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