Zimbabwe XI – 135-9 in 20 overs (Ryan Burl 41, Milton Shumba 41, Wessly Madhevere 23; Gerald Coetzee 4/19, Glenton Stuurman 2/26, Bjorn Fortuin 1/1)
South Africa A – 73 all out in 16 overs (Khaya Zondo 18, Heinrich Klaasen 14, Bjorn Fortuin 7; Milton Shumba 4/15, Sikandar Raza 3/18, Tanaka Chivanga 1/6)
Zimbabwe XI won by 62 runs
A determined sixth-wicket partnership of 69 between Milton Shumba and Ryan Burl set Zimbabwe XI up for a remarkable 62-run victory over South Africa A in the fourth T20 match at Harare Sports Club on Sunday.
The hosts decided to bat on winning the toss.
However, they lost Regis Chakabva, returning after injury, to the first ball he faced, bowled out by Bjorn Fortuin.
Wessly Madhevere gave hope of better things, as in the next over he hit Daryn Dupavillon’s first three deliveries for four apiece, while Craig Ervine then hit the last ball of the over for another boundary.
Madhevere hit two more fours off the third over, bowled by Junior Dala, but lost Ervine, who sliced a ball from Glenton Stuurman to backward point for five.
Without a run added Madhevere departed, caught in the same place off Gerald Coetzee for 23, scored off only 14 balls, and the Zimbabweans’ hopes of a good start were over.
By the end of the seventh over the situation deteriorated to 40 for five wickets, as Sikandar Raza dabbed at a ball from Coetzee to be caught at the wicket, while four balls later Tino Mutombodzi was given out in the same way as he tried to avoid a short ball from the same bowler.
There followed the one good partnership of the innings – and indeed of the match – as Burl joined Shumba, and it turned out to be the crucial event of the match.
There followed nine overs of fine batting as both batters fought back and played some fine strokes, adding 69 runs together and giving their team hope.
But at 109 the stand was broken, as Shumba chose the wrong ball from Dala to attempt a pull and had his off stump knocked back – he had scored 41 off 40 balls, with a six and three fours.
Burl by now had his eye in and was hitting dangerously, but in the following over he skyed a big hit off Coetzee and was gone for 41, scored off 31 balls with two sixes and three fours.
Richmond Mutumbami scored a quick 10, but the innings finished at 135 for nine wickets.
Coetzee’s fine bowling reaped its reward with four vital wickets for only 19 runs in his four overs, while Stuurman took two for 26.
When the South Africans batted, from the start the home side gave a spirited bowling and fielding performance.
They received a boost as Madhevere bowled the first over.
Lesiba Ngoepe reverse-swept the second ball for four, but then missed a conventional sweep to the next ball and was given out lbw.
Tendai Chatara bowled the second over, and finished it by removing the dangerous Ryan Rickelton, caught low down in the covers by Mutumbami, who had given the gloves to Chakabva for this match – two wickets were down for nine runs.
Wihan Lubbe (7) was next to go, as he tried to evade a lifter from Tanaka Chivanga that brushed his glove to be caught by Chakabva behind the stumps – 22 for three.
For once the South Africans, in the form of Khaya Zondo and Heinrich Klaasen, were having to bat carefully, although Klaasen chafed at the bit and hit Masuku for six.
Then he tried to do the same thing off Shumba’s bowling and hit a catch straight to Madhevere on the midwicket boundary – out for 14, and the visitors were struggling at 46 for four after nine overs.
Jason Smith joined Zondo and played cautiously, until he suddenly decided to drive Shumba for six, only to hole out to Burl on the long-off boundary for five – 57 for five.
The required run rate was now soaring beyond 10 runs an over, and Fortuin (7) holed out at midwicket off Raza for seven going for another big shot.
Then came the key wicket of Zondo, who drove Shumba straight, but again into the hands of Burl at long-off – he went for 18 off 29 balls, and with the score 68 for seven South Africa A’s doom was as good as sealed.
Shumba finished his over by removing Coetzee lbw for one, while Stuurman also fell lbw, Raza being the bowler this time, which took the score to 73 for nine.
It only took one more ball for Raza to bowl out the last man, Dupavillon, and the South Africans were all out for 73 in 16 overs, with Dala unbeaten on one.
The last five wickets had fallen in 13 balls for just five runs, an astounding collapse.
Shumba took four wickets for 15 runs and Raza three for 18, but they also benefited from the good work of the pacemen and Madhevere, who made the early breakthrough.
It was an impressive turnaround within 24 hours by Zimbabwe XI, as they recovered from a heavy defeat to South Africa A on Saturday to record the big victory.