Zimbabwe XI v Ireland, ICC Intercontinental Cup, 2nd day September 21, 2010

Ireland edge attritional second day

Cricinfo staff

Zimbabwe XI 175 for 3 (Williams 88*, Marillier 47, Johnston 3-30) trail Ireland 465 (White 102, Masakadza 5-107) by 290 runs

Sean Williams' unbeaten 88 formed the backbone of Zimbabwe XI's 175 for 3 as they replied to Ireland's first innings total of 465 on the second day of their Intercontinental Cup game at Harare Sports Club. John Mooney reached 87 - his second first-class half-century - to ensure that Ireland passed 400 after Andrew White's century but both men eventually fell to Shingi Masakadza, who finished with 5 for 107.

Masakadza didn't receive much support from Zimbabwe XI's other seamers as the hosts were made to toil by some gritty resistance from Ireland's lower order with the last three wickets adding 112 runs after White was bowled shortly after reaching his ton, although young legspinner Natsai Mushangwe did contribute three scalps. After Mushangwe's third strike ended Ireland's innings, fast-medium seamer Trent Johnston put the Zimbabweans under immediate pressure by removing Stuart Matsikenyeri - pushed up the order to open - in the fourth over.

Williams and the in-form Steve Marillier - who struck a first-class career-best 148 not out against Midwest Rhinos over the weekend - steadied Zimbabwe XI with a 100-run stand before Johnston returned to remove Marillier three runs short of his fifty. Johnston had captain Vusi Sibanda caught behind in his next over as Zimbabwe XI slipped to 111 for 3, but Williams then found an able partner in allrounder Keith Dabengwa.

Together they added an unbeaten 64 runs for the fourth wicket, with Williams doing the bulk of the scoring as Dabengwa opted for all-out defence in a 61-ball 17. Their partnership ensured there were no further scares for the hosts, but there is plenty of work still to be done and the Zimbabwean lower order may well have to emulate Ireland's stubborn resistance if they are to remain on a level-pegging in this match.

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  • Rakesh on September 22, 2010, 19:17 GMT

    I agree with @seansie78 that this could be Zimbabwe's third team. Basically I have noticed a strategy of Zimbabwe using rotating technique of selection for Zimbabwe XI. The First class structure is of very good quality. They have good base of players. One thing Zimbabwe should do is woo all Zimbabwe players from counties in England. They will have a very strong team in place for Tests.

    However Ireland must be given Test status since Bangladesh with lower standard has one ( although only due to Dalmiya's blessings). When Ireland plays Tests for 5 years it will be three times stronger than what Bangladesh is after playing for 10 years. No doubt.

    In the last 10 years bangladesh has managed to beat only teams where senior players boycotted their boards like West Indies and Zimbabwe. Ocassional upsets here and there is nothing.Ireland has created more upsets. Just build Ireland First class structure on lines of Zimbabwe and start school coaching.

  • Dummy4 on September 22, 2010, 18:23 GMT

    I agree with Destroyer becoz it could be a shock result for our zim boyz. I also agree with AnotherFlowerFan about Sean Williams but he deserved to be put down a peg after he had refused to play for zim and going into hiding faking injury but by world cup times he will be in the team. But guys SW Masakadza should not be in the squad. He's a good first class than a limited overs guy so when zim comes back to tests he will be in mind but for limited overs i say no! unless they only picked him becoz it's Ireland (no offense).

  • titch on September 22, 2010, 17:31 GMT

    Zim 506, a very good show of discipline and skill, the good thing is that this is for all intents and purposes Zimbabwes third team since there are other individuals not quite first team material but still of better quality and experience than this crop. matsikenyeri is beginning to look suspect though i do feel they took a gamble pushing him up in light of the big total being chased. i think were in for a big suprise , zim should go for the finish..add on 150 in the first session leaving to make a lead of 200 , then asking the irish to save the draw in the remaining two sessions. A zim vicroty is definately on the cards , the irish second innings usually have resulted in draws, though they have lost to afghanistan . my money is on shingi and chatara to bambozzle the irish

  • Bonyongo on September 22, 2010, 16:09 GMT

    Now that Zim XI have the 1st inning points that the required - why don't they spring a surprise and declare tomorrow morning? Although this is clearly a batting track at HSC, you never know, bit of morning dew and Ireland 20/3 could make for a far more interesting final day than the traditional meander to a draw....?

  • Dummy4 on September 22, 2010, 14:48 GMT

    Zimbabwe has got a world class domestic league and it shows by the way these guys are playing.A good first innings lead though. its gonna be a draw.

  • Dummy4 on September 22, 2010, 14:43 GMT

    Zim batting has shown some maturity I for 1 was doubting that they will get anywhere near the total posted by Ireland but...geez Williams geting his form back just at the right time , I think Stewy Matsikinyeri is slowly becoming a liability I think his place should be given to other batsman waiting to be tested an inexperinced under 19 or even Tino Mawoyo or Tendai Chitongo , coz for how long should we tolerate an out of sorts batsman ..Moreso Foster has been struggling this year with our A side the only time he did something notable is when we were playing Kenya , Hats off to Keith ,he has shown some maturity and I think once Vusi gets his groove for the national team back he should be captain of our A side.And Regies should have been called up for the Ireland tour I think hes has been playing very well of late ..all the same we now waiting for the bowlers to do their job!!!!

  • Dummy4 on September 22, 2010, 11:28 GMT

    am very impressed by the comeback fighting spirit btween the partnership of Williams and Dabengwa,shingi really proved to the selectors that their making the right choice when they called him for the national team.

  • Sam on September 22, 2010, 10:54 GMT

    U know - I have always thot Williams is going to be one of the best thing ever to happen to Zim cricket. I think I am right! He is back!

  • Andrew on September 22, 2010, 10:09 GMT

    Rakesh, I'm not sure that a good first innings total against Zim's second team warrants a call for test status. Zim's first team is not even at test standard at the moment! However, I do agree that our player base is better than it was a decade ago and the system augers well for the future. Well done to ireland as well, we wait to see what happens! I still hope Zim can get a first innings lead and it looks like the match might well be a draw if they do.

  • Dummy4 on September 22, 2010, 9:21 GMT

    With the second day in full wing,i am impressed by the way Zim has responded and i think they will do well

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