Star-Studded Rocks Bounce Back

This was a batsman’s match, and the record-making batsmen from Southern Rocks were able to do the job with more effect than those of the Matabeleland Tuskers. The Rocks set up a new competition record total of 221 for six wickets, due mainly to two devastating innings from Sikandar Raza and Elton Chigumbura, who totally destroyed the Tuskers’ bowling. Try as they did, the Tuskers could find nobody able to match such brutality, but their batsmen went down with honour.

Southern Rocks had the good fortune to win the toss and, considering that the side batting first has won every match in this tournament to date, decided to do that. The slaughter began from the very first ball, the chief executioner being Raza, the Pakistani-born opener who was one of the successes of last year’s T20 but has only just been awarded a place – very successfully – in his franchise’s Logan Cup team. There was a changed batting order, with Brian Lara opening the innings with Raza. It is not often Lara has been overshadowed, but on this occasion he was totally eclipsed, although he did wisely give his partner his head and most of the bowling. When Lara was caught on the long-on boundary for 11, off 11 balls, the total was already 98; Raza had already passed his fifty, which came off only 25 balls.

Chigumbura came in next, a wise choice, as he hit his first ball for six and matched Raza stroke for stroke. Raza fully deserved a century, but he eventually skied a catch into the covers for 93 off 48 balls, in only the 12th over; he hit 11 fours and 5 sixes. Chigumbura also reached a fifty off 25 balls, and his eventual score was 65 off 31 balls, without a single four – but with seven sixes. After these two had gone, the rest of the innings was inevitably an anticlimax, but the 200 came up in the 18th over and the eventual total was 221 for six. In last year’s tournament the highest team total was a mere 190 for two, by Mountaineers against Rocks.

Matabeleland Tuskers’ task was almost impossible, but the two Englishmen opening the innings, Paul Horton and Neil Carter, set about their task in a quieter way than Raza and Chigumbura had done, but no less effectively, putting on 48 in four overs before Horton fell for 20. Soon afterwards Carter went for 30 off 15 balls, and Charles Coventry and Gavin Ewing had to take over. If anybody could challenge the massive Rocks total, Coventry could, and he was soon attacking with great power. After ten overs Tuskers had reached 105 for two, still in the game, and Coventry had 37 off 19 balls. But without adding to this he holed out in the deep, having faced 20 balls and hit a four and 4 sixes.

Realistically, this ended the Tuskers’ hopes. Ewing did his best, with 36 off 26 balls, but there was nobody now left capable of achieving the required rate of 11 an over, and climbing. 74 were needed off the last five overs, but the remaining wickets tumbled as the batsmen attempted the impossible. Cham Chibhabha with four for 32 did most to wrap up the tail, but it was the batting that will long be remembered in this match – not least by the bowlers themselves. Full scorecard below the cut.
Rocks 221/6 (20 overs; Sikandar Raza 93, Carter 2/32), Tuskers 180 (19.3 over; Coventry 37, Chibhabha 4/32). Southern Rocks win by 41 runs.
[Match report via ZC]

Southern Rocks innings (20 overs maximum)	
						R	M	B	4s	6s	SR
Sikandar Raza	c Horton b Dabengwa		93	47	48	11	5	193.75
BC Lara		c Trenchard b Dabengwa		11	36	11	1	0	100.00
E Chigumbura	c & b Mupariwa			65	38	31	0	7	209.67
T Taibu†	c Ewing b Carter		9	20	10	0	0	90.00
CR Ervine	not out				20	20	10	2	1	200.00
CJ Chibhabha	c Mpofu b Carter		3	4	4	0	0	75.00
SO Tikolo*	b Mpofu				1	4	4	0	0	25.00
S Matsikenyeri	not out				3	3	3	0	0	100.00
	Extras	(lb 4, w 11, nb 1)		16					
	Total	(6 wickets; 20 overs; 89 mins)	221	(11.05 runs per over)

Did not bat: CZ Harris, MT Chinouya, T Kamungozi

Fall of wickets: 1-98 (Lara, 7.6 ov), 2-141 (Sikandar Raza, 11.2 ov), 3-189 (Taibu, 16.1 ov), 
4-194 (Chigumbura, 17.1 ov), 5-207 (Chibhabha, 18.1 ov), 6-213 (Tikolo, 19.1 ov)

Bowling		O	M	R	W	Econ		
NM Carter	4	0	32	2	8.00	(1nb, 2w)	
CB Mpofu	4	0	31	1	7.75	(2w)	
KO Meth		3	0	45	0	15.00		
MM Mabuza	1	0	18	0	18.00	(4w)	
KM Dabengwa	4	0	35	2	8.75		
T Mupariwa	2	0	29	1	14.50	(1w)	
GM Ewing	2	0	27	0	13.50		


Matabeleland Tuskers innings (target: 222 runs from 20 overs)	
						R	M	B	4s	6s	SR
PJ Horton	c Ervine b Chibhabha		20	19	14	2	1	142.85
NM Carter	c Chibhabha b Harris		30	37	15	2	2	200.00
CK Coventry	c Tikolo b Chibhabha		37	27	20	1	4	185.00
GM Ewing*	c Ervine b Chigumbura		36	39	26	4	0	138.46
KO Meth		c Harris b Tikolo		23	33	19	2	0	121.05
AJ Wheater†	b Tikolo			9	5	7	1	0	128.57
KM Dabengwa	c Chigumbura b Chibhabha	12	12	8	0	1	150.00
SM Trenchard	c & b Chibhabha			0	2	1	0	0	0.00
MM Mabuza	run out (Tikolo/Chigumbura)	1	9	4	0	0	25.00
T Mupariwa	c Tikolo b Chigumbura		5	4	3	1	0	166.66
CB Mpofu	not out				0	1	0	0	0	-
	Extras	(lb 2, w 5)			7					
	Total	(all out; 19.3 overs; 93 mins)	180	(9.23 runs per over)

Fall of wickets: 1-48 (Horton, 4.1 ov), 2-60 (Carter, 5.5 ov), 3-110 (Coventry, 10.3 ov), 
4-141 (Ewing, 14.2 ov), 5-152 (Wheater, 15.5 ov), 6-171 (Meth, 17.5 ov), 7-173 (Trenchard, 18.1 ov), 
8-174 (Dabengwa, 18.2 ov), 9-180 (Mupariwa, 19.2 ov), 10-180 (Mabuza, 19.3 ov)

Bowling		O	M	R	W	Econ		
MT Chinouya	3	0	34	0	11.33	(1w)	
Sikandar Raza	1	0	10	0	10.00		
CZ Harris	4	0	36	1	9.00		
CJ Chibhabha	4	0	32	4	8.00	(1w)	
T Kamungozi	2	0	19	0	9.50		
E Chigumbura	2.3	0	24	2	9.60	(3w)	
SO Tikolo	3	0	23	2	7.66		

Match details
Toss Southern Rocks, who chose to bat