Mid-West Rhinos had so dominated the match on the first two days that there was speculation that Vusi Sibanda might declare overnight; however, he decided to bat on, perhaps wanting to give his batsmen some good practice. Southern Rocks took the second new ball, which they had declined to do overnight; all three of their specialist pace bowlers were still on the injured list, so it was taken by the medium-pacers Robertson Chinyengetere and Richmond Mutumbami – the latter having started the match as wicketkeeper, but handed over the gloves to his captain Alister Maregwede the previous morning through injury. He was apparently fit enough to bowl, but not to keep, and he did not do a bad job to start with. He quickly dismissed the overnight batsman Malcolm Waller, who swatted a catch to the cover sweeper. He made 174 in exactly six hours, having faced 239 balls and hit 26 fours and a six.
There was no more respite for the hapless home side, as Riki Wessels and Remembrance Nyathi enjoyed themselves for the next hour, taking runs easily off a threadbare bowling unit. The declaration came after an hour and a quarter, with Wessels on 54 and Nyathi 39; both scored at almost a run a ball. The only creditable bowling figures were two for 23 by Tinashe Panyangara, in 11 overs before he broke down. Southern Rocks were left to score 352 to avoid an innings defeat, and not too many people would have bet on this beleaguered team doing that or even surviving the day.
Their opening batsmen problem continued, as a ball from Edward Rainsford burst through Sam Mwakayeni’s defence and demolished his stumps in the third over, with only one no-ball on the board. Soon after lunch he did the same to the other opener, Roy Kaia, who had batted 46 minutes for just one run off 22 balls. Then followed Southern Rocks’ most fluent batting of the match, as Richie Mutumbami joined Chamu Chibhabha and the pair showed some fine strokeplay against the dangerous Mid-West Rhinos attack. They added 51 at four an over, but unfortunately it was too good to last, as Chibhabha, with 35 to his credit, misjudged a ball from Neville Madziva and was bowled.
Alister Maregwede was much more positive than in the first innings, but had only 11 when he was bowled playing back to a fine ball from Simon Mugava that turned sharply and skidded through; a bare patch had developed on the pitch and when the bowlers found it, the ball often did a great deal. Chinyengetere soon followed, caught close in off Mugava for 7, but Mutumbami, with a handsome back-foot drive to the cover boundary, reached his fifty. He looks a class player when in form. At tea five wickets were down for 121, but with Mutumbami in good form and joined by Masvaure, there was still hope of taking the match into the final day.
These hopes were quickly dashed when Masvaure holed out off a poor shot soon after play resumed, and two balls later Mutumbami (53) also threw his wicket away, obliging the same fielder and bowler – Madziva and Mugava respectively. The last five wickets crumbled for 14 runs in less than half an hour and Southern Rocks’ surrender was complete. Mugava was the main beneficiary of their spinelessness, taking four easy wickets for 20 runs. The luck was certainly against Southern Rocks in this match, but that did not excuse such an easy defeat.