Honours even despite Ontong hundred
Zimbabwe Select 242 (Sibanda 68, Taibu 63, Langeveldt 4-62, Hall 3-29) and 17 for 0 trail South Africa A 280 (Ontong 101, Dippenaar 77, Brent 4-48, Mpofu 3-39) by 21 runs
The second day of the match between Zimbabwe Select and South Africa A at Harare Sports Club ended with honours even after a much-improved bowling display by the Zimbabweans.
Midway through the day South Africa had appeared to be in a strong position, with Justin Ontong powering to a hundred. But Zimbabwe fought back to restrict the first-innings deficit to 38 and they had reduced that by a further 17 without loss by the end.
South Africa polished off the remaining three wickets at the start of play with little resistance, Charl Langeveldt mopping up the tail to finish with 4 for 62. Tatenda Taibu added seven to his overnight 56 but was left high and dry as his team-mates wilted.
Chris Mpofu and Gary Brent proved a good new-ball pairing. Mpofu struck first, Morne van Wyk getting a big outside edge to Taibu and in the next over Brent cleaned up Alviro Peterson. It should have been three down in the same over, but another edge from Hashim Amla was missed by a combination of Taibu and Hamilton Masakadza at slip. The reprieve was not expensive, Brent trapping Amla for 15.
Ontong then spearheaded a recovery adding 115 for the fourth wicket with Boeta Dippenaar, reaching his hundred before nicking almost immediately to Taibu. Dippenaar and Andrew Hall put on 65 for the fifth wicket, Hall falling to a catch by Stuart Matsikenyeri off Timycen Maruma.
As with Zimbabwe, the tail offered little. Thami Tsolekile was run out by Mupariwa and then Mpofu wrapped things up by polishing off the last two wickets.
Masakadza and Tino Mawoyo safely played out the last six overs. Mawoyo, in good domestic form but struggling on the higher stage, needs runs tomorrow, but overall the first two days have restored Zimbabwe's pride after the maulings they were handed by India A.