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 – 48-2 in 27 overs (Takudzwanashe Kaitano 16, Tadiwanashe Marumani 9, Wessly Madhevere 8*; Sikandar Raza 1/9)
Day 1 – Stumps: Northerns trail by 96 runs
An innings of 68 from Brian Mudzinganyama was the only highlight in another calamitous batting display by Southerns against Northerns in the second regional five-day match at Harare Sports Club on Sunday.
He scored almost half his team’s total of 144, while Victor Nyauchi grabbed five wickets and the wicket-keeper, Clive Madande, took six catches.
Before the close, Northerns also gave a rather unconvincing batting performance to finish on 48 for two, with one man retired hurt.
Southerns won the toss and decided to bat on a warm sunny morning.
The unfortunate Tanu Makoni was dismissed off the first delivery of the match, as a short ball from Nyauchi rose to bounce off his shoulder, but he was given out caught by Madande.
Kudzai Maunze and Mudzinganyama played a careful game until, at 26, Maunze (11) dabbled at a ball from Nyauchi outside the off stump and edged it to the keeper.
Roy Kaia struggled to get his score moving, and had made seven off 26 balls when he slashed at a ball from the medium-paced Travor Mutsamba outside his off stump and walked immediately on edging it to Madande, who was credited with his third successive catch; 60 for three wickets.
The score at lunch was 76 for three, with Mudzinganyama batting well on 41 and Sikandar Raza five.
Raza soon asserted himself after lunch with two fours in three balls off Ainsley Ndlovu.
He scored 22 off 34 balls when he drove Nyauchi into the covers, to be caught by Wessly Madhevere with the total at 111 – a superstitious score for the English that should not affect Zimbabweans!
Mudzinganyama had just reached his 50 off 87 balls and was looking confident, but when he reached 68 he drove at a ball from Steve Chimhamhiwa outside his off stump and Madande picked up his fourth catch.
Southerns were in trouble now at 124 for five wickets, and at the other end the dogged Tony Munyonga scored his second run after facing 36 balls.
Catch number five was soon on its way for Madande, though, as Tafadzwa Tsiga played at a bad ball from Mutsamba down the leg side and was given out for seven; 135 for six.
At 141, Brad Evans, who did not score, went on a big leg-side hit against Mutsamba and skyed a catch that was held by Madhevere.
Tea was taken at 141 for seven, with Munyonga on eight off 76 balls and Tapiwa Mufudza two.
From the first ball after tea Mufudza gently carved a catch to Ndlovu at backward point off Nyauchi, and then Munyonga, having used up 81 balls in scoring nine, gave Madande his sixth catch with a gentle dabble outside the off stump to a ball from Nyauchi.
The innings came to an inglorious end at 144 when the last man, Tafara Chingwara, swung over a flighted delivery from Madhevere and was comprehensively bowled, leaving Charlton Tshuma not out after facing 22 balls without scoring a run.
Only three batters in the team reached double figures.
Nyauchi took five wickets for 34, while Mutsamba had three for 34.
Madande is the sixth wicket-keeper in Zimbabwe’s first-class cricket history to be credited with six or more wicket-keeping catches in an innings.
Takudzwanashe Kaitano and Tadiwanashe Marumani opened the batting for Northerns against the bowling of Evans and Chingwara.
They put on 28 together quite comfortably, but then Kaitano (16) played a ball from Evans to midwicket and unwisely attempted a second run, only to be run out by Mudzinganyama.
With Timycen Maruma joining Marumani and close of play approaching, the flow of runs became a trickle, and to make matters worse Maruma on eight retired hurt after being hit on the arm.
Then on 39, Raza bowled out Marumani for nine off 66 balls, beaten by a flighted yorker that he did not pick up.
The night-watchman, Steve Chimhamhiwa, had come in to replace Maruma, and now Madhevere himself had to come in just before the close.
He played positively, hitting Raza for two fours, and the pair finished the day safely on 48 for two wickets, with Chimhamhiwa on two and Madhevere eight.