Zimbabwe A v Kenya Select, Harare, 4th day May 19, 2007

Absentee officials miss Zimbabwe secure win

Cricinfo staff

Zimbabwe A 234 and 178 for 5 (Masakadza 48) beatKenya Select 147 and 264 by five wickets

Zimbabwe A beat Kenya Select by five wickets on the final day at Harare Sports Club to ensure the visitors ended their month long tour of Zimbabwe without a win. Set 178 with the whole day to get it, Zimbabwe A reached their target in 53.2 overs shortly after the tea break.

Hamilton Masakadza set the platform for the victory when he struck four fours and three huge sixes on his way to 48 while Keith Dabengwa, their hero in the first innings, was there to see Zimbabwe through with an unbeaten 35. But Tino Mawoyo once again failed to rekindle the form he produced in the Logan Cup when he fell for 12, edging the hard working Alfred Luseno to wicketkeeper David Obuya.

The key to the day was always likely to be the in-form left-arm spinner Hiren Varaiya, and Masakadza set about him from the off, smacking him for three sixes, the last that went over the media-centre roof. The ball could not be found and was replaced.

Masakadza put on 68 with Bonaparte Mujuru, who was happy to play an anchor role and let Masakadza attack. The stand ended when Masakadza called a tight second run and Mujuru failed to beat Elijah Otieno's throw from long-on. Masakadza perished shortly after when he cut Luseno to Mishra at first slip.

When Regis Chakabva was trapped leg-before. Zimbabwe were wobbling on 125 for 5, but then Dabengwa again provided the ballast to ensure there were no more setbacks.

Few spectators bothered to watch the match despite entry to the venue being free. The poor attendance could be attributed to the fact that most people were at work.

What was more noticeable was that senior ZC officials, including chairman Peter Chingoka and managing director Ozias Bvute, could not even be bothered to turn up. Given the paucity of matches in the country, it seems surprising that they did not find the time to make an appearance.

Bvute, a highly-paid employee of the board, would normally be expected to make post-match niceties in the absence of Chingoka, but he was obviously far to busy. That left Zimbabwe team manager Givemore Makon to make presentations to the Kenyans. It was yet another poor reflection on an already tarnished board.

Kenya, who arrived in Zimbabwe with high expectations, fly home on Sunday without a win from their five outings. While in the one-day game they are a decent side and, as the most recent series here showed, more than able to match Zimbabwe, they have much to learn in the longer format.