Zim Select lose dead rubber

HARARE - Zimbabwe Select XI blew away a glorious opportunity for a series white wash after succumbing to a five-wicket defeat to the Netherlands in a dead rubber limited overs match here yesterday.

With the series already in the bag after winning the first two 50-over games head coach Heath Streak and the selectors decided to give game time to more players making four changes into the team.

Stand-in captain Craig Ervine, who led the side in the second in the absence of substantive skipper Graeme Cremer, was replaced by Tarisai Musakanda with Solomon Mire coming in for Hamilton Masakadza while Malcolm Waller came in for Sean Williams.

Seamer Michael Chinouya came in for spinner Richard Ngarava as Zim Select batted first, but with only two middle order contributions from Malcolm Waller (37) and stand-in skipper Sikandar Raza (42) they managed a below-par score of 129 all out in just 30,3 overs.

The visitors, ironically, got their winning runs and ended the match in an identical 30,3 overs as they reached 134/5 thanks to captain Peter Borren’s unbeaten 48 from 49 deliveries batting at number six and Ben Cooper's 44 at top order.

Zim Select seamers Chris Mpofu, Donald Tiripano and Solomon Mire as well as spinner Raza picked up a wicket apiece.

Meanwhile, Zimbabwe’s quest to fine-tune for this month’s Test series against West Indies by engaging in a longer-format duel against a quality Test opposition hit a brick wall as the intended visit by Pakistan A will no longer take place as planned this week.

Pakistan A were scheduled to take on Zimbabwe A in two four-day matches and this means Zimbabwe’s only preparation on red ball cricket before the Windies arrive will be in the Logan Cup which begins in Kwekwe.

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