SA Emerging suffered a six-wicket loss against their counterparts from Zimbabwe in the opening game of their five-match one-day series at Groenkloof Oval in Pretoria on Sunday.
Jordan Hermann struck a half-century for the hosts but lacked support after they lost the toss and were asked to bat first.
The EP Warriors’ batsman, one of the form players in the country last season, hit exactly 50 (89 balls, six fours) to help the home side post 251-9.
The visitors then cruised to victory with 34 balls to spare thanks to Joylord Gumbie (76 off 79 balls, 10 fours), Milton Shumba (74* off 97 balls, nine fours) and Clive Madande (61* off 56 balls, eight fours, one six).
They dominated the chase with the South African bowlers only managing four wickets between them – one each for Nealan van Heerden (1-64), Liam Alder (1-39) and a double by Andile Mogakane (2-25).
When they batted, Malibongwe Maketa saw starts from several of his players with only Hermann kicking on as they threw away a good start to the innings.
Joshua Richards (27) put on 57 for the opening wicket alongside the top-scoring Hermann, who added 60 for the second wicket with Valentine Kitime (29).
At that stage, the hosts were on 117-1 and Daniel Smith (22) and Michael Copeland (45) kept them going – they moved to 150-3 at one stage.
But they lost their way from there as Tanaka Chivanga (4-61) and Brandon Mavuta (3-54) shared seven wickets.
Opener Gumbie together with Shumba and Madande, the latter pair sharing an unbroken 120-run stand, lead their side to victory.