Day 1 Ireland's bowlers endured 90 overs of toil on the first day of their game against Zimbabwe A in Harare.
Centuries from Malcolm Waller and Regis Chakabva saw the hosts finish on 350 for 6 on a perfect strip after they had opted to bat first after winning the toss.
Ireland rested captain William Porterfield - Gary Wilson taking the reins - and their two most experienced players in Ed Joyce and Tim Murtagh.
Former YMCA and CIYMS player PJ Moor added 55 for the first wicket with Hamilton Mazakadza (28), before the latter was dismissed by Kevin O'Brien (1-46).
John Mooney (2-60) struck twice in the space of two deliveries, accounting for Roy Kaia (4) and Visu Sibanda to put Ireland in the ascendancy at 60 for 3.
Moor struck seven boundaries and one maximum to reach 72 from 68 balls, before Bready speedster Craig Young (2-81) bowled him just after lunch to leave Zimbabwe on 92 for 4.
That was to be Ireland's only success for 254 deliveries as Waller and Chakabva added a mammoth 198 for the 5th wicket.
Chakabva was first to reach his century, hitting 9 fours and 2 sixes in his 104 from 161 balls before Andy McBrine (1-41) clung on to a return catch at the second attempt.
Craig Young dismissed Godwill Mamhiyo (22) with the second new ball, but Waller continued to defy the Ireland attack finishing the day unbeaten on 123 - his 160 ball innings contained 13 boundaries.
Ireland will be keen to wrap up the final four wickets early tomorrow, but it won't be easy on the most placid of pitches.
Stuart Poynter's century ensured honours were shared after the second days play between Ireland and Zimbabwe A in Harare.
The Durham keeper-batsman gave himself the perfect 25th birthday present with his second century for Ireland - the other coming against Sri Lanka in Belfast last year.
Poynter struck 18 boundaries in his 125 from 166 deliveries, sharing a second wicket stand of 101 with Andrew Balbirnie (44).
Balbirnie had come to the crease following the dismissal of Paul Stirling (20) and found the boundary ropes six times in an entertaining innings - ended when harshly adjudged lbw off the bowling of M'Shangwe.
Poynter continued to impress - dominating a third wicket stand of 90 with Niall O'Brien (21) before both fell within the space of six balls with the total on 212.
Stuart Thompson (4) fell cheaply, but a 6th wicket partnership between Gary Wilson (47) and Kevin O'Brien (22*) looked to have given the Irish the upper hand before Wilson fell to the final ball of the day.
Earlier John Mooney (4-74) and Craig Young (4-107) finished with four wickets apiece as Zimbabwe added 40 runs to their overnight 352 for 6 - Malcolm Waller the last wicket to fall for a magnificent 138.
Ireland resume day three exactly 100 runs adrift, but with batting strength in depth will be confident of parity.
Ireland face an uphill struggle to save their match against Zimbabwe A in Harare after the hosts dominated the third day.
Centuries yet again for Malcolm Waller and Regis Chakabva ensured Zimbabwe stayed in the ascendancy.
Resuming on 292 for 6, Ireland lost Kevin O'Brien (27) and George Dockrell (0) early, while Andy McBrine made 14.
John Mooney's defiant 30 was ended by a stupendous running catch by Kaia - one of four wickets for Garwe (4-61) - as Ireland were dismissed for 353.
With a 39 runs lead, former YMCA and CIYMS player PJ Moor went on the attack striking 8 boundaries in a whirlwind 41 from just 28 deliveries.
Kevin O'Brien (2-34) struck twice to slow the Zimbabwean onslaught, but Waller and Chakabva resumed where they left off in the first innings with another huge partnership.
They added 199 for the 4th wicket in 269 balls with Chakabva scoring 101 from 133 balls (8 fours, 1 six), and Waller again top scoring with 118 from 166 balls (10 fours, 3 sixes). Their stand was ended when Chakabva was run out from midwicket by Niall O'Brien - Gary Wilson donning the gloves in the second innings.
George Dockrell(2-62) got the welcome wickets of Waller and Mamhiyo late in the day as Zimbabwe finished on 320 for 6.
A tough day again for the Irish, but with their batting quality on an excellent track they will confident of securing a draw.
Ireland's cricketers batted out most of the final day to secure a draw with Zimbabwe A in Harare.
Zimbabwe A batted on for four overs in the morning adding a further 26 runs to set Ireland a target of 386 in 84 overs.
Paul Stirling was rested from the final day - nursing a slight leg strain - so it was Niall O'Brien who opened the innings with Stuart Poynter.
Poynter was the first to go - unable to follow up his first innings century - edging Vitori to depart for 7.
Andrew Balbirnie made 17, while O'Brien struck four boundaries in a fluent 39 before being trapped lbw by Vitori.
Gary Wilson and Stuart Thompson both made 25, but at 141 for 5 and almost 40 overs remaining, the Irish were struggling.
John Mooney and Kevin O'Brien showed all their experience adding an unbroken 130 for the 6th wicket to ensure the draw.
Mooney struck 11 boundaries in his unbeaten 65, while O'Brien found the boundary ropes nine times in his 56 not out.