Zimbabwe fight on

HARARE - South Africa removed Hamilton Masakadza for 19 runs as host Zimbabwe closed day three on 28-1 and trail by 113 runs in their second innings here yesterday.

Masakadza was caught at third slip by South Africa vice-captain AB de Villiers while trying to fend-off a nasty bouncer from seamer Morne Morkel.

Opener Vusi Sibanda was on eight runs while night watchman Donald Tiripano only had one run to his name when play came to an end yesterday.

With nine wickets in hand, Zimbabwe need the duo to get runs on the board to claw away the Proteas lead when the one-off Test match resumes on day four this morning.

Yesterday however belonged to debutant Zimbabwe off-spinner John Nyumbu, who kept the hosts in the game with some spending bowling on his way to a maiden Test five-for from 49.3 overs giving away 157.

Nyumbu’s bowling spell ensured that South Africa ended their first innings on 397 all out and with a lead of 141 runs.

Nyumbu had Faf du Plessis caught by Regis Chakabva at short-leg for 98 runs in the 111th over with the score reading 276-5 before Quinton de Kock and JP Duminy took their team to lunch two overs later after adding just two runs (278-5).

The visitors resumed day three on 201-4 and added 196 runs at a prize of six wickets after they were dismissed all out for 397 runs with a first innings lead of 141.

The second wicket for South Africa fell three overs after lunch when de Kock perished for 81 runs after 115.6 overs after he was caught by Sibanda at midwicket off the bowling of Sean Williams to leave his team on 292-6.

Williams clean bowled Vernon Philander for 17 runs, two deliveries before tea as prospects of dismissing the Proteas all out continued to look bright.

At this stage South Africa were leading by 78 runs with three wickets remaining on 334-7.

Off-spinner Nyumbu’s debut got better when he claimed his fourth wicket after Dale Steyn (17) was caught in the covers by a running Tiripano in the 149th over.

Tiripano trapped Dane Piedt plum 10 overs later.

Nyumbu, largely overlooked by Zimbabwean selectors for a long time despite consistent performances for his franchise Matabeleland Tuskers, ensured that it will be a debut to remember when he got the last wicket of Duminy (55).

The South African left-handed batsman presented an easy catch to Zimbabwe captain Brendan Taylor at slips.

Apart from Nyumbu’s five-for, the other notable Zimbabwe bowlers were Tiripano who finished with figures of 2-65 from 26 overs and Williams (2-95 runs from the same number of overs).

Seamer Tendai Chatara, who has been reprimanded by the ICC for dissent following his first innings dismissal, claimed only one wicket but was Zimbabwe’s most economical bowler at 1.25 after conceding 34 runs from 27 overs.

South Africa’s batting was powered by du Plessis with 98 runs from 264 balls, de Kock (81), Dean Elgar (61) and Duminy (55).

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