Zimbabwe A hammered by Durham in first three-day match

25 Feb, 2024 - 00:02 0 Views
Zimbabwe A hammered by Durham in first three-day match Durham County Cricket Club playing against Zimbabwe A at Harare Sports Club

The Sunday News

Brandon Moyo, Sports Reporter 

IT was not the start that Zimbabwe A would have hoped for in their three-day matches against English County side Durham County Cricket Club as they lost the opening encounter in two days at Harare Sports Club on Friday. 

The match was supposed to conclude yesterday, however, two batting collapses from Zimbabwe A led to their defeat within just two days, with a day to spare. The visiting Durham County Cricket Club quickly wrapped up the match on the second day to win by a massive nine wickets. 

Just like in the first innings where one batter stood up following a series of collapses from others with bat in hand, it was the same case in Zimbabwe A’s second innings as Brian Bennett fought a solo battle with the bat for the hosts. The youngster played a fine innings of 56 runs which was almost Zimbabwe A’s only bright feature of the second day. 

The visiting Durham began the day on 187/6, trailing by just seven runs following Zimbabwe A’s 195 runs all out. The visitors went on to finish their innings on a massive 305 runs, courtesy of a Colin Ackerman batting masterclass. 

Ackerman started the day on 81 runs and went on to finish his brilliant innings on 130 runs off 145 balls while their skipper, Scott Borthwick fell for 53 runs off 69 balls. Ben Raine made 51 runs after facing 73 deliveries. 

Ackermann was playing his first First-Class innings for Durham after transferring from Leicestershire.

Ainsley Ndlovu took another wicket on day to  claim yet another First-Class fifer, continuing his form from the Logan Cup. He finished with impressive figures of 5/85 runs in 21 overs as Durham gained a first innings lead of 110 runs. 

In Zimbabwe A’s response in the second innings, Bennet fought a solo battle as he was the only batter that managed to score a half century. His 56 runs came off 74 balls while Ndlovu, once again played a crucial knock at the back end of the innings, finishing unbeaten on 24 runs off 25 balls. 

Ndlovu, as in the first innings, was the only other batter to reach 20, being unbeaten with 24 when the innings closed for a disappointing 171. Callum Parkinson, a left-arm spinner, also featured as Durham’s most troublesome bowler in Zimbabwe A’s second innings.

The first three Zimbabwean batters were dismissed with 44 runs on the board, but Bennett was the man who stood out above his team-mates.

Wickets fell steadily at the other end, mainly to Parkinson who also bowled Bennett to bring his stellar innings which saw him score 10 fours to an end. His wicket left Zimbabwe A on 129/7.

Johnathan Campbell – who was Zimbabwe A’s leading run scorer in the first innings – did not get going this time and was bowled for three.

 Parkinson finished with figures of 6/58 in 15 overs as Durham were set a target of 62 runs to win. 

Durham opening batter Michael Jones was out quickly, although this time he hit a boundary before he was bowled by Victor Nyauchi.

Jonathan Bushnell (17 not out) and the more aggressive Ben McKinney (32 not out) scored quite freely and saw Durham home to victory just before the scheduled close.

The two teams square up again for the second three-day match which begins next Tuesday on February 27 at Takashinga Cricket Club.

Durham County Cricket Club are in the country for their pre-season preparations and this is their third visit in four years.

After the two red ball matches, Durham will then join the Domestic T20 Competition as the sixth team alongside the provincial sides Eagles, Mega Market Mountaineers, Rhinos, Southern Rocks and Tuskers.

The T20 tournament is pencilled in to start on March 3. 

In their previous visit to Zimbabwe last year, Durham toured together with another English county team, Glamorgan for a pre-season programme that included matches across all formats against local select sides.

In 2020, they were also in the country alongside Derbyshire – which was then coached by former Chevrons head coach Dave Houghton – although that tour had to be cut short due to the Covid-19 pandemic.

For the second three-day match, Zimbabwe A will have Mgcini Dube, Tanunurwa Makoni, Michael Chinouya join the team. – @brandon_malvin.

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