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Zimbabwe get chance to assess game plan for South Africa Test

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Zimbabwe will face a strong South African Invitation XI, including Dale Steyn and Temba Bavuma, in a three-day warm-up match that gets underway on Wednesday at Boland Park in Paarl.

The practice match, a day-night affair, will give Zimbabwe the opportunity to assess their game plan for the historic four-day Test match against South Africa scheduled to start on Boxing Day in Port Elizabeth.

The inaugural four-day Test will also be a day-night match in which the pink ball will be used.

“We have had two sessions under lights with the pink ball and it was good to see how it reacts,” Zimbabwe captain Graeme Cremer said. “The warm-up game will give us a good idea of how to go forward in the Test match. We will be facing very good opposition in the three-day game, so we will look to get our game plan and tactics ready for the Test match.”

Zimbabwe head coach Heath Streak said his team was relishing the chance to play a full-strength South Africa side in the inaugural four-day Test match.

“It’s nice to be the first to do anything and obviously for us to get to be the first to play the first day-night, four-day Test match is exciting and we are looking forward to it,” Streak said. “We don’t play a lot under lights anyway so it’s an added bonus and playing our first pink-ball game also means there is a lot to be excited about.”

Streak has urged his charges to defy their underdog tag and play positive cricket.

“We would rather lose playing a winning brand than just to compete,” he said. “We will have challenges especially in the longer format because we don't play that much, but from what I see this team is going places and will continue to grow and get better.”