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Friday, Dec 14th

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Zimbabwe moved firmly into the driving seat after skittling Bangladesh for 143 on the second day of the first Test match at the Sylhet International Cricket Stadium on Sunday. Tendai Chatara ran fiercely through the hosts’ top order, claiming three wickets, while the equally impressive Sikandar Raza took as many, with the innings folding in 51 overs. Zimbabwe, who had made 282 in their first innings, were on one for no loss in two overs and 140 runs ahead of Bangladesh at stumps.

In the morning, Zimbabwe had resumed at their overnight score of 236 for five, with Peter Moor (37*) and Regis Chakabva (20*) looking to give the tourists a healthy total. The pair survived 11.1 overs, adding 25 runs to their sixth-wicket stand, before Chakabva perished for 28 after clipping a looping delivery from Taijul Islam off the pads into the hands of Nazmul Islam at short leg.

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Zimbabwe have included the uncapped duo of Brandon Mavuta and Ryan Murray in their squad for the triangular series in Bangladesh, involving the hosts and Sri Lanka.

Apart from the two former Zimbabwe Under-19 stars, Blessing Muzarabani – who made his Test debut for Zimbabwe against South Africa on Boxing Day – is also in line to get his first one-day international cap after he was included in the 15-man squad.

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Proteas captain, Faf du Plessis, has been ruled out of the day-night Sunfoil Test match against Zimbabwe starting at St George’s Park on Tuesday. Du Plessis developed a viral infection this week, which delayed his return to full fitness following lower back and shoulder injuries.

AB de Villiers has been appointed as the stand-in captain for the one-off match.

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Proteas batsman, AB de Villiers, says he is geared up for the unique challenges the pink ball will pose in the historic four-day day-night Test match against Zimbabwe starting in Port Elizabeth on Tuesday, December 26th. The Proteas held their first session under lights with the pink ball on Friday evening, with the St George’s Park conditions providing plenty of nip and spice for the bowlers.

The 33-year-old says he is ‘excited’ to make a return to the Test fold after nearly two years, and hopes to make a meaningful contribution on and off the field as one of the senior players in the squad. He has recovered from the stiff lower back that kept him out of the three-day warm-up match against Zimbabwe earlier this week, and is fit and eager to take on the uncharted pink ball challenge.

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Hamilton Masakadza spared Zimbabwe’s blushes on Wednesday with a well-crafted fifty as the tourists struggled to cope with unfamiliar settings on the opening day of their three-day warm-up match against the South Africa Invitation XI at Boland Park in Paarl.

Playing under lights and using the pink ball for the first time, Zimbabwe folded for 196, with Masakadza’s knock of 79 – which came off 181 deliveries and included nine boundaries and a single maximum – being the only noteworthy performance of the innings.

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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.

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AB De Villiers and Dale Steyn make their long-awaited return to the Standard Bank Proteas Test squad for the day/night Test match against Zimbabwe to be played at St. George’s Park, Port Elizabeth, from December 26 to 29.

De Villiers’ last Test was against England at SuperSport Park during January 2016 while Steyn has been recovering from a serious shoulder injury suffered against Australia at Perth just over a year ago.

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