Zimbabweans slip close to defeat
Zimbabweans 206 and 138 for 6 (Matsikenyeri 45, Maregwede 44, Morkel 4-26) lead Combined Easterns/Northerns XI 275 (Seymore 82, Harris 46) by 69 runs
A collapse late in the day left the Zimbabweans in danger of losing their tour match against the Easterns/Northerns XI at Willowmoore Park in Benoni. By the close of the second day the Zimbabweans, who trailed by 69 on first innings, had turned that round into a lead of 69 - but only had four wickets remaining.
There was an early wobble when Barney Rogers and Hamilton Masakadza both fell to Morne Morkel for ducks, but then Stuart Matiskenyeri and Alester Maregwede combined in a stand of 76 that took Zimbabwe into the lead. However, then disaster struck: first Matsikenyeri fell to the slow left-armer Paul Harris for 45 after hitting eight fours, and then next ball Brendan Taylor was also bowled (86 for 4).
Maregwede ploughed on to 44, but then Morkel returned to have him caught behind by Heino Kuhn for 44. Elton Chigumbura also fell to Morkel for 3, and although Tatenda Taibu and Sean Williams survived until the close they will have a lot to do if what is scheduled to be a four-day match is not to end early on the third day.
Earlier the combined XI took their score from 132 for 2 to 275. Andre Seymore, the captain, added only five to his overnight 77, and was the first to go as his team slipped to 209 for 8. But a handy 46 from Harris, who hit five fours and a six and put on 63 for the ninth wicket with Reeze Telling (28) gave their side what could be a crucial advantage.