Masakadza century sets up Zimbabwean win
Zimbabweans 232 for 3 (Rogers 42, Masakadza 103*, Taylor 41*) beat Gauteng/ North West XI 229 for 7 (Snijman 97, Motaung 52, Rogers 3-38) by seven wickets
The Zimbabweans recovered from an ordinary start to their tour of South Africa to inflict a comprehensive seven-wicket defeat on a combined Gauteng & North West XI at Sedgars Park in Potchefstroom.
The Zimbabweans restricted the combined team to 229 for 7 after they had made a good start, and then knocked off the runs with 5.5 overs to spare, with Hamilton Masakadza starring with an undefeated century. Masakadza reached his century and won the match with his 11th four - smashing Gerhard de Bruin to the midwicket boundary. He also hit a six, and shared an unbeaten partnership of 133 with Brendan Taylor, after Barney Rogers had provided a lightning start, slamming 42 from 41 balls with eight fours, four of them off successive balls from the suffering de Bruin.
Although Stuart Matiskenyeri made only 12 and Alester Maregwede 10 before both were caught behind, the Zimbabweans were never in much trouble.
It was rather different at the start, though, when the Zimbabweans - who won the toss and decided to bowl first - were subjected to a display of classy strokemaking from the 19-year-old Gauteng opener Blake Snijman, who hit nine fours in his 97. The combined XI rattled along to 143 for 0 by the 33rd over, before Zimbabwe finally made a breakthrough, as William Motaung lofted Gavin Ewing into the hands of backward square leg for 52.
But after that, Zimbabwe rushed back into the game, as a succession of middle-order batsmen came and went in a hurry. On 2, Mohammad Akoojee clipped Ewing into the air on the leg side, where Tatenda Taibu took a tumbling catch (147 for 2), and five overs later Snijman's innings was spectacularly ended by Matsikenyeri, who took a blinding catch at midwicket (167 for 3).
Four balls later and the fightback was complete, as Juan le Roux cut at a wide one from Matsikenyeri and was well held in the gully by Taylor. Three more wickets fell in a helter-skelter final ten overs, in which Richard Stroh and Matthew Harris smacked a six apiece to keep the combined XI on course for a decent total.
But Rogers started the reply with a bang, and Masakadza, who recently came down from university in South Africa, relished his return.