Milton Shumba turned in an impressive all-around display as Zimbabwe XI salvaged some lost pride with a crushing 62-run victory over South Africa A in the fourth T20 encounter at Harare Sports Club on Sunday.
The 21-year-old rising star, who has surprisingly been used sparingly by the hosts despite his obvious talent, struck a patient 41 runs off 40 balls to lead Zimbabwe to 135 for nine in their allotted 20 overs after winning the toss and electing to bat first.
Shumba shared a 69-run partnership with Ryan Burl, who also weighed in with an identical 41, although his score came from just 31 balls as Zimbabwe XI recovered from 40 for five inside the first six overs to reach a respectable total.
After starring with the bat, Shumba then returned to claim four wickets for 15 runs with his part-time left-arm spin while Raza added an impressive three wickets for 18 runs as South Africa A were rolled out for 73 runs in 16 overs.
The victory completed an extraordinary turnaround for the hosts, who appeared in turmoil after being bowled out for 42 runs while chasing 184 24 hours earlier as South Africa A took an unassailable 3-0 lead in the five-match series.
After winning the toss and electing to bat first Zimbabwe XI looked on course for another humiliating defeat after the quintet of Regis Chakabva (0), Craig Ervine (5), Raza (4), Tinotenda Mutombodzi (1) and Wessley Madhevere (23) were all dismissed with a paltry 40 runs on the board.
Not for the first time during the ongoing tour, it was the middle order which was called upon to rescue the day for the hosts after the top order yet again faltered.
Burl was the more aggressive as he smashed two sixes and three fours for his 31-ball 41, while Shumba played the supporting role, needing 40 balls for his 41 which was spiced up with three fours and a six.
Despite the dismissal of the pair in successive overs, they had laid the foundation for a respectable total which ultimately proved too steep for the formidable South Africa A batting line-up.
Fast bowler Gerald Coetzee was the pick of the bowlers for South Africa A with four wickets for 19 runs while Glenton Stuurman took two wickets for 26 runs.
The fifth and final match will be played at the same venue on Tuesday.