Zimbabwe in Australia 2003-04 September 30, 2003

Century for Wishart as Zimbabwe finish strongly

Wisden CricInfo staff

Zimbabweans 149 and 255 for 9 dec drew with Rockingham-Mandurah 123 and 135 for 6

Craig Wishart completed a boundary-laden century and Sean Ervine enjoyed his third impressive performance of the match, to ensure that Zimbabwe finished the stronger in a testing first encounter of their Australian tour, against the grade cricketers of Rockingham-Mandurah.

Zimbabwe had resumed their second innings on a ropey 107 for 6, a modest lead of 133. But Wishart, 32 not out overnight, found a solid ally in Ervine, and between them they added 136 for the seventh wicket to push Rockingham-Mandurah onto the defensive. Wishart's innings was distinctly two-paced. Although he hung around for 235 balls, his innings included 11 fours and six sixes.

Ervine's contribution was a tenacious 51, including five fours and a six, and it was something of a surprise that he was overlooked for the man of the match award after his 41 and 5 for 37 in the first two innings of the match. Instead, that honour was shared by Wishart and Rockingham-Mandurah's Luke Ronchi, who smacked his second brisk 40-odd of the match to ensure the draw.

After being set an improbable target of 282, Ronchi came to the crease with Zimbabwe on something of a roll. Ervine was once again in the thick of things, dismissing Scott Meuleman early on and Craig Simmons for 35. But it was the left-arm spin of Ray Price that really put the skids under Rockingham-Mandurah. He finished with 4 for 55 including the dismissals of Steven Glew and Adam Voges in quick succession. But from 71 for 4, Ronchi's run-a-ball 47 stalled Zimbabwe's momentum and saved the match.

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