Zim Select XI v Aus A, Harare, 1st day July 18, 2013

Zimbabwe top order collapses against pace


Zimbabwe Select XI (Waller 19*, Cummins 2-6) trail Australia A 226 (Henriques 71, Jarvis 4-54) by 144 runs

Zimbabwe's batsmen undid some of the hard work done by their bowlers in Andy Waller's first match in charge since taking over the coaching job in May. Despite being called a "Select XI", Zimbabwe fielded a full-strength squad for the three-day first-class match as they prepare for a winter program which includes an incoming ODI tour by India and Tests against Pakistan and Sri Lanka and they made a fairly good impression with the ball.

The tourists chose to bat first and were in early trouble as they lost their first three wickets inside 11 overs. Nic Maddinson, Aaron Finch and David Warner were all victims of Kyle Jarvis', with Warner's 6 from No. 4 of interest to Australian management at the Ashes, to which he will return after the tour of Southern Africa.

Alex Doolan and Moises Henriques put on 55 for the fourth wicket, but the recovery was more well-established with the next pair. Henriques and Glenn Maxwell posted 88 before Henriques was dismissed by Michael Chinouya, the uncapped seamer who is being tipped to debut against India.

Maxwell was caught off Elton Chigumbura's bowling and that opened Australia A up. The last five batsmen folded for 21 runs with Chigumbura profiting at the tail end of the innings. On what would have been a typically dry and slow pitch in the Zimbabwean winter, Australia A's 226 was relatively respectable, but the hosts would have been the happier camp, until they went in to bat.

Their top-order was unable to cope with pace from youngsters Pat Cummins and Josh Hazelwood and within 18 overs, Zimbabwe's Select XI had lost most of its experience. Vusi Sibanda and Brendan Taylor were caught behind while Sikanda Raza and Hamilton Masakadza were both out lbw.

Malcolm Waller and Timycen Maruma managed a 35-run stand and just as they looked to be taking Zimbabwe to safety overnight, their vigil was broken. In the last over of the day, Maruma was caught and bowled by Pakistani-born and now Australian citizen Fawad Ahmed, who is also making a claim for an Ashes call-up.

While some of Australia A players will have one eye on Lord's, Zimbabwe's cricketers will look to the second day with recovery foremost in their minds. Batting continues to be their problem and they will need to do serious technical work before their next international assignments.

Firdose Moonda is ESPNcricinfo's South Africa correspondent

Comments have now been closed for this article

  • ZCF on July 19, 2013, 11:35 GMT

    I suppose the difference between Jarvis and Jade Dernbach is that while they both consistently fetch, you can count on the former to at least take wickets.The odd thing about Jade is that he employs all these futile variations to no effect but still gets picked despite being a total liability to the team.

    The irony with Jarvis is that everything looks organised - his action, line, length but virtually no batsmen - top order to tailender - gives him an ounce of respect! Half the time it leads to their downfall because just that little bit extra occasionally does the average batsmen's defence&footwork. The biggest question will always be - can we afford to regularly concede a 100 runs from him over just 3 spells a day? The Bangladeshis gave him a little bit of credit&respect and they got away 100 odd runs for no damage - and won. I fear the only way we'll ever get enough out of him is if he spends an entire summer with someone like Glenn McGrath, otherwise he's flattering to deceive.

  • mzamo on July 19, 2013, 9:36 GMT

    @zcf outkast i agree 100% with u...matsknyeri was needed in that kind of situation

  • ZCF on July 19, 2013, 9:10 GMT

    I wouldn't read too much into this. A well prepared Zim team gave a stronger AusXI team a much tougher time before. Both sides' batsmen were guilty of playing loose shots, which too me is a sign that the bowling was rather poor from both sides despite the impression that it was the better performing department.

    It boils down to this being a 3 day game: Aus wanting to assert their authority and gain a morale boosting win ahead of their trials for the Test side against SA XI; while Zim batsmen couldn't believe their fortune at such an unexpectedly low total by them and they threw caution to the wind before being bogged down and got out trying to force the issue. Just look at how someone like Waller(aka Trott Misbah) came out all guns blazing. Anyway someone mentioned Mawoyo and I think they would've batted around him very well. Only Matsikenyeri is suited to this counter-attack game Zim batsmen were trying to play.

  • Dummy4 on July 19, 2013, 8:54 GMT

    @House of Stone, I feel for you guys, put the likes of Gary Ballance and the Ervine brothers into that middle order and it suddenly looks a lot stronger. Tino Mawoyo coming back will give stability at the top too. Also, its not like Hazlewood and Cummins aren't seriously good bowlers.

    @Chris_P, hope you are right on Cummins!

    @TheBigBoodha, I agree on Hazlewood, people talk about Bird being a McGrath like bowler but for mine it is Hazlewood who can take up this mantle. He had a good finish to the last shield season and I feel with the experience of another shield season on top of the upcoming A series against SA he'll be starting to feel pretty comfortable about what he has to do to take wickets at the top level. I am a huge wrap on this guy.

  • kudakwashe on July 19, 2013, 5:55 GMT

    we are going to win #rise zim rise

  • Daniel on July 19, 2013, 4:16 GMT

    @joe. I wouldn't quite put it as dramatically as it has been stated, cricket has been the sport that Zim has been most successful in the past 30 years. Football is more popular but terribly run. It has also provided an income for many a young player particularly those from a less well off background, there are faults within ZCU and these need to be corrected that but to say that we are there merely as a free vote is pretty damn insulting. We earned our ticket in world cricket some good performances, go and pick on Bangladesh if you have a problem with teams being there just to vote. The political landscape will hopefully change in the next few months & that will have a knock on effect in the cricketing circles because if Zim were able to put together a full strength team with no political meddling then they would have the potential to knock a lot of people off their high horses. Right now Joe you just sound like a peeved off Irishman who feels you have a right to walk into Test cricket

  • Izmi on July 19, 2013, 3:18 GMT

    It's nice to see Patrick Cummins back from injury after nearly an year. Hope he will maintain his fitness without breaking down constantly since his debut against South Africa in 2010. If he is fit enough and bowling well he could be rushed into the ashes squad in England. Failing which he would still be included in the team for the return ashes series in Australia in November. It's good to see both Harris and Cummins back in the side after nearly an year. They are both the most feared fast bowlers in the Australian cricket team.

  • James on July 19, 2013, 2:43 GMT

    Hazelwood and Cummins are seriously talented, so it's not surprising. Hazelwood is an exceptionally good bowler, and if he stays fit, will lead the Australian attack one day, I predict. People have forgotten about him, but at 22 or so, he has time on his side.

  • Dummy4 on July 19, 2013, 0:50 GMT

    Im really excited about Patrick cummins coming back from injury. I hope he can stay fit and perform well in the shield cricket. he needs to play full season of fc cricket then he will be ready for test cricket. Australia have plenty of quality young fast bowlers coming thorugh like chadd sayers, josh hazlewood, gurinder sandhu, Patrick cummins, james Faulkner, Jackson bird, coulter nile, ryan harris, Mitchell starc, james pattinson and peter siddle.

  • Peter on July 18, 2013, 23:59 GMT

    Pat Cummins will be something special before he hangs up his boots. @grahaam. Take it easy my friend, Zimbabwe needs these types of games to prepare for a full blooded tilt at tests. I can assure you, they won't be facing quality pace bowling like this too often, certainly not the pace Cummins puts in. Zimbabwe needs games like this & I hope other countries also send their "A" teams there for tours. There is a stack of talent over there, it needs to be harnessed. Good effort by Moises, he was one of the leading lights in first class prior to BBL, same with Doolan then the 2 month break stiffed both of them, while MoHen showed glimpses of why he such a prospect in India, Doolan had to restart his momentum.

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