Proteas star Dale Steyn was not missed as the South African XI cut through the Zimbabweans in their day-night warm-up match in Paarl.
The ‘Phalaborwa Express’ left the rest of the line-up to wreak havoc as he made his way to Port Elizabeth to prepare for the one-off Test against Zimbabwe, starting on Boxing Day.
Steyn, playing for the first time in whites since a shoulder injury in Australia over a year ago, managed a tidy 12 overs, conceding just 16 runs, on Wednesday. Previously, he had bowled 18 overs in five innings for the Titans in the Ram Slam T20 series.
After the Invitation XI scored 287 in reply to Zimbabwe’s 196, Cobras’ right-arm seamer Lizaad Williams led an attack which reduced the visitors to 120-7 by stumps on the second day; a lead of 29 runs.
Williams bowled Hamilton Masakadza in the first over, and then dismissed two senior batsmen, Craig Ervine (34) and captain Graeme Cremer (0), in successive balls. Michael Cohen stepped up to trap Solomon Mire lbw for 20 three balls later, and later added Sikanda Raza (5) to his tally. Shaun von Berg’s legspin accounted for two more before stumps were drawn.
Earlier, Temba Bavuma got in some valuable game-time in the day-night format by top-scoring with 70 and sharing a stand of 81 with Tladi Bokako (41).
Nonetheless, the Zimbabweans were getting in good practice with the pink ball as they held the hosts to 197-9, until No 10 bat Dayyaan Galiem opened his shoulders to score 51 off 54 balls (10×4). He and Von Berg (24) put on 90 for the last wicket.
Photo: Ashley Vlotman/Gallo Images