Ervine takes five as wickets tumble on both sides
Zimbabwe 149 (Wates 4-22) and 107 for 6 (Wishart 32*) lead Rockingham-Mandurah Invitational 123 (Ervine 5-37) by 133 runs
An efficient bowling display from Zimbabwe, led by Sean Ervine, against Rockingham-Mandurah was overshadowed by another batting collapse and the news that Douglas Hondo is a serious doubt for the opening Test next Thursday at Perth.
Hondo, Zimbabwe's third-choice seamer behind Heath Streak and Andy Blignaut, strained his thumb yesterday and was unable to bowl at all today. However, Ervine did his chances no harm by kick-starting Zimbabwe's fightback with five wickets against the Rockingham-Mandurah team, who were bolstered by four fringe Western Australian players.
Ervine, who smashed 41 in Zimbabwe's first innings, grabbed 5 for 37 from 15 overs as Rockingham-Mandurah capitulated to 123 in front of a crowd of about 200 at Settlers Hill. Luke Ronchi saved his side from even more blushes with an entertaining 44 on the bowler-friendly pitch, but he was one of only three batsmen to make double figures.
With a slender lead of 26, Zimbabwe's fragile batting line-up was again exposed in their second innings as they slumped to 107 for 6 at the close. Craig Wishart (32*) ensured they still had some sort of advantage - a lead of 133 runs, but with only four wickets left and Hondo unable to bat.