Ruthless South Africa A romp to innings win

South Africa A 570 for 6 declared (Cook 143, van Zyl 133, Kuhn 108, M'shangwe 3-144) beat Zimbabwe A 356 (Masvaure 146, Phehlukwayo 5-62) and 133 (Ervine 23, Piedt 4-19) by an innings and 81 runs

Centuries from Stephen Cook, Heino Kuhn and Stiaan van Zyl and a five-for from Andile Phehlukwayo exemplified South Africa A's ruthlessness in beating Zimbabwe A by an innings and 81 runs in the second four-day fixture, in Bulawayo.

The coin fell in favour of the visitors and they racked up 570 for 6 before declaring on the second day. Cook, who struck a century on Test debut in January, pleaded his case to remain South Africa's first-choice opener for when they play New Zealand in August by top-scoring with 143 off 201 balls with 11 fours and a six.

Cook's partner Kuhn reached triple-figures as well, his 108 off 209 balls contributing to a 203-run opening stand. With the foundation set, van Zyl, who is hoping to make his senior team comeback as a middle-order batsman, also presented his case with a century. He had found life difficult at the top of the order, notably in the 0-3 series loss in India. But the No. 4 spot and Zimbabwe A's attack seemed to agree with him. He was unbeaten for 133 off a mere 163 balls with 12 fours.

Qaasim Adams biffed a half-century and wicketkeeper Dane Vilas kept the heat on Quinton de Kock with 48 off 30 balls. Zimbabwe A used eight bowlers, but only three of them could pick up wickets and only one had an economy rate below four.

The batsmen fared a bit better, led by opener Prince Masvaure, who top scored with 146. But so steep a deficit meant Zimbabwe A needed another big innings. Craig Ervine had looked to provide one but his progress was cut short on 59 by Phehlukwayo. The 20-year old seam-bowling allrounder took firm hold of the game and finished with 5 for 62 as Zimbabwe A slipped from 247 for 3 to 356 all out.

The hosts were asked to follow-on and were dismantled by spin. Dane Piedt's offbreaks earned him 4 for 19 in seven overs while left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj chipped in with 3 for 37 in 16 overs. Zimbabwe A were bundled out for 133 after drinks on the fourth day.