[Logan Cup] Rhinos and Mountaineers Draw

The match between Rhinos and Mountaineers fizzled out to a fifth-day draw, thanks mostly to almost a full day's lost play due to rain, although Rhinos would have been the happier of the two sides at the end after posting 421/6 declared in their second innings to remove any chance of a Mountaineers win. Vusi Sibanda (162) and Gary Ballance (116) impressed in that knock, and their performances were really the highlight of the match. Rhinos had posted 253 in the first innings, led by Stephen Marillier's 53, before Mountaineers replied with 313 - more than half of that coming from the bat of opener Mitchell (178). Sibanda and Ballance, though, but on a 2nd-wicket partnership of 232 together, and that was that. Rhinos allowed their remaining batsmen to get some practice in before declaring, after which Mountaineers unenthusiastically batted out the minimum time until they were allowed to concede the draw. With the title already in Tuskers hands after their win earlier in the round, there really wasn't much left to fight for. Full scorecard below the cut.
Rhinos 253 (96 overs; Marillier 53, Chatara 5/63) & 421/6d (110 overs; Sibanda 162, Tiripano 4/84), Mountaineers 313 (104.3 overs; Mitchell 178, Madziva 4/70) & 85/2 (29 overs; Mitchell 39*, Cremer 1/41). Match drawn.

[Logan Cup] Eagles Crash as Tuskers Claim Title

Mashonaland Eagles proved to be the whipping boys for Matabeleland Tuskers, as Tuskers romped to the Logan Cup title with an innings-and-30-runs victory in Bulawayo this week. The win wasn't without some drama - Tuskers suffered their own batting collapse in their one innings - but the combined efforts of Terrence Duffin (104) and Glenn Querl (combined 6/70 in the match) saw the home side home.

Eagles posted 181 in their first knock, but after Tuskers reached 281 - a 100-run innings lead - they were skittled out for a woeful 70 in the second, with Sikandar Raza (29) and Nathan Waller (11) being the only batsmen to reach double figures. It's not the first such collapse for Eagles this season, either, which must surely set alarm bells ringing for what is traditionally the strongest side on the domestic circuit.

That's to take nothing away from Tuskers, though, who under coach Davy Houghton have now won the Logan Cup for two seasons straight, and did so this season with a game spare. Full scorecard below the cut.
Eagles 181 (91.5 overs; Gupo 41, Querl 3/45) & 70 (38.4 overs; Sikandar Raza 20, Jones 4/14), Tuskers 281 (82 overs; Duffin 104, Mutombodzi 5/88). Matabeleland Tuskers win by an innings and 30 runs.

New Zealand Complete ODI Series Whitewash

Zimbabwe-born substitute fielder Colin de Grandhomme helped heap further humiliation on his former countrymates in the 3rd and final ODI between Zimbabwe and New Zealand, as Zimbabwe slumped to a 202-run loss - the largest margin of the series. Led by Brendan McCullum's 88-ball 119, the home side reached a massive 373/8 in their 50 overs, treating the Zimbabwean "attack", further blunted no doubt by the demoralising effect of this series, with complete disdain. In reply, Zimbabwe could muster only 171 before they were bowled out, with Brendan Taylor (65) being the only stand-out performance in another pitiful display. de Grandhomme played a part in three of the wickets, catching both Taylor and Tatenda Taibu and contributing to the run-out of Malcolm Waller. Zimbabwe's players and fans will be glad the ODI portion of the tour is over - but there are still two T20 Internationals to come, which could yet heap further ignominy on the side. Full scorecard below the cut.
New Zealand 373/3 (50 overs; M McCullum 119, Jarvis 2/58), Zimbabwe 171 (44 overs; Taylor 65, Williamson 2/13). New Zealand win by 202 runs.

New Zealand Seal ODI Series With 2nd ODI Win

The Blackcaps sealed the three-match series against Zimbabwe with a game to spare. Ignited by a high quality 146 from opener Rob Nicol, the New Zealanders racked up a formidable 372 for six at Cobham Oval in Whangarei before completing victory by a crushing margin of 141 runs. The third highest one-day score on record for the New Zealanders proved far too much for Zimbabwe, who responded with 231 for eight as the Blackcaps took a 2-0 lead into the third and final match at Napier on Thursday.

After rain delayed the start by 35 minutes Zimbabwe had the better of the early exchanges when only 10 runs came from the opening five overs. But that was as good as it got for the tourists because it was then all New Zealand as Nicol and Martin Guptill set the tone with an excellent first wicket stand of 131 inside 24 overs. Guptill was in imperious touch before his fourth consecutive one-day half-century ended on 77 when he drilled a ball from spinner Ray Price to mid wicket where Shingirai Masakadza took a fine catch on the run just inside the boundary rope.

Guptill was again clinically efficient as he dominated the early scoring to such a degree that the team’s 50 came with Nicol on nine, but the latter began hitting his straps then had the luxury of biding his time when the home side promoted Jacob Oram from No 8 to first drop and called for the batting power play from overs 25 through 29. The 33-year-old left-hander responded with his first half-century since the 2009-10 season, striking 35 of the 44 runs scored during the power play before reaching his 50 off only 23 balls. He performed his pinch hitting role to perfection to plunder 59 off 28, with five fours and four sixes, before holing out seeking more after having delivered a blunt reminder of his enduring quality with bat in hand.

Nicol, in just his fifth one-day international, raised his second century at the top level during an excellent fifth wicket stand of 92 with 19-year-old Tom Latham before hitting four more sixes to lift his haul to six to go alongside 10 fours. Two of the maximum strikes were audaciously played, when he fetched a ball well outside off from Elton Chigumbura and planted it over square leg, which was the same destination for a sweetly timed flick off his pads. With runs flowing at the other end for a large portion of his 134-ball stay Nicol rotated the strike and paced his innings nicely before departing when on the charge in the 49th over with the fifth highest one-day score by a New Zealander.

Latham, too, prospered after being dropped on 14, and showed impeccable timing and an ability to invent as he hit five fours and two sixes in a 28-ball 48 before falling in the final over. The last five overs produced 86 runs, 25 of them coming in the 48th from seamer Kyle Jarvis.

Zimbabwe, who lost the opening match of the series by 90 runs in Dunedin, were always up against it despite Cobham Oval presently an excellent batting strip offering consistent pace and bounce. The exercise quickly became an academic one as Zimbabwe’s top order frailties were again exploited, with Kyle Mills, Tim Southee and Oram combining to immediately extinguish any hopes the tourists had of at least challenging the hosts.

Just as he did in Dunedin, Mills collected two top order wickets, including captain Brendan Taylor, who fell to a top edge as the visitors took another walk down Struggle Street at 17 for three after 6.5 overs. They could not find their way to safer ground either as Oram backed up his performance with the bat to remove Regis Chakabva leg before wicket and Malcolm Waller to an edge behind. At 62 for five, Zimbabwe were out of the contest, which they acknowledged as Tatenda Taibu and Chigumbura contented themselves with pitch occupation as the 100 was raised in the 30th over before Taibu found the boundary for the first time after facing 67 deliveries.

Taibu at least had the satisfaction of finding some form in making 50 off 76 balls while allrounder Chigumbura was more aggressive in making a 69-ball 63 containing seven fours and one six. These two collaborated in a face-saving 80-run partnership which was broken when Taibu slapped a long hop from offspinner Nicol straight to long off. Chigumbura followed soon afterwards when bowled by Oram, who completed an outstanding match double by taking three for 29 off his 10 overs.

Shingirai Masakadza, with a brisk 38, and Prosper Utseya, 27 not out, saw Zimbabwe past 200 with a stand of 64 for the eighth wicket but the only consolation for the visitors was the fact they managed to see out their 50 overs. Full scorecard below the cut.
New Zealand 372/6 (50 overs; Nicol 146, Utseya 3/71), Zimbabwe 231/8 (50 overs; Chigumbura 63, Oram 3/29). New Zealand win by 141 runs.
[Match report via ZC / NZC]

Zimbabwe Lose 1st ODI by 90 Runs

Zimbabwe would have been reasonably satisfied as their bowlers restricted New Zealand to 248 all out just short of their 50 overs thanks in the main to the lion hearted Shingirai Masakadza who used the over head conditions and changes of pace magnificently as he claimed a career best 4-46.

249 was always going to be a tall order on a bowler friendly wicket and losing the top three batsmen with just 15 runs on the board meant that Zimbabwe were always going to be hard pressed to get to a total of respectability and there is no doubt that some supporters would have had visions of another collapse similar to the first innings disaster of 51. However, Brendan Taylor continued his remarkable form against New Zealand as he passed 50 for the fourth consecutive time against New Zealand in one day international cricket before holding out to long on for a fluent 58, which included one of the biggest struck sixes seen at the ground.

But Taylor had no real support from the top and middle order as Tatenda Taibu got a start but then got out for 20 and when Malcolm Waller and Elton Chigumbura followed for 12 and 15 respectively, the writing was on the wall. Had it not been for Raymond Price who frustrated the black caps by scoring an unbeaten 26 batting at number 10, the visitor's total would have been appalling.

This was another disappointment for the men in red but one has to single out Shingirai Masakadza who's 'never say die' attitude along with a fierce desire to take wickets for his country shows that passion and pride are still a part of the team. One can only hope that the young man’s energy and enthusiasm will rub off on the rest of the team. It would also be well advised to seriously consider preparing pitches with more pace and bounce back home which will not only benefit and improve techniques of the countries batsmen, but will also encourage fast bowling instead of the flat and unresponsive pitches currently been used. It would be very disappointing to be in the same boat as teams from the sub-continent who thrive in their home conditions but more often than not flatter to deceive when going on tour. Full scorecard below the cut.
New Zealand 248 (48.3 overs; Guptill 70, S Masakadza 4/46), Zimbabwe 158 (41.1 overs; Taylor 58, Nicol 4/19). New Zealand win by 90 runs.
[Match report via ZC]

Zimbabwe Slump to Record Loss

Zimbabwe recorded their largest-ever defeat in Tests against New Zealand at the weekend, losing by an innings and 301 runs on day three - after most of day two had been lost to rain. An innefectual bowling display allowed New Zealand to reach 495/7 before declaring early on day three; the hosts then went on to humiliate Zimbabwe by bowling them out twice in the remainder of the day, first for 51 in the first innings - a new Test low for Zimbabwe, "beating" the 54 they recorded against South Africa in their last away Test - and then for 143 in the second innings, where at least Regis Chakabva (63) discovered some fight to get the score into double-figures. Chris Martin led the bowling figures for New Zealand, taking a combined 8/31 in the match. A beaten and bruised Zimbabwe now move on to the ODI series, which starts at Dunedin on Friday. Full scorecard - which doesn't make for pretty reading - is below the cut.
New Zealand 495/7 decl (123.4 overs; Taylor 122, Watling 102*, Cremer 2/112), Zimbabwe 51 (28.5 overs; Waller 23, Martin 2/5) & 143 (f/o; 48.3 overs; Chakabva 63, Martin 6/26). New Zealand win by an innings and 301 runs.

[Logan Cup] Rain Forces Draw Between Eagles and Rhinos

The weather denied Midwest Rhinos the chance of achieving the victory they deserved at Harare Sports Club today. At the start of the day a draw had looked very likely, even if the rain kept away, but Mashonaland Eagles approached the day with such a negative attitude that they played into the hands of the visitors, who bowled them out soon after lunch for 165, with Mike Chinouya bowling superbly to take five wickets. But Rhinos were scarcely able to start the chase before the weather struck yet again.

Eagles, who resumed on 82 for two wickets overnight, immediately made it quite clear that, much as they needed the six points for victory to keep up with Matabeleland Tuskers, they were intent on a draw and were not interested in quick runs to try to put pressure on Rhinos in the fourth innings. There was no run in the first twelve minutes, and then Michael Thornely, trying to shoulder arms, edged a catch to the keeper off Mike Chinouya, departing for 32. His overnight partner Ryan Bishop quickly followed, also caught at the wicket off Chinouya, driving outside the off stump for 33, and the score had declined to 89 for four.

The captain, Sikandar Raza, forsook his natural game and dropped anchor, but at the other end there was s steady decline of wickets with little aggressive intent, until the seventh wicket went down for 126. Nathan Waller then came in and played some positive strokes, running up 16 off 22 balls before running himself out looking for an unlikely single. At lunch the score was 161 for eight and Rhinos appeared to have a significant advantage – if the rain kept off.

Raza, 22 off 70 balls at lunch, decided afterwards that with only two uncertain wickets left, he should open out. He hit a superb straight drive for four, but then skied a catch to midwicket for 26; the batsmen crossed and Douglas Hondo was caught at slip off the next delivery for 5, the team being all out for 165. Chinouya deserved his reward of five wickets for 45 runs. Rhinos were set 161 to win in just under two sessions.

The pitch, rather uneven and cracked, helped the bowlers, though not extravagantly, but the greatest threat to Rhinos was the possibility of rain, which had cut short play on each of the first three days, and that would certainly be on their minds. Vusi Sibanda and Steve Marillier gave Mid-West Rhinos a brisk start until Sibanda was out lbw for the second time in the match for the folly of padding up and attempting no stroke to Garwe, for 9.

The skies now began to darken and Eagles looked for ways to waste time. The batsmen for their part seemed to adopt the 'que sera sera' attitude and made no great effort to speed things up. The umpires to their credit for once kept the players on the field for as long as possible, but when a drizzle started in addition to the bad light they had to go. The score was 34 for one off ten overs. Almost inevitably, the drizzle became heavy rain and it was obvious that Rhinos would be denied the victory they deserved. The draw ends their last realistic hope of winning the Logan Cup this season. Full scorecard below the cut.
Eagles 207 (92.3 overs; Bishop 44, Muzhange 4/61) & 165 (69.5 overs; Bishop 33, Chinouya 5/45), Rhinos 212 (61.5 overs; Ballance 101*, Hondo 4/40) & 34/1 (10 overs; Marillier 12*, Garwe 1/13). Match drawn.
[Match report via ZC]

[Logan Cup] Rocks Handed Yet Another Drubbing

Rocks' woeful performances in the Logan Cup this season have already had some people question their place in the current setup - most notably in one of ZC's own recent match reports - and this week's double collapse against Tuskers won't help them silence any critics. Rocks tumbled to 83 in their first innings, with Glenn Querl (5/28) leading the carnage on that occasion, but Rocks' bowlers managed to extract a measure of revenge when they came to bowl themselves - but for the efforts of Gavin Ewing (53) and Richard Jones (62) Tuskers wouldn't have done much better - but their final total of 177 eventually proved to be good enough on the day. Tendai Chisoro and Tafadzwa Kamungozi took 3 wickets apiece to lead the Rocks' bowling figures.

Come their second knock, Rocks at least managed to outscore their first innings, but being bowled out for 125 they left Tuskers chasing a target of just 32 runs to win, which they reached without loss to secure a 10 wicket win. Full scorecard below the cut.
Rocks 83 (41 overs; Maunze 41, Querl 5/28) & 125 (53.5 overs; Maunze 43, Ncube 7/35), Tuskers 177 (61.3 overs; Jones 62, Kamungozi 3/19) & 36/0 (9.1 overs; Duffin 26*, Horton 9*). Matabeleland Tuskers win by 10 wickets.

[Pro50] Eagles Secure Win in Rain-Affected Match

Eagles suffered the intervention of rain in their run-chase against Rhinos in the other Pro50 match of the weekend, but it came too late to save Rhinos, with Eagles just managing to complete the 20 overs required to ensure a result. Rhinos had posted 189 earlier, with their top order suffering an uncharacteristic collapse before Roland Benade (67), Nyasha Mayavo (38) and Simon Mugava (31) dug in in the lower order to bring some respectability to the score. Trevor Garwe and Nathan Waller did the damage for Eagles, taking 3 wickets apiece. Eagles openers Cephas Zhuwao (58) and Simbarashe Gupo (30) led Eagles reply, with both falling shortly before the rain intervened - but with the Duckworth-Lewis calculations setting Eagles a target of 61, they were well ahead and easily took the points. Full scorecard below the cut.
Rhinos 189/9 (50/50 overs; Benade 67, Garwe 3/24) ,Eagles 102/2 (20/20 overs; Zhuwao 58, Muzhange 1/34). Mashonaland Eagles win by 42 runs (D/L method).

[Pro50] Tuskers Ease to Big Win over Rocks

Tuskers eased to an 8-wicket win over the Southern Rocks in the latest round of Pro50 matches, although it wasn't enough to lift them off the bottom of the tournament table. Put into bat, Rocks scored 123 before being bowled out in the 40th over - a performance more akin to the woeful form they've had in the Logan Cup this season, and far short of a competitive total. Tendai Chisoro top-scored with 25, while the wickets were shared around the Tuskers bowlers, with Gavin Ewing's 3/24 being the best of the bunch. Tuskers lost two wickets of their own while chasing down the target, but the result was never really in doubt, with Tuskers securing the points in the 31st over. Full scorecard below the cut.
Rocks 123 (39.2 overs; Chisoro 25, Ewing 3/24), Tuskers 127/2 (30.4 overs; Ewing 49*, Masvaure 1/6). Matabeleland Tuskers win by 8 wickets.

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