HAMILTON Masakadza returned to Zimbabwe after his spell playing in Bangladesh, and he was back to his most brilliant form in scoring a superb century that was the mainstay of Zimbabwe A’s 70-run victory over Canada at Harare Sports Club yesterday.
Going in at number three, he rarely seemed to hurry, but simply accumulated runs in masterly style all round the wicket – he scored 146 out of 234, and the best of the Canadian bowlers could not keep him quiet.
Zimbabwe A, having won the series, made four changes to their team, bringing in Masakadza, Innocent Kaia, Tino Mutombodzi and Chris Mpofu in place of Chamu Chibhabha, Sean Williams, Timycen Maruma and Tendai Chatara.
It was another bright sunny morning as Zimbabwe A again won the toss and decided to bat.
Solomon Mire and Kaia opened the batting against the bowling of Cecil Pervez and Satsimranjit Dhindsa.
After two overs for four runs, two of them wides, Mire decided to take charge of Pervez, and one wild swish and two fours came in the third over.
Kaia followed with a three and a four off Dhindsa, but then Mire pulled a ball from Pervez straight down the throat of the fielder placed on the long-leg boundary – he made 11 and the score was 20 for one in the fifth over.
Hamilton Masakadza took a few balls to settle in and then looked in fine form as he and Kaia settled into a sound partnership, bringing up the team fifty in the 11th over.
Dhindsa, who took five wickets in the first match of the series, did not look at all threatening on this occasion, and Masakadza first brought up the team hundred and then his own fifty (57 balls) with two powerful boundaries off him in the 22nd over.
While Masakadza flourished, Kaia was becoming rather tied down, and in the end his patience snapped – he leapt down the pitch to try to drive the slow-medium bowling of Rizwan Cheema, and was easily stumped for a very promising 41. Masakadza scored a remarkable 146, off 131 balls and containing 20 fours and a six.
Zimbabwe A – 310-6 in 50 overs (Hamilton Masakadza 146, Malcolm Waller 41, Innocent Kaia 41; Rizwan Cheema 2/13, Cecil Pervez 2/52)
Canada — 240-9 in 50 overs (Varun Sehdev 58*, Nitish Kumar 41, Hamza Tariq 35; Sikandar Raza 3/37, Solomon Mire 2/25)
Zimbabwe A won by 70 runs. — zimcricket