Senior Sports Reporter
ZIMBABWE A were left with a lot of soul-searching, after falling to an innings and 166-run defeat, in the first unofficial Test, at Harare Sports Club yesterday.
The side's coach, Stuart Matsikenyeri, said the performance by his side had given them a lot to look at.
He is, however, hoping for improved performance, in the second four-day game, which gets underway, on Sunday.
Zimbabwe A batted awfully, on the last day, and were bowled out for 93 runs, in their second innings.
Matsikenyeri and his charges were locked up in a long meeting, after the match, to discuss the shambolic batting, which was a marked breakdown, in comparison to their first innings score, of 344.
"Obviously disappointed by the result because we had expected something better, considering the way we had started this game," the coach said.
"But, amid the disappointment, there are also some positives that we can still try and build on.
"I am sure the last time that we played Test cricket, we have not batted as long as these guys did, in the first innings.
"We batted four sessions and that was positive, thanks to some fine batting by some of our youngsters like Dion Myers and Milton Shumba (74), who demonstrated the patience and grit that is required in such games.
"Richmond Mutumbami (51) also came through, with a commendable performance, in that innings.
"But, we had a problem, in the second innings, because we could not convert the starts into big scores.
"I must admit we fell short, in that area, and that is one thing we must work on, ahead of the second game.
"Our bowling looked decent but it was not good enough. But, I was happy with the signs shown by Tendai Chatara, who was coming from injury and Roy Kaia.
"In Test cricket, you are required to do the right things for a long time, and this is something that we have to instil in our players."
The South Africans declared on 603/4 on the third day.
Records tumbled on the day as the visiting captain Zubayr Hamza (222*) and Sinethemba Qeshile (124*) notched up career-best scores.
There was also another century from Ryan Rickelton (109) and Eddie Moore narrowly missed on his first class century, after falling for 93 runs. But, Zimbabwe still looked able to salvage something from the match despite South Africa taking a 259-run lead, going into the final session on Day Three.
The hosts, however, lost two wickets early and were on 22/2 at stumps on Day Three.
They lost opener Brian Mudzinganyama (8) and number three batsman, Wesley Madhevere (0). They ran into more trouble, on the final day, when eight wickets tumbled, just for 71 runs. Timycen Maruma (33) and Carl Mumba, with an unbeaten 13, applied themselves well, on the final day.
Daryn Dupavillon was a constant performer, with the ball, for South Africa A.
He picked up eight match wickets to help the visitors claim a big victory.
The second four-day game will get underway this Sunday at Takashinga Sports Club in Highfield.
Zimbabwe A -- 344 and 93 all out in 45.3 overs (Timycen Maruma 33, Carl Mumba 13*, Takudzwanashe Kaitano 11; Glenton Stuurman 3/18, Daryn Dupavillon 3/18, Migael Pretorius 2/10)
South Africa A -- 603-4 declared in 135 overs (Zubayr Hamza 222*, Sinethemba Qeshile 124*, Ryan Rickelton 109; Roy Kaia 3/98, Tanaka Chivanga 1/101)
South Africa A won by an innings and 166 runs.