[Stanbic T20] Mountaineers Edge Tuskers to Secure Final Spot

Friday afternoon saw the second Stanbic T20 playoff, with a place in the final on offer for the winner. Tuskers have been the form team of the tournament, and had already beaten Mountaineers convincingly in the group stage, so they could be said to have had the advantage from the start. Tuskers won the toss and opted to bat and, led by a pair of blistering innings from Chris Gayle (45 off 34 balls) and Charles Coventry (45 off 26) and a useful contribution from Craig Ervine (23 off 14), the Bulawayo side powered their way to 167/6 from their allotted overs. Prosper Utseya and Shingi Masakadza took a pair apiece for Mountaineers, but their bowlers had a hard time containing Tuskers' scoring, and Tuskers seemed to have the upper hand.

Unlike other teams in the tournament who took a beating while bowling first, though, Mountaineers came out fighting, with opening pair Phil Mustard (44) and Hamilton Masakadza kicking off the innings at over 10/over; Tuskers were eventually able to begin pinning them back, and when Mustard was run out in the 7th the momentum swung the other way for a while - but with Masakadza still at the crease, Moutaineers made sure to keep within touch of the required run rate. Kasuza and Maruma fell, but Hamilton kept at it - a 17-run over in the 17th by him and partner Chris Harris took any pressure out of the remainder of the chase, and the pair eased home with 4 balls to spare.

Mountaineers now go forward to Sunday's final, while Tuskers get a second chance when they meet Eagles in the 3rd playoff match tomorrow afternoon. Full scorecard below the cut.
Tuskers 167/6 (20 overs; Gayle 45, Coventry 45, Utseya 2/23), Mountaineers 170/3 (19.2 overs; H Masakadza 80*, Gayle 1/25). Mountaineers win by 7 wickets.

Matabeleland Tuskers innings (20 overs maximum) 	
                                                R 	M 	B 	4s 	6s 	SR
TC Smith 	c †Mustard b SW Masakadza 	14 	21 	16 	1 	1 	87.50
CH Gayle 	c Maruma b Utseya 	        45 	56 	34 	3 	2 	132.35
PJ Horton* 	c H Masakadza b Utseya 	        9 	16 	13 	0 	0 	69.23
CK Coventry 	c Sauramba b Harris 	        45 	28 	26 	0 	5 	173.07
CR Ervine 	c H Masakadza b Nannes 	        23 	26 	14 	2 	1 	164.28
KM Dabengwa 	c †Mustard b SW Masakadza 	19 	21 	16 	2 	0 	118.75
SM Trenchard 	not out 	                1 	5 	1 	0 	0 	100.00
	Extras 	(lb 1, w 10) 	                11 					
	Total 	(6 wickets; 20 overs; 89 mins) 	167 	(8.35 runs per over)

Did not bat: RG Querl, B Staddon, KO Meth, T Ngulube

Fall of wickets: 1-40 (Smith, 4.3 ov), 2-64 (Horton, 8.5 ov), 3-104 (Gayle, 13.1 ov), 
4-125 (Coventry, 15.4 ov), 5-156 (Ervine, 18.6 ov), 6-167 (Dabengwa, 19.6 ov)

Bowling 	O 	M 	R 	W 	Econ 		
DP Nannes 	4 	0 	32 	1 	8.00 	(1w) 	
SW Masakadza 	4 	0 	44 	2 	11.00 	(3w) 	
TL Chatara 	4 	0 	33 	0 	8.25 	(3w) 	
P Utseya 	4 	0 	23 	2 	5.75 	(1w) 	
CZ Harris 	4 	0 	34 	1 	8.50 		


Mountaineers innings (target: 168 runs from 20 overs) 	
                                        R 	M 	B 	4s 	6s 	SR
P Mustard† 	run out (Ervine) 	44 	34 	24 	3 	2 	183.33
H Masakadza* 	not out 	        80 		56 	2 	4 	142.85
KT Kasuza 	lbw b Gayle 	        9 	15 	14 	1 	1 	64.28
T Maruma 	c Trenchard b Meth 	8 	12 	10 	0 	0 	80.00
CZ Harris 	not out 	        21 		15 	0 	1 	140.00
	Extras 	(w 7, nb 1) 	        8 					
	Total 	(3 wickets; 19.2 overs) 170 	(8.79 runs per over)

Did not bat: K Sauramba, N Mushangwe, P Utseya, TL Chatara, SW Masakadza, DP Nannes

Fall of wickets: 1-64 (Mustard, 6.5 ov), 2-98 (Kasuza, 11.1 ov), 3-120 (Maruma, 14.2 ov)

Bowling 	O 	M 	R 	W 	Econ 		
KO Meth 	4 	0 	27 	1 	6.75 	(1w) 	
RG Querl 	3.2 	0 	30 	0 	9.00 		
TC Smith 	4 	0 	44 	0 	11.00 	(1w) 	
KM Dabengwa 	2 	0 	15 	0 	7.50 		
CH Gayle 	4 	0 	25 	1 	6.25 	(1w) 	
B Staddon 	2 	0 	28 	0 	14.00 	(1nb) 	

Match details
Toss: Matabeleland Tuskers, who chose to bat
Player of the match: H Masakadza (Mountaineers)