Senuran Muthusamy backed up his 102 with 85 for SA Emerging to leave Zimbabwe A on the ropes going into the final day.
Michael Cohen led a strong bowling display by the SA Emerging team before Muthusamy and Thomas Kaber shone with the bat in Kwekwe on Friday.
Cohen first claimed 3-66 to help bowl out the hosts for 225, before the tourists replied with 214-5 dec at the Sports Club. That left the Zimbabweans with a victory target of 444 and they managed to reach stumps on 30-0.
Apart from Cohen, there were also notable performances from Lwandiswa Zuma (2-42), Okuhle Cele (2-36) and Kyle Simmonds (2-33) – leaving the home side shot out in 64 overs.
The South Africans then scored at a brisk 4.28 to the over to move the game forward rapidly. Central to their cause was Muthusamy, who followed his first-innings 102 with 85 (93 balls, 8 fours). Kaber also impressed with an unbeaten 55 (68 balls, 5 fours, 1 six) and so too did Isaac Digale (47).
That left Zimbabwe, who trail the two-match series 1-0, with a massive task on their hands, but they managed to negotiate nine tricky overs before the close, thanks to captain Chamu Chibhabha (23) and Brian Chari (7).