Mashonaland 'A' struggling in Alexandra

The match is progressing slowly and looks set for a draw unless something dramatic happens on Day three

Larry Moyo
The match is progressing slowly and looks set for a draw unless something dramatic happens on Day three.
By the close of play on the second day Mashonaland A were still batting but were yet to reach Manicaland's first innings total of 255. They were still 28 runs behind Manicaland's first innings total with just two wickets in hand.
Number eight batsman Prosper Utseya defied a late onslaught from the Manicaland attack and took the hosts' first innings into Day three. He was unbeaten on 20 while captain Henry Olonga was yet to get on the score sheet.
The Mashonaland A batsmen gave wickets away cheaply on a sunny day and there was only one meaningful partnership in their innings on Day Two despite having far more experienced batsmen than Manicaland. Of the eight wickets which fell, there was only a single half-century score. Gavin Rennie, batting at number four, scored 82 off 196 balls while the second best contribution came from wicketkeeper Alester Maregwede who made 39. The pair featured in a 85-run partnership for the fifth wicket.
Mashonaland A captain Henry Olonga had expected his side to take a lead of at least 150 so that they avoid chasing a big total in the second innings as he expects the pitch to start turning on Day Three.
Off-spinner Richard Sims was the thorn in the Mashonaland A flesh as he claimed six wickets for 100 off a massive 43 overs. He bowled almost the entire day as he took the ball in the sixth over and was still bowling at stumps after taking just a small break after 20 overs.
He even took the new ball in the 86th over as the Mashonaland A batsmen struggled with Richie's variation.
Earlier in the day the Manicaland innings came to an end just three overs into the first session. The key to this was the quick dismissal of topscorer Neil Ferreira in the first over of the morning. The opener was still to add to his overnight 135 when he was caught behind off the fifth ball of the first over of the morning bowled by David Mutendera.
The last batsman Ian Coulson did not last long as he became Mutendera's second victim, the ball going through the gate for two, nine balls after Ferreira's departure. So Manicaland had managed to add eight runs to their overnight score of 247.