|Scorecard:||Matabeleland v Manicaland|
MATABELELAND pressed on for victory over Manicaland as they remained in firm control of the proceedings on the third day of their inter-provincial Logan Cup match at Queens Sports Club on Sunday.
Opener Wisdom Siziba and Mark Vermeulen made contrasting half centuries as the home who made 442 in their first innings declared their second innings on 334 for the loss of seven wickets in 94 overs. The visitors who posted 283 in their first dig were in deep trouble as they closed the day on 53 for the loss of two wickets in 20 overs, still needing 441 to win the match from a minimum of 101 overs on the last day.
Matabeleland resumed from their overnight total of 40 for no loss with their openers Siziba and Tinashe Hove the men at the crease.
Siziba and Hove put up 57 for the first wicket before Hove was dismissed by Blessing Mahwire, caught by Rangarirai Manyande for 32 runs in the eight over of the day.
Mark Vermeulen who scored just four runs in the first innings joined Siziba at the crease and took no time to get his form and embarked on run feast. Vermeulen took no trouble in running and just waited for the loose deliveries. He was dropped twice and went on to get his half-century in just 38 balls with nine fours and one six in 63 minutes. Siziba on the other hand was content with blocking most of the deliveries that came his way.
Siziba and Vermeulen put up 119 runs for the second wicket before Vermeulen nicked a delivery from off spinner Prosper Utseya to be caught behind by wicketkeeper Neil Ferreira. Vermeulen had scored 83 runs then from 74 balls, dispatched 14 fours and two sixes in 122 minutes of toiling at the crease.
Gregory Strydom, who scored a double century in the first innings failed to find his form with the bat and was trapped leg before wicket by Andre Soma for a duck.
Siziba's patience finally paid dividends for him when he reached the half-century mark from 161 balls with five fours in 208 minutes at the crease. He shared in a fourth wicket stand of 42 with skipper Mluleki Nkala before he departed for 56, bowled by Mahwire in the last over before lunch.
Nkala went to make 48, Mbekezeli Mabuza 32 while Keith Dabengwa made 27 before Matabeleland declared their second innings on 334 in 94 overs with a lead of 493. Mahwire was the pick of the Manicaland bowlers with three wickets at the expense of 84 runs in 21 overs with five maidens. Gary Brent, Andre Soma, Utseya and Leon Soma took one wicket apiece.
Manicaland got off to a disastrous start in their second innings when Darlington Matambanadzo was bowled by Tawanda Mupariwa for just one run. The visitors were two down for 31 runs when Ferreira was given out leg before wicket to young pace bowler Chris Mpofu for six runs.
Manyande and Andre Soma were the two batsmen at the crease both unbeaten on 24 and 14 runs respectively.
(Article: Copyright © 2004 Mehluli Sibanda)
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