The Zimbabwe Select XI cricket team experienced mixed fortunes when they began their campaign in the Africa T20 tournament in South Africa yesterday.
The team got off to a disappointing start following a seven-wicket defeat by Gauteng before their skipper Tarisai Musakanda helped them to their own seven-wicket win over Free State in the second game.
Zimbabwe were scuttled out for a paltry 48 runs by Gauteng with Carmi le Roux the chief destroyer after taking 4/23. Nandre Burger also had impressive figures of 3/11 as the Zimbabwe batting collapsed in 12. Overs at the Recreation Ground in Oudtshoorn.
Musakanda was the only Zimbabwean batsman to offer some kind of resistance with a knock of 21 runs from 18 deliveries.
Their game plan suffered a huge setback when big hitter Cephas Zhuwao (10) went out early after he had breached the bowlers with a four and a huge six from the six balls that he faced.
Besides Musakanda and Zhuwao, no other batsman reached a double figure. In response, Gauteng cruised to an easy win thanks to Proteas batsman Temba Bavuma’s unbeaten 33.
They lost some wickets along the way but victory was secured with 53/3 on the scoreboard.
Zimbabwe regrouped for the second game and Musakanda was the star batsman chasing Free State’s total of 145/5. They play Northerns at Brighton Sports Grounds today and then return to the Recreation Ground tomorrow to face South Western Districts in their final Pool B game.