Southerns – 144 all out in 59.2 overs (Brian Mudzinganyama 68, Sikandar Raza 22, Kudzai Maunze 11; Victor Nyauchi 5/34, Travor Mutsamba 3/34, Wessly Madhevere 1/1)
Northerns – 288-6 in 117 overs (Timycen Maruma 98, Wessly Madhevere 89, Remembrance Nyathi 46*; Tapiwa Mufudza 2/49, Sikandar Raza 2/63, Brad Evans 1/58)
Day 2 – Stumps: Northerns lead by 144 runs
Two contrasting near-centuries by Wessly Madhevere and Timycen Maruma were the main features of the second day’s play for Northerns against Southerns at Harare Sports Club on Monday.
Madhevere hit a bright, fluent 89, while Maruma put his head down to graft for 98 runs as he batted almost throughout the day.
Overnight, Northerns were 48 for two wickets in reply to the Southerns total of 144 – Madhevere had eight and Steve Chimhamhiwa two.
Madhevere was soon scoring runs attractively while Chimhamhiwa did his job in holding up an end, which he did for over an hour altogether for seven runs before he dabbed a ball from Brad Evans into the gully, where it was easily caught by Tony Munyonga at 76 for three.
This brought back to the crease Maruma, who had retired hurt on day one with eight.
Before long Madhevere reached his fifty, which came off 70 balls.
The Southerns score was passed with only three wickets down, and Maruma, whether his injured arm was still troubling him or not, concentrated on staying in while Madhevere played the major role.
The captain reached 89 before he went to pull a shorter delivery from Tapiwa Mufudza and sent a catch straight to midwicket, when he clearly had a century in view.
He faced 125 deliveries and hit 16 fours, leaving when the score was 176 for four.
With Clive Madande as his new partner, Maruma eased his way to his fifty, which took him 166 balls.
Madande made only two before he was bowled middle stump by a faster ball from Mufudza; 192 for five.
Remembrance Nyathi soon settled in quite comfortably, and together with Maruma began to build another significant partnership.
The score had reached 269 for five, with Maruma on 89 and Nyathi 37, when a light drizzle began and the umpires decreed that play must stop and the pitch be covered.
About half an hour was lost before play restarted.
Maruma progressed to 98 and then became yet another batter in this series of matches to narrowly miss a century.
He swept at a straight ball from Sikandar Raza and was so plumb lbw that he started walking off before the umpire even raised his finger; 286 for six.
Maruma faced 298 balls and hit 11 fours in a very solid, determined innings which took him almost six hours.
When the players left the field a few minutes later the score was 288 for six wickets, with Nyathi on 46 and Donald Tiripano yet to score.
Of the bowlers, Mufudza could feel most satisfied with his day: he has bowled 30 overs in the innings so far and taken two wickets while conceding only 49 runs with his accurate off-breaks.