give the ball a wallop and runs between wickets like a hare. Wickets fell around her but she was ultimately the top scorer for Zimbabwe and like Steyn, was not out at the end, a triumph tinged with a little disappointment ending five runs short of a century. Her 95 runs came from 130 balls.

Slow batting from the top order (apart from Modester) soaked up far too many deliveries and put the innings under pressure from the outset. The good news for this team is that they batted the full fifty overs. That is a big plus for a team that only recently gained ODI status. Their 207/7 was a slight improvement and the team should draw confidence that they have twice gone the full distance. The captain is leading from the front, making runs and taking wickets. Not much more she can do.

Ultimately it was a contest between two openers, Andrie Steyn for South Africa and Modester Mupachikwa for Zimbabwe, both carrying their bats for the team.


South Africa EP 297/5  (Steyn 135*, Brits 84, Phiri 1-25) 50 overs
Zimbabwe 207/7  (Mupachikwa 95*, Nkomo 60, Klaas 3-34) 50 overs

Player of the Match: not announced