Zimbabwe A v Afghanistan, Harare, 3rd day July 29, 2014

Vermeulen ton sets up tense finish

ESPNcricinfo staff

Zimbabwe A 208 for 6 (Vermeulen 107, Ashraf 4-28) and 165 need another 54 runs to beat Afghanistan 105 and 321 (Zadran 99, Chinouya 4-92)
Scorecard

A fighting century from Mark Vermeulen looked to have put Zimbabwe A in a comfortable position, but a couple of late strikes from Mirwais Ashraf set up a tense final day in Harare.

Afghanistan began the day strongly placed at 275 for 5, but were quickly skittled for 321 inside 13 overs of the day. Najibullah Zadran began two runs away from a century, but was bowled out for 99 by Tendai Chatara in the fifth ball of the day. Following Zadran's dismissal, Michael Chinouya quickly wrapped up the tail, taking his tally for the match to six. Fazal Niazai was left stranded on 42 not out, as Afghanistan A were bundled out for 321, setting the hosts 262 for victory.

Zimbabwe A lost three quick wickets in the chase, but Vermeulen combined with Regis Chakabva and Richmond Mutumbami to produce two important partnerships. Vermeulen's association with Chakabva yielded 62, with Chakabva contributing just 19 to the partnership, while he and Mutumbami added 84 for the fifth wicket.

Vermeulen eventually reached his 100, off 157 balls, and at 192 for 4, Zimbabwe A looked to be heading for an easy win. However, Ashraf dismissed Mutumbami for 41 in the 61st over and later had Vermeulen caught by Najeeb Tarakai for 107 in the penultimate over of the day.

Zimbabwe A ended with 208 for 6, still 54 runs adrift. Luke Jongwe, the hosts' last recognised batsman, and John Nyumbu were at the crease at stumps.

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