South Africa A pushes for victory

HARARE - South Africa A opted to bat again as captain Stephen Cook pushes for victory after dismissing hosts Zimbabwe A for 269 runs shortly after tea on day three of the first unofficial Test match here yesterday.

At close of play the visitors were on 121/2, a lead of 307 runs with eight wickets remaining heading in into the fourth and final day this morning.

Left-hander Stiaan van Zyl and Theunis de Bruyn are unbeaten on 25 and 38 runs respectively.

Cook was the first wicket to fall for South Africa on 30 runs from 32 balls in the eighth over while Heino Kuhn departed for a 30-ball 25 runs in the 12th over both falling to pace bowler Victor Nyauchi and will be aiming to make the first hour and half count so as to make an early declaration in search of a win.

The visiting captain opted not effect the follow-on choosing to bat again after Zimbabwe A were dismissed for 269 runs three overs after tea.

Zimbabwe needed to score 305 runs to avoid the follow-on in response to the visitors’ first innings total of 455/6d but with opener Brian Chari falling agonisingly on 98 runs, two runs shy of his third First Class hundred, it opened the doors for the South Africans to make inroads in Zimbabwe’s batting line-up.

Resuming day two on 107/1 with the first session favoured the visitors, who broke for lunch with three wickets in their account following the demise of left-hander Prince Masvaure for 21 having resumed batting on one with Chari on 71 before the later was trapped plum by seamer Dwaine Pretorius to leave Zimbabwe trailing by 282 runs on 173/3.

Regis Chakabva looked solid with his first ball clipping Pretorius for four through the square-leg boundary.

The South African pace bowler came good seven deliveries later as he had Chakabva caught at midwicket by van Zyl for just four runs from seven balls.

At lunch Zimbabwe were on 182/4 still trailing by 273 runs having lost Masvaure, Chari and Chakabva and at tea, the hosts had added 90 runs on 263/8 for the loss of five wickets and trailing by 192 runs with two wickets remaining.

South Africa cleaned up the remaining two wickets in the final session after tea.

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