Ruthless South Africa A romp to innings win

South Africa A 570 for 6 declared (Cook 143, van Zyl 133, Kuhn 108, M'shangwe 3-144) beat Zimbabwe A 356 (Masvaure 146, Phehlukwayo 5-62) and 133 (Ervine 23, Piedt 4-19) by an innings and 81 runs

Centuries from Stephen Cook, Heino Kuhn and Stiaan van Zyl and a five-for from Andile Phehlukwayo exemplified South Africa A's ruthlessness in beating Zimbabwe A by an innings and 81 runs in the second four-day fixture, in Bulawayo.

The coin fell in favour of the visitors and they racked up 570 for 6 before declaring on the second day. Cook, who struck a century on Test debut in January, pleaded his case to remain South Africa's first-choice opener for when they play New Zealand in August by top-scoring with 143 off 201 balls with 11 fours and a six.

Cook's partner Kuhn reached triple-figures as well, his 108 off 209 balls contributing to a 203-run opening stand. With the foundation set, van Zyl, who is hoping to make his senior team comeback as a middle-order batsman, also presented his case with a century. He had found life difficult at the top of the order, notably in the 0-3 series loss in India. But the No. 4 spot and Zimbabwe A's attack seemed to agree with him. He was unbeaten for 133 off a mere 163 balls with 12 fours.

Qaasim Adams biffed a half-century and wicketkeeper Dane Vilas kept the heat on Quinton de Kock with 48 off 30 balls. Zimbabwe A used eight bowlers, but only three of them could pick up wickets and only one had an economy rate below four.

The batsmen fared a bit better, led by opener Prince Masvaure, who top scored with 146. But so steep a deficit meant Zimbabwe A needed another big innings. Craig Ervine had looked to provide one but his progress was cut short on 59 by Phehlukwayo. The 20-year old seam-bowling allrounder took firm hold of the game and finished with 5 for 62 as Zimbabwe A slipped from 247 for 3 to 356 all out.

The hosts were asked to follow-on and were dismantled by spin. Dane Piedt's offbreaks earned him 4 for 19 in seven overs while left-arm spinner Keshav Maharaj chipped in with 3 for 37 in 16 overs. Zimbabwe A were bundled out for 133 after drinks on the fourth day.

Zimbabwe A 3rd innings Partnerships

1st24TMK MawoyoBB Chari
2nd16RW ChakabvaBB Chari
3rd21T MarumaRW Chakabva
4th0CR ErvineT Maruma
5th3CR ErvineCT Mutombodzi
6th35CR ErvinePS Masvaure
7th22TN GarwePS Masvaure
8th2PS MasvaureN M'shangwe
9th9BV VitoriN M'shangwe
10th1N NcubeN M'shangwe