Zimbabwe A make promising start as Shumba, Myers hit fifties

Zimbabwe A – 253-5 in 86 overs (Milton Shumba 74, Dion Myers 69, Brian Mudzinganyama 27; Daryn Dupavillon 3/52, Migael Pretorius 1/38, Senuran Muthusamy 1/45). South Africa A – Yet To Bat. Day 1 – Stumps

Contrasting fifties by Milton Shumba and Dion Myers were the main features of quite a good first day’s play for Zimbabwe A in their four-day match against South Africa A at Harare Sports Club today.

Myers for the most part played a fine dominating innings of 69, while Shumba fought long and hard for 74 before being out just before the close of play. Zimbabwe A’s score of 253 for five wickets was a fine effort against strong opponents.

On a cold and partly cloudy winter morning in Harare, the home side won the toss and decided to bat. Brian Mudzinganyama and Takudzwanashe Kaitano opened the batting against the bowling of Glenton Stuurman and Daryn Dupavillon.

After a single apiece, Kaitano drove Dupavillon through the covers for the first boundary of the match. Kaitano played a positive game until, having scored 14 out of the 18 runs on the board, he edged a ball from Dupavillon to be caught in the slips.

The next man in was Shumba. Mudzinganyama was scoring quite freely, but Shumba struggled to get off the mark, taking 19 balls before he finally lashed a ball from Lutho Sipamla past point for four.

The drinks break did Mudzinganyama no good, as quickly afterwards he got in a tangle, fell over trying to play a leg-stump ball from Migael Pretorius and was given out lbw for 27; 50 for two. Myers was in next, and he soon began striking the ball fluently, overtaking Shumba, who was still struggling.

Lunch was taken at 77 for two, with Shumba on 10, off 55 balls, and Myers 19 off 33. Myers drove the first and third deliveries after the resumption of play, from Dupavillon, through the covers for handsome fours.

Then Shumba also unleashed a fine drive to the extra-cover boundary off Stuurman, and Myers punished Dupavillon for another two boundaries in his next over, taking the score to 98.

After a maiden over to Shumba, Myers brought up the 100. He reached his fifty off 76 balls, hitting the left-arm spinner Senuran Muthusamy for two successive fours, while Shumba was still on 21, content to stay in and support his partner.

Myers then seemed to lose his focus and intensity to an extent, and when he had reached 69 he played a ball from Dupavillon uppishly into the covers – his 69 had taken him 121 balls and included 11 fours and a six.

The score was now 151 for three as Roy Kaia came out to join Shumba, who was on 34. With the loss of Myers, Shumba began to bat more aggressively, and moved to his fifty off 186 balls.

Kaia had to retire hurt with 23 to his credit, and Wessly Madhevere came to the wicket. Madhevere made 17 before he was bowled by Muthusamy at 234 for four wickets, the new man being Richmond Mutumbami.

Unfortunately, Shumba was caught off Dupavillon for 74 in the final over of the day, with Mutumbami not out on nine.