Zim A on the back foot

BULAWAYO - Zimbabwe A perished for 143 runs on the second day of their three-day warm-up match against the touring West Indies at Bulawayo Athletic Club yesterday.

West Indies had declared on 336 runs for the loss of seven wickets but technically they had only lost five wickets after two of their batsmen had retired after making half centuries.

At close of play yesterday, the tourists had a lead of 267 as they were on 74-1 in their second innings at stumps.

Shai Hope is on course for his second half ton of the series after he retired on 85 runs in the first innings and is currently unbeaten on 35 runs from 49 deliveries.

He is joined on the crease by Kieran Powell on 34 as he tries to make amends for the single run he made in the first innings.

Zim A medium seamer Ernest Masuku picked the only wicket of opener Kraigg Brathwaite whom he bowled out for two runs with the fifth ball of his first over of the second innings.

The tourists elected to bat first after winning the toss and had opener Brathwaite weighing in with a half century (53) before being trapped LBW by Zim A legspinner Brendan Mavuta in the 42nd.

Earlier on, Powell had gone for just one run at the start of the innings when he was caught by Tarisai Musakanda off seamer Michael Chinouya.

Mavuta had Hope (42) caught behind by wicketkeeper Richmond Mutumbami an over later to leave the visitors on 94/3 after 42.3 overs but West Indies fought back with a 175-run partnership for the fourth wicket between Hope and Chase who all retired after reaching half tons.

At 336/7d West Indies fancied their chances of a victory and put Zim A to bat with the move paying dividends as soon as the eighth over when they had their first wicket- opener Brian Chari (5) caught by Hope off seamer Miguel Cummins.

Musakanda (0) fell two deliveries later falling to the same combination, caught Hope of the bowling of Cummins.

Chamu Chibhabha (27), at top of the order, skipper Peter Moor (32) batting at number five and Ryan Burl (16) temporarily flattered to deceive before all bade the crease farewell on a hard day on the middle for the hosts.

It remains to be soon at what stage the Caribbean Islanders will make their second declaration and provide the local batters a last chance to claim a stake in the Test squad with some last-minute performance.

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