Vermeulen's dismissal no obstruction for Matabeleland
Matabeleland 272 for 7 (Hove 80, Vermeulen 105) beat Namibia 249 (J-B Burger 71, Mpofu 3-45) by 23 runs
Namibia finished their tour of Zimbabwe with a good match against Matabeleland, although they lost in the end by 23 runs with 13 balls unbowled. The decisive performance was a century from Mark Vermeulen, who should have played his way into the national team for the upcoming one-day series against England. He made a rapid century, although the most notable incident was the unusual manner of his dismissal.
Namibia were required to field first for the only time on their tour. Matabeleland's openers battled through some very good early bowling, with Tinashe Hove going on to make an impressive 80. This laid the foundation for Vermeulen's 105 off 96 balls, with ten fours. He was finally dismissed when he went for a hasty second run to his partner's hit into the deep. He was probably not in real danger of being run out, but as the throw passed him, with the bowler preparing to receive it, he thrust his bat at it and deflected it to the boundary. On appeal he was given out obstructing the field.
Matabeleland totalled 272 - exactly the same score as in their previous game, in which Vermeulen made 91 - but Jan-Berrie Burger gave Namibia a rollicking start with 71 off 58 balls. The rest put up a good effort right to the end, but did not have quite enough batting depth to pull off an unlikely victory. Chris Mpofu was the best of the bowlers with 3 for 45.
Midlands 254 for 9 (Sibanda 64, Brewer 46, Utseya 41) beat Manicaland 189 (Matsikenyeri 59, Matanga 3-27) by 13 runs
In a good match at Kwekwe Sports Club, Midlands beat Manicaland by 65 runs. It was a good allround performance, with the most encouraging individual effort being a disciplined 64 from the often-prodigal prodigy, Vusi Sibanda.
Midlands, batting first, scored 254. Besides Sibanda, Conan Brewer made 46, and Prosper Utseya contributed an aggressive 41 from just 24 balls. Manicaland looked in the hunt at 135 for 3 at the halfway stage, with Stuart Matsikenyeri going strong. But Matsikenyeri was then dismissed for 59, and the rest of the batting failed sadly, with the offspinner Hilary Matanga returning the best figures of 3 for 27.