Zimbabwe XI v Australia A, Harare, 1st day July 15, 2011

Spinners put Australia A on top

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Zimbabwe XI 206 for 6 (Sibanda 91, Krejza 3-24) v Australia A
Scorecard

Zimbabwe XI ground their way to 206 for 6 on an attritional first day against Australia A at the Country Club in Harare. Vusi Sibanda's patient 91 held the Zimbabwean top order together before Australia's spinners struck repeatedly in the afternoon to dent the hosts' gains. Jason Krejza and Michael Beer shared four scalps after the three frontline seamers had been frugal but wicketless.

Sibanda, in charge of the team in the absence of Brendan Taylor, who is out of action after undergoing nasal surgery, put together an opening stand of 117 with Tino Mawoyo, both batsmen digging in with limpet-like tenacity to see off the new ball. The ability to play long innings against quality opposition is a skill that Zimbabwe's budding Test batsmen desperately need to master and survival, rather than dominance, was clearly their goal in the morning as Mawoyo crawled along at less than half of his career first-class strike-rate in a 177-ball 39.

The tactic did work to deny Ben Hilfenhaus, Peter Siddle and Trent Copeland any entry to a potentially fragile middle order, and it was not until the 55th over of the day that Beer finally broke the stand, sneaking one past Mawoyo's bat to have him stumped by Tim Paine. Hamilton Masakadza's entry briefly lifted the tempo, but when he was run out for 12 - a fate that befalls Sibanda's partners with worrying frequency - Australia began to chip away at the middle order.

Sibanda gained in fluency and confidence as he neared a century, but fell nine runs short of the mark when he presented Siddle with a catch off the impressive Krejza. Regis Chakabva and Craig Ervine's fourth-wicket partnership was just beginning to show promise when Krejza struck again, bowling Chakabva for a patient 28 shortly after the score had passed 200.

With minutes to go before the close, a couple of quick wickets put Australia firmly on top. Allrounder Keegan Meth fell to Krejza for a duck and Ervine was then prised out by medium-pacer Mitchell Marsh as Zimbabwe XI slipped to 205 for 6. Former national captain Elton Chigumbura and Malcolm Waller held firm until the close but there isn't a great deal of batting to come and the Zimbabweans will hope that Chigumbura can replicate his form from the two-day match at Kwekwe, where he boosted the total with a bellicose 95, as they push for a respectable first-innings total.

Liam Brickhill is an assistant editor at ESPNcricinfo

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • Meety on July 18, 2011, 23:49 GMT

    Good knock from Chigumbra saved Zim from an innings defeat. Zim can take a fair bit from this match. I liked the application the batsmen showed, I think that is a result of a surprisingly good 1st class domestic scene. Their bowling will be better once Price & Utseya come in - their batting should improve with Taylor & Taibu. -- -- -- For Oz, I think Copeland showed that he is worth a look. He got wickets in the 2nd innings & his 1st innings was very scroogey. I think Krezja is ahead of Beer in the spin pecking order (personally I'd have Hauritz, O'Keefe & Lyon ahead of them). Siddle is a trier- Hilfenhaas is need of regeneration in Shield cricket. Batting wise, Hughes looked to have benefitted greatly from the tour. Good performances from Warner, Paine & Ferguson. Given Siddle & Hilfenhaas played this match I don't think that as much was gained that could of been. I'd prefer to have seen Starc, Pattinson & Copeland be the attack for the match, also like to have seen Kane Richardson!

  • Finn92 on July 16, 2011, 14:53 GMT

    Michael Beer was thrown into the Ashes to try and scare KP, it obviously didn't work and now Australia have to pretend like they rate him highly and so he's on this A tour through sheer embarassment on the selectors part. He will go the same way as Casson, Cullen, McGain etc

  • Shuraim on July 16, 2011, 14:27 GMT

    I dont care what anyone says on my comment but i still believe hauritz is australia's #1 spinner.

  • VivGilchrist on July 16, 2011, 6:52 GMT

    Great point Muggsy, Krezja av46 and Beer av 48, are much better at the longer form of the game than OKeefe av 24. What?????

  • Meety on July 16, 2011, 5:52 GMT

    @fazald - Cummins was rule out of the squad thru injury & McKay hasn't played since early January. @muggsy9 - good points re: Hilfy & Sid - but strongly disagree regarding O'Keefe, particularly O'Keefe v Beer, SO'K is miles ahead statistically. SO'K is stats-wise way ahead of Krezja - although Krezja is vastly more experienced. O'Keefe was selected in his least sucessful format! Really want to see whether he can contine is Shield average of around 25 against International teams. @VivGilchrist - I agree that is boring cricket from Zim - BUT, I think this is the sort of atitude they need to take into their re-admittance into the Test scene, (wanting to bat all day). This attitude will see them lose a lot less then maybe Bangladesh, AND the longer a game goes - the better chance their spinners could route a side on a deteriorating pitch. This game is destined for a draw - which would be a win for Zimbabwe.

  • muggsy9 on July 16, 2011, 1:36 GMT

    @Behind_the_bowlers_arm Sidds and Hilf haven't played any cricket since the end of the domestic season and were picked to get some match practice in before the sri lankan series. Hilf is still a good bowler if he bowls his off cutter regularly (for some off reason in the ashes he never bowled it which meant the batsman knew they could leave knowing it was an outswinger) and uses the crease (outswinger from wide of the crease makes the batsman play more then close in). In regards to SOK i think in the longer forms Beer and krejza are slightly better. plus the selectors have tabs on beer and having 2 left arm offies in the side doesn't work

  • on July 16, 2011, 1:01 GMT

    great 2 see zimbabwe stick it up em seriously tho go away siddle n hilfenhaus u dont threaten zimbabwe let alone wen new zealand n india come here 4 summer.go new zealand

  • on July 16, 2011, 0:31 GMT

    think sid n hilf should be playing county cricket in england and not in the A team, not fair on the up in comers, Copeland ive been reading looks the goods, someone who can bowl consistent line and length

  • on July 16, 2011, 0:17 GMT

    Zim were trying to put Aus to sleep... It's one thing to play defensive but you would have more chance winning by getting all out for 200 in 50 overs than this rubbish.

  • fazald on July 16, 2011, 0:04 GMT

    No doubt the aussie selectors have missed a golden opportunity of budding some untried fast bowlers in this series by the inclusion of two permanent members of the senior team in Siddle & Hilfenhaus when we have an array of talented fast bowlers in this country knocking at the door of playing for the senior side. Players like James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Cummins, Hazlehurst, McKay, George should have been given the opportunity now that Siddle & Hilfenhaus have already been tried & tested & you never know unless they are given the chance to do so. It is a pity that Mckay & George are not even among the list of contracted players.

  • Meety on July 18, 2011, 23:49 GMT

    Good knock from Chigumbra saved Zim from an innings defeat. Zim can take a fair bit from this match. I liked the application the batsmen showed, I think that is a result of a surprisingly good 1st class domestic scene. Their bowling will be better once Price & Utseya come in - their batting should improve with Taylor & Taibu. -- -- -- For Oz, I think Copeland showed that he is worth a look. He got wickets in the 2nd innings & his 1st innings was very scroogey. I think Krezja is ahead of Beer in the spin pecking order (personally I'd have Hauritz, O'Keefe & Lyon ahead of them). Siddle is a trier- Hilfenhaas is need of regeneration in Shield cricket. Batting wise, Hughes looked to have benefitted greatly from the tour. Good performances from Warner, Paine & Ferguson. Given Siddle & Hilfenhaas played this match I don't think that as much was gained that could of been. I'd prefer to have seen Starc, Pattinson & Copeland be the attack for the match, also like to have seen Kane Richardson!

  • Finn92 on July 16, 2011, 14:53 GMT

    Michael Beer was thrown into the Ashes to try and scare KP, it obviously didn't work and now Australia have to pretend like they rate him highly and so he's on this A tour through sheer embarassment on the selectors part. He will go the same way as Casson, Cullen, McGain etc

  • Shuraim on July 16, 2011, 14:27 GMT

    I dont care what anyone says on my comment but i still believe hauritz is australia's #1 spinner.

  • VivGilchrist on July 16, 2011, 6:52 GMT

    Great point Muggsy, Krezja av46 and Beer av 48, are much better at the longer form of the game than OKeefe av 24. What?????

  • Meety on July 16, 2011, 5:52 GMT

    @fazald - Cummins was rule out of the squad thru injury & McKay hasn't played since early January. @muggsy9 - good points re: Hilfy & Sid - but strongly disagree regarding O'Keefe, particularly O'Keefe v Beer, SO'K is miles ahead statistically. SO'K is stats-wise way ahead of Krezja - although Krezja is vastly more experienced. O'Keefe was selected in his least sucessful format! Really want to see whether he can contine is Shield average of around 25 against International teams. @VivGilchrist - I agree that is boring cricket from Zim - BUT, I think this is the sort of atitude they need to take into their re-admittance into the Test scene, (wanting to bat all day). This attitude will see them lose a lot less then maybe Bangladesh, AND the longer a game goes - the better chance their spinners could route a side on a deteriorating pitch. This game is destined for a draw - which would be a win for Zimbabwe.

  • muggsy9 on July 16, 2011, 1:36 GMT

    @Behind_the_bowlers_arm Sidds and Hilf haven't played any cricket since the end of the domestic season and were picked to get some match practice in before the sri lankan series. Hilf is still a good bowler if he bowls his off cutter regularly (for some off reason in the ashes he never bowled it which meant the batsman knew they could leave knowing it was an outswinger) and uses the crease (outswinger from wide of the crease makes the batsman play more then close in). In regards to SOK i think in the longer forms Beer and krejza are slightly better. plus the selectors have tabs on beer and having 2 left arm offies in the side doesn't work

  • on July 16, 2011, 1:01 GMT

    great 2 see zimbabwe stick it up em seriously tho go away siddle n hilfenhaus u dont threaten zimbabwe let alone wen new zealand n india come here 4 summer.go new zealand

  • on July 16, 2011, 0:31 GMT

    think sid n hilf should be playing county cricket in england and not in the A team, not fair on the up in comers, Copeland ive been reading looks the goods, someone who can bowl consistent line and length

  • on July 16, 2011, 0:17 GMT

    Zim were trying to put Aus to sleep... It's one thing to play defensive but you would have more chance winning by getting all out for 200 in 50 overs than this rubbish.

  • fazald on July 16, 2011, 0:04 GMT

    No doubt the aussie selectors have missed a golden opportunity of budding some untried fast bowlers in this series by the inclusion of two permanent members of the senior team in Siddle & Hilfenhaus when we have an array of talented fast bowlers in this country knocking at the door of playing for the senior side. Players like James Pattinson, Mitchell Starc, Cummins, Hazlehurst, McKay, George should have been given the opportunity now that Siddle & Hilfenhaus have already been tried & tested & you never know unless they are given the chance to do so. It is a pity that Mckay & George are not even among the list of contracted players.

  • VivGilchrist on July 15, 2011, 22:23 GMT

    Krezja is making Beer look like a hack....well actually he is a hack. No OKeefe in this line up is a real mystery. Sid and Hilf arent looking overly dangerous but they are bowling to a team that looks like they aren't even attempting to score. Pretty boring stuff for a 4 day game Zim,

  • MeijiMura on July 15, 2011, 21:28 GMT

    To help put things into perspective a couple of things need to be pointed out. First of all it is very difficult to take wickets when your opponents aren't playing any shots. Secondly the fact that it took 55 overs for an attack headed by Hilfenhaus and Siddle, bowlers of the quality and experience that Zimbabwe do not have, to take a wicket indicates that there is nothing in the pitch and yet the Zimbabweans conspired not only to score at a snail's pace but to lose six wickets in the process.

    With Taylor being rested to recover from a shoulder injury and nose surgery, and Taibu still recovering from an injured thumb, Zimbabwe went into this game without their best two batsmen, but it is the bowling that is most likely to come under pressure in this game. With Cremer and Price out injured and Utseya and Mpofu resting, Zimbabwe have gone into this game without their entire spin tripartite and arguably their leading pace bowler too.

  • Meety on July 15, 2011, 21:24 GMT

    Top effort from Zimbabwe! Dunno what the pitch is like but it didn't seem to give anything to the pace bowlers - that been said I like the fact that the pacers kept it tight despite no wickets. Copeland 21 overs for 24. The real guage of the pitch (& Oz bowling will happen when Oz bat). This is a real good work out for Zim - I think it will dent the confidence of Siddle & Hilfenhaas though!

  • on July 15, 2011, 21:00 GMT

    can anyone tell me why isn't tatend taibu playing???

  • jonesy2 on July 15, 2011, 20:39 GMT

    nice krejza. seriously not sure why hilf and sids are playing for aus A. god mitch marsh is going to be something else, also copeland, why are mckay or george or coulter-nile or duffield not playing in the place of 2 test stars is weird. nice work from zim aswell, obviously just trying to preserve wickets.

  • on July 15, 2011, 19:28 GMT

    Zim need lots of these pressure games to learn, i think credit goes to them for the first 3 sessions but lost it in the last session... lets see how the game goes!!!

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on July 15, 2011, 18:53 GMT

    Can anyone explain what Siddle & Hilfenhaus are doing leading (for want of a better word ) the attack in an Aust A match? I know some younger bowlers are injured but what is the point of this. Surely after the Ashes it is known that Hilfenhaus is finished on all but English pitches anyway. These games should be about looking at players who haven't played Tests. And no Steve O'Keefe in a longer form game? Bonkers.

  • PontiusPilate78 on July 15, 2011, 18:20 GMT

    Zim really applied themselves today, this is in effect the real Zim IX, the guys who competed in the continental cup last time round and won it. there was no taibu , taylor, masakadza or chigumbura and co there. just mawoyo, chakabva , sibanda and co,. The aussie quicks couldt not brak the defences till the 55th over..the chaps who were playint the ashes , as krazykreja has pointed out-my ppoint-zim are improving , quick enough. i hope they make at least 300, chigumbura can play , as long as there is someone on the other side to support him. Sibanda showed glimpses of the form that saw him hitting 200 last season, hes a good player , saw him when he was playing in australia, mawoyo hit 200 against new zeland A lsst time round...looks to be a good match , only if the quicks from zimbabwe can get the job done. looking forward to seeing chatara, meth and co...hear meth is hot stuff locally and chatara is a speed demon of sorts....

  • on July 15, 2011, 17:56 GMT

    with more game time, Zim guys will have some consistency. Not a bad score considering that they are up agaist guys who were in the ashes squad, well played on DAY1!

  • Nduru on July 15, 2011, 16:38 GMT

    Not bad given the quality of the Australian attack (most of them have Baggy Greens) and the fact that apart from 3 or 4 of the Zim guys, it really is a second XI. Zim needs to push on to 300 tomorrow and that will be a good effort.

  • on July 15, 2011, 15:58 GMT

    I've always thought that Vusi is more suite to the longerversions of the game , not the ODI that he always scuttles with his low scoring rate at the top. Hopefully he will put in century 2nd innings. good bowling from the aussies-rather toothless of the quicks more than 50 overs before the fall of the first wicket-agains zimbabwe! i hope chigumbura goes bezok and smashes a quick fire 100 to push the total to at least 300 or there abouts-chatara and meth are going to be more thatn ahandful for the aussies-i should know. mawoyo also seems to be learning the art of playing a long innings , while masakadza was again unlucky, but confident -they need to work on Vusis runningand calling , its not the first time hes run out his top order partners.whats up with that?beers looking good- wouldnet pick him for the aussie national side though- gut feelin' does anyone know if there is some video footage of this game somewhere?

  • KrazyKrejza on July 15, 2011, 15:37 GMT

    And you wonder why we were absolutely hammered in the Ashes... Siddle and Hilfenhaus can't even bowl out ZIMBABWE whilst Jason Krejza (who has the sharpest off-break in the country) has been overlooked for tests since taking 12 wickets in debuts.... quality selectors.

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  • KrazyKrejza on July 15, 2011, 15:37 GMT

    And you wonder why we were absolutely hammered in the Ashes... Siddle and Hilfenhaus can't even bowl out ZIMBABWE whilst Jason Krejza (who has the sharpest off-break in the country) has been overlooked for tests since taking 12 wickets in debuts.... quality selectors.

  • on July 15, 2011, 15:58 GMT

    I've always thought that Vusi is more suite to the longerversions of the game , not the ODI that he always scuttles with his low scoring rate at the top. Hopefully he will put in century 2nd innings. good bowling from the aussies-rather toothless of the quicks more than 50 overs before the fall of the first wicket-agains zimbabwe! i hope chigumbura goes bezok and smashes a quick fire 100 to push the total to at least 300 or there abouts-chatara and meth are going to be more thatn ahandful for the aussies-i should know. mawoyo also seems to be learning the art of playing a long innings , while masakadza was again unlucky, but confident -they need to work on Vusis runningand calling , its not the first time hes run out his top order partners.whats up with that?beers looking good- wouldnet pick him for the aussie national side though- gut feelin' does anyone know if there is some video footage of this game somewhere?

  • Nduru on July 15, 2011, 16:38 GMT

    Not bad given the quality of the Australian attack (most of them have Baggy Greens) and the fact that apart from 3 or 4 of the Zim guys, it really is a second XI. Zim needs to push on to 300 tomorrow and that will be a good effort.

  • on July 15, 2011, 17:56 GMT

    with more game time, Zim guys will have some consistency. Not a bad score considering that they are up agaist guys who were in the ashes squad, well played on DAY1!

  • PontiusPilate78 on July 15, 2011, 18:20 GMT

    Zim really applied themselves today, this is in effect the real Zim IX, the guys who competed in the continental cup last time round and won it. there was no taibu , taylor, masakadza or chigumbura and co there. just mawoyo, chakabva , sibanda and co,. The aussie quicks couldt not brak the defences till the 55th over..the chaps who were playint the ashes , as krazykreja has pointed out-my ppoint-zim are improving , quick enough. i hope they make at least 300, chigumbura can play , as long as there is someone on the other side to support him. Sibanda showed glimpses of the form that saw him hitting 200 last season, hes a good player , saw him when he was playing in australia, mawoyo hit 200 against new zeland A lsst time round...looks to be a good match , only if the quicks from zimbabwe can get the job done. looking forward to seeing chatara, meth and co...hear meth is hot stuff locally and chatara is a speed demon of sorts....

  • Behind_the_bowlers_arm on July 15, 2011, 18:53 GMT

    Can anyone explain what Siddle & Hilfenhaus are doing leading (for want of a better word ) the attack in an Aust A match? I know some younger bowlers are injured but what is the point of this. Surely after the Ashes it is known that Hilfenhaus is finished on all but English pitches anyway. These games should be about looking at players who haven't played Tests. And no Steve O'Keefe in a longer form game? Bonkers.

  • on July 15, 2011, 19:28 GMT

    Zim need lots of these pressure games to learn, i think credit goes to them for the first 3 sessions but lost it in the last session... lets see how the game goes!!!

  • jonesy2 on July 15, 2011, 20:39 GMT

    nice krejza. seriously not sure why hilf and sids are playing for aus A. god mitch marsh is going to be something else, also copeland, why are mckay or george or coulter-nile or duffield not playing in the place of 2 test stars is weird. nice work from zim aswell, obviously just trying to preserve wickets.

  • on July 15, 2011, 21:00 GMT

    can anyone tell me why isn't tatend taibu playing???

  • Meety on July 15, 2011, 21:24 GMT

    Top effort from Zimbabwe! Dunno what the pitch is like but it didn't seem to give anything to the pace bowlers - that been said I like the fact that the pacers kept it tight despite no wickets. Copeland 21 overs for 24. The real guage of the pitch (& Oz bowling will happen when Oz bat). This is a real good work out for Zim - I think it will dent the confidence of Siddle & Hilfenhaas though!