The South African Invitation XI overcame a strong Zimbabwe rearguard action on the final day of the three-day tour match at Boland Park on Friday to claim a well-deserved five-wicket victory.
Ryan Burl (51 off 138 balls, 6 fours) and Chamu Chibhabha (55 off 110 balls, 5 fours and a six) were largely responsible for the Zimbabwe fightback as they shared an eighth wicket partnership of 97 that was easily their side’s highest of the match.
It enabled the visitors to score 123 runs for the loss of their last three wickets before they were all out right on the stroke of the dinner break (the first interval of the day), setting the South Africans to make 153 for victory.
Lizaad Williams (4/47) and Shaun von Berg (3/57) were the two most successful bowlers.
The Invitation XI made a solid if unspectacular start to their chase and reduced the target to double figures for the loss of their captain, Dominic Hendricks, wicket.
Then, just when it looked like the home side might be faltering against the leg-spin of Graeme Cremer, who picked up the first four wickets to fall, they found the man for the moment in wicketkeeper/batsman Ricardo Vasconcellos who smashed an unbeaten 57 off 51 balls (8 fours and 2 sixes) to put the issue beyond doubt with a five-wicket victory with the best part of 25 overs to spare.
Cremer finished with 4/44 from 13 overs.