Zimbabwe Cricket

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[Pro50] Tuskers Remain Bottom After Loss to Mountaineers

They may be in-form in the other forms of the game, but Tuskers' poor run in the Pro50 continued at the weekend with a huge loss to the resurgent Mountaineers. Put into bat after Mountaineers won the toss, Tuskers posted 199 before being bowled out in the 46th over; Terry Duffin and Charles Coventry top-scored, both with 34, but Tendai Chatara's 5/39 with the ball proved key in restricting Tuskers.

Come Mountaineers' innings, Tuskers struck early to remove openers Phil Mustard and Jethro Mawudzi at the end of the 3rd over (on to run-out, the other caught by Coventry off the bowling of Querl), but those were the final wickets to fall: from there, Hamilton Masakadza (64*) and Kevin Kasuza (110* off 91 balls) blitzed their way to an easy Mountaineers win, reaching the target in the 32nd over. Tuskers remain rooted to the bottom of the table, while Mountaineers are now level on 10 points with Southern Rocks. Full scorecard below the cut.
Tuskers 197 (45.1 overs; Duffin 34, Coventry 34, Chatara 5/39), Mountaineers 199/2 (31.3 overs; Kasuza 110*, H Masakadza 64*, Querl 1/52). Mountaineers win by 8 wickets.

[Logan Cup] Tuskers and Mountaineers in Rain-Affected Draw

The second Logan Cup match of the round ended in a draw in Bulawayo, as rain - which had affected several days' play already - led to the abandonment of the final day of the match. Tuskers came away with the first-innings point, which may yet prove significant as it leaves them with a one-point lead over Eagles at the top of the tournament table, with both sides having 3 matches yet to play.

Put into bat by Mountaineers, Tuskers posted 236 from their first innings, with Steven Trenchard (62) and Paul Horton (50) both contributing significant knocks; Shingi Masakadza and Tendai Chatara took 3 apiece for Mountaineers to help contain Mountaineers to a respectable total. But Mountaineers then came up against an on-fire Glen Querl, who took 5/29 during the Goats' reply and, aided by Keegan Meth (3/50), helped bowl the visitors out for a poor 129. An early collapse in the Tuskers second innings saw Tuskers waste their initiative, but then the rain had the final say with Tuskers on 43/4, and that was the end of that. Full scorecard below the cut.
Tuskers 236 (89.4 overs; Trecnahrd 62, S Masakadza 3/57) & 43/4 (17 overs; Horton 21, Tiripano 3/12), Mountaineers 129 (54.1 overs; Maruma 27, Querl 5/29). Match drawn.

[Logan Cup] Rocks Humiliated by Eagles in Two-Day Rout

Southern Rocks hit rock bottom today as they went down to a humiliating innings defeat at the hands of Mashonaland Eagles in only two days. Superb bowling from Kyle Jarvis was the main factor in rolling the visitors twice in less than a day’s play, but, well as he bowled, he may never have it as easy again in his entire career. He achieved the very rare feat in modern cricket of taking a ten-wicket haul in a single day and finished with remarkable match figures of ten for 53.

Without the injured Tatenda Taibu to add spirit to their batting, Southern Rocks looked a totally demoralized team. They may not be a strong team, but they usually hold their own in one-day cricket; in the four-day game they bat in particular as if they were on death row. This defeatist attitude has brought them disgrace yet again, so much so that right now they are a liability to the Logan Cup competition. Unless the players themselves get their heads right they are doomed to more dismal performances in what remains of the season.

The day began with Southern Rocks beginning their response to the Mashonaland Eagles total of 335, but their batsmen immediately showed they were quite unprepared mentally to build on the advantage given the team by their bowlers the previous evening. Conditions were rather testing early on, with Tatenda Gumunyu-Manatsa and Kyle Jarvis able to get a bit of movement and lift, but that did not excuse the dismal collapse that followed. Southern Rocks, like Mashonaland, have had endless trouble with their opening partnership, and Roy Kaia, the most successful in that position so far this season, has been moved down to number six. Southern Rocks might do well to follow the example of Mashonaland Eagles and promote a determined tail-ender after today’s display.

Prince Masvaure and Chamu Chibhabha both fell to the second balls they received, from Jarvis, edging into the slips, with the experienced Chibhabha playing a particularly flighty stroke. Sam Mwakayeni continued his sad run of low scores with 5, and Alister Maregwede suffered a vicious lifter first ball, which he could only fend off to third slip. After half an hour’s play Southern Rocks were facing disaster at 6 for four wickets.

Richie Mutumbami fought back briefly to make 12 before giving his wicket away with a nudge into the slips, and Tendai Chisoro, often a fighter, ran himself out foolishly for 7. The score slumped to 43 for seven. But Kaia was still there and he laid into Raymond Price’s bowling when the spinner came on, while Tinashe Panyangara also batted with spirit. At lunch the score had progressed to 69 for seven, but both fell quickly after the interval, with Price luring Kaia (26) out of his crease to be stumped for the highest score of the innings.

The last pair of Tanyaradzwa Munyaradzi and Brian Vitori showed some spirit in adding 23 for the last wicket, but Jarvis came back to finish off the innings for 98 when he bowled Vitori. His figures were five for 23, after being four for 10 at one stage, as the last pair gave him some stick. With Vitori coming in at number 11, Southern Rocks have no serious tail; their problem is that they don’t seem to have a serious top order either.

Naturally Southern Rocks had to follow on 237 runs behind, and the main question seemed only to be whether they could survive the day. First impressions were that this was unlikely, as they again showed little appetite for a fightback. Jarvis continued to wreak havoc. In his first over Mwakayeni lobbed a simple catch to mid-off; in his third he removed Masvaure and Mutumbami with successive deliveries. Kaia went in his fifth. Chibhabha, after a lethargic start, fought back for a while with 22, but then Jarvis burst through his defence and spectacularly bowled him to take his tenth wicket of the day, just after tea.

Chisoro played with determination for a while to make 20, but even those batsmen who did show some fight failed to stay for the long haul. When Jarvis was rested, several of the batsmen seemed to have a death wish in trying to sweep Price, who picked up two easy wickets from that shot, including Chisoro, and almost had more. Panyangara, however, considers he should bat higher in the order and made his point with some powerful and determined strokes. He had some lucky escapes from some mishits, but his innings of 39 off 43 off 30 balls (four fours, three sixes) was by some way the highest in both innings.

There were 24 overs still remaining in the day when Southern Rocks were bowled out for the second time. In this innings Jarvis took five for 30, while Price had three victims. Southern Rocks have some serious soul-searching to do over the New Year, and the team needs a new spirit if it is to avoid further disgrace in the rest of the season. The bowlers came out of this match with some credit, especially Vitori and Panyangara, but the fielding was lacking and the batting abysmal. Full scorecard below the cut.
Eagles 335 (88.5 overs; Mutizwa 118, Vitori 5/26), Rocks 98 (29.4 overs; Kaia 26, Jarvis 5/23) & 148 (34 overs; Panyangara 43, Jarvis 5/30). Mashonaland Eagles win by an innings and 89 runs.
[Match report via ZC]

[Pro50] Chibhabha Leads Rocks to Victory Over Eagles

This was a tight match on a rather uncooperative pitch where fine innings by Chamu Chibhabha and Tendai Chisoro proved the vital factor for Southern Rocks, who won by Duckworth-Lewis calculations in bad light at about ten minutes to six.

It was a warm sunny day as Southern Rocks won the toss and decided to field. The pitch turned out to be slow and scoring quickly was not easy, and the batsmen were to have particular difficulty timing their drives. The Mashonaland Eagles batsmen did not apply themselves particularly well, though, and a number of them fell to – or were dropped off – skyers.

Eagles for once managed to find a successful opening partnership; in fact the 57 that was put on turned out to be the highest stand of the innings. It consisted of Cephas Zhuwao and the tail-ender Tino Mutombodzi, a stop-gap opener who did a good job. Zhuwao, the 'big bully' as he is known, got off the mark in the second over with a six over midwicket off Tinashe Panyangara. However, in the same bowler’s next over he was dropped off a huge skyer at mid-off, and a few balls later Mutombodzi sliced a ball through the hands of the fielder at backward point. Zhuwao now decided there was no mileage in big hitting today and settled down to bat with more discretion. Finally at 57 Mutombodzi (27) played on to a ball from Tanyaradzwa Munyaradzi and, not long afterwards, Zhuwao fatally forgot his new policy and holed out at long-off. He had made 35 off 43 balls and was destined to be the top scorer of the innings.

When Forster Mutizwa, who never looked comfortable, was out for 8, the score was 79 for three after 18 overs. Rory Hamilton-Brown and Regis Chakabva dug in to stabilize the innings and put on 53 together, although the Englishman struggled to score. Chakabva was caught at the wicket off an attempted cut for 31 and Hamilton-Brown followed in the next over for 21 off 50 balls. Stuart Matsikenyeri and Mark Mbofana made a few at some speed but then were out; six batsmen reached 20 but none passed 35. The last wicket fell in the penultimate over, with the total 178. There was much poor fielding from Southern Rocks, but there was some good bowling, with Munyaradzi the most successful with four wickets for 35 runs. Despite the pitch, Mashonaland Eagles should have scored well over 200.

Southern Rocks had plenty of time to chase this target, but suffered a bad start when Prince Masvaure was caught in the slips without scoring, off Tatenda Gumunyu-Manatsa. Then came a vital partnership of 64 between Roy Kaia, who adopted the anchor rule, and Chamu Chibhabha, who recognized the nature of the pitch and wisely curbed his strokeplay. They batted through to the 20th over, when Hamilton-Brown took the ball and persuaded Kaia (23) to pull his first ball to midwicket.

Ashby Mutumbami made 10, but the key figure was Chibhabha, who continued to play with great discrimination. Alister Maregwede, with a dogged 8, slowed the scoring down and when he was out at 110 for four the required rate had risen to almost five, not easy on this pitch. This may have pressured Chibhabha into swinging across the line and being bowled by Kyle Jarvis for 59.

This could have been the turning point of the match, as Chisoro was left with five tail-enders as his only support. But he received good help from Panyangara, and when the umpires decided the light was too bad – a decision that would have infuriated a crowd if there had been one – 13 more were needed off the last 3.5 overs with four wickets in hand. The noble Chisoro finished with 39 not out and this victory will bring welcome relief to the beleaguered Southern Rocks team. Full scorecard below the cut.
Eagles 178 (46.2/48 overs; Zhuwao 35, Munyaradzai 4/35), Rocks 166/1 (44.1/44.1 overs; Chibhabha 59, Jarvis 2/43). Southern Rocks win by 11 runs (D/L method).

BancABC U13 Week Begins Today

The BancABC U13 Weeks begins today, with matches to be played at Prince Edward School until Thursday (8th). Here's the schedule, for anyone wanting to catch a glimpse of future talent:

5 December      Eagles v Rhinos                 Jubilee
                Mountaineers v Rocks            Chapel
                Tuskers v Development XI        Hospital
6 December      Tuskers v Mountaineers          Jubilee
                Eagles v Rocks                  Chapel
                Development XI v Rhinos         Hospital
7 December      Rhinos v Rocks                  Jubilee
                Mountaineers v Development XI   Chapel
                Eagles v Tuskers                Hospital
8 December      Winner A v Winner B             Jubilee
                #2 A v #2 B                     Chapel
                #3 A v #3 B                     Hospital
Group A: Eagles, Rhinos, Tuskers
Group B: Mountaineers, Rocks, Development XI

ZC are at pains to point out that this is a development tournament, and as such there'll be no declared winner.

[Stanbic T20] Mountaineers Reclaim T20 Title

An exciting T20 final between the two former champions ended in victory for the first holders of the trophy, Mountaineers. At the halfway stage it looked as if the home team and last season's champions, Mashonaland Eagles, would triumph, as Mountaineers turned in an indifferent batting performance, and recent high scores in this tournament, especially by the home side, suggested that 143 was too small a target. But Mountaineers bowled and fielded superbly, and the pressure of the occasion probably affected the batsmen, and a middle-order collapse resulted in a fine victory for the Mutare-based team.

It was a humid afternoon with the possibility of more rain when Hamilton Masakadza won toss and bucked the trend by deciding to bat, perhaps with possible interruptions in play in mind. He probably soon regretted it, as the Mountaineers innings never took off. The start was promising enough, when Kevin Kasuza and Phil Mustard scored 29 together in just over three overs, before Kasuza (8) skied a catch into the covers. Then came a major blow, as Masakadza himself drove over a yorker from Andrew Hall and was bowled without scoring.

During the last year or two Mountaineers' batting has been all too dependent on Masakadza, and this time they never recovered from that loss, although at least they did not collapse. Mustard alone of the top order succeeded, scoring 34 of the first 50 runs, which came up in the seventh over. He made 56 altogether off 31 balls, falling lbw to his fellow English professional Rory Hamilton-Brown. When Prosper Utseya fell the score was 95 for five in the 13th over, not a bad scoring rate but with too many wickets down and too little batting strength in the tail.

Chris Harris held the innings together with a sound unbeaten innings of 34, and at last he found a reliable partner in Shingi Masakadza, who made 23 not out off 18 balls. But there was no major hitter available to take advantage of the death overs, and the final score was 142 for six, good enough at the start of the tournament but small stuff compared with the totals compiled in the last few matches. Hamilton-Brown, with two for 14 off three overs, returned the best figures, while Peter Trego took one for 15 off his four overs.

Dirk Nannes and Shingi Masakadza did their utmost to fight back for Mountaineers in a fine spell of bowling at the start of the Mashonaland Eagles innings. The dangerous Ryan ten Doeschate, after his magnificent century yesterday, today cut a catch to point with only a single to his credit; Trego slashed and was caught at the wicket also for 1. When Hamilton-Brown swung a catch to deep square leg the score was 25 for three in the fifth over and the game was on.

However, the inconsistent Stuart Matsikenyeri was on this occasion batting superbly, apart from a sharp return chance on 20, which the bowler failed to hold. The underrated Forster Mutizwa proved an admirable partner and the two began to turn the match around for Mashonaland Eagles. Mountaineers' other bowlers did not present the same threat as their new-ball pair and run-scoring was easier. The partnership added 44 and looked good enough to complete the job when there was a mix-up over a quick single and Matsikenyeri was run out for 34.

An unfortunate accident saw Mutizwa struck on the shoulder by a hard throw from the field; perhaps affected by this, he popped up a return catch to Utseya off the next ball he faced and was out for 27, leaving Mashonaland Eagles now struggling at 83 for five, required run rate now almost ten. They have more strength in their lower order than Mountaineers do, but Chigumbura (14) holed out at long-on and Andrew Hall was stumped for 2. With seven wickets lost, Regis Chakabva, yet to score, was the only recognized batsman left and 55 runs were needed off less than five overs.

Harris was bowled with great cunning, and Chakabva, struggling to score, got a leading edge to provide a simple return catch; 90 for eight. Mashonaland Eagles seemed to have reached the point of no return - but then Nathan Waller struck out boldly and lofted two successive balls from Harris for sixes. Nannes bowled a bad over to give away 12 runs, but then finished it with a superb yorker to bowl Waller for a gallant 19. The last pair needed to score 28 runs off the final two overs, but Shingi Masakadza needed only one delivery to york Tino Mutombodzi and bring the trophy home to Mountaineers. The Mutare side had performed superbly with the ball to come back, if not quite from the dead, then from the brink of disaster. The bowling honours were well shared, with three wickets to Shingi Masakadza, and two each to Nannes, Harris and Utseya. Full scorecard below the cut.
Mountaineers 142/6 (20 overs; Mustard 56, Hamilton-Brown 2/14), Eagles 115 (18.1 overs; Matsikenyeri 34, S Masakadza 3/21). Mountaineers win by 27 runs.
[Match report via ZC

[Stanbic T20] Eagles Beat Tuskers to Reach Final

Confidence has been a major and fragile factor in Zimbabwean cricket this season. It has been seen in other competitions, and is now playing a major part in the T20 tournament. Matabeleland Tuskers started their programme in highly confident mode, winning their first three matches easily before slipping up against Mid-West Rhinos - and were never the same team after that. Mashonaland Eagles looked a sad case in their first three matches, but a big victory over a Southern Rocks team in even worse condition suddenly convinced them they could do it - and so they hammered the plummeting Matabeleland Tuskers team to win through to the final against Mountaineers. Their hero was Ryan ten Doeschate, who played the most amazing innings of the tournament when batting right through the innings for 121.

Matabeleland Tuskers won the toss and put Mashonaland Eagles in to bat, perhaps figuring that this was what their opponents would least want. Unfortunately for them, their bowlers seemed to be suffering from nerves, as the first few overs were loose and the batsmen took full advantage of them. Mashonaland Eagles sent in their experienced overseas players, in the form of ten Doeschate and Rory Hamilton-Brown to open the innings, and ten Doeschate in particular took advantage of the loose bowling, hammering 24 runs of his first eleven balls.

With the score 64 without loss after six overs, a light drizzle started, not enough to bother the crowd much, but the umpires were another matter, and they took the players off the field. The crowd quickly grew annoyed, but fortunately only 16 minutes were lost so the incident did not become a public relations disaster. Unfortunately for Matabeleland Tuskers the break did not change the course of the game at all, as the batsmen continued their assault and the bowlers were either innocuous or erratic.

The score reached 89 in the eighth over when Hamilton-Brown was run out for 26. After that the innings was almost all the ten Doeschate Show, as partners came and went with small but generally quick and useful contributions. Mashonaland Eagles failed to reach 200 against Southern Rocks after having it in their sights, but they - or rather ten Doeschate - made sure of it this time. He reached his century off only 50 balls, with two successive sixes, and finished unbeaten on a remarkable 121, off only 58 balls with six fours and eight sixes.

Such a target was virtually impossible for Matabeleland Tuskers - except for the Chris Gayle factor, and possibly Charles Coventry. The confident bowlers showed great accuracy, but Gayle started his assault in the third over, with a six and a four off successive balls from Nathan Waller. Then Kyle Jarvis went for two successive sixes, and the contest was on. If Gayle stayed, Matabeleland Tuskers would win. Not even ten Doeschate could shred a bowling attack as Gayle was doing; the only question was, would he stay for long enough?

Gayle reached 50 off 29 balls, but then, one run and two balls later, the match in effect came to an end. A leading edge gave a gentle return catch to the bowler Peter Trego, and Matabeleland Tuskers were 67 for one. Next ball his partner Tim Smith (13) drove a catch to long-on. Coventry made 13 off 14 balls before lofting a catch to the same position. Matabeleland Tuskers did not give up, but it could only be an exercise in damage limitation now. Steve Trenchard did best, with a fine innings of 56 not out off 31 balls in fading light; overall, in fact, the Matabeleland Tuskers batting was better than that of their victors. The one factor that made the difference was ten Doeschate.

With two overs to go the light became too bad to continue, so the players left the field and the margin of Mashonaland Eagles' victory was calculated to be 34 runs. They are in such superb form now after their dismal start that they must be favourites to beat Mountaineers tomorrow after finishing fourth in the group section. Full scorecard below the cut.
Eagles 207/7 (20 overs; ten Doeschate 121*, Querl 2/25), Tuskers 162/3 (18 overs; Trenchard 56*, Hamilton-Brown 1/20). Mashonaland Eagles win by 23 runs (D/L method)
[Match report via ZC

[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.

[Stanbic T20] Eagles Soar Through to Next Playoff Round

Eagles met Rhinos in the first playoff match of the Stanbic T20 this morning, with the price of failure being elimination from the tournament. Eagles were put in to bat after Rhinos won the toss, and got off to a storming start as openers Ryan ten Doeschate and Stuart Matsikenyeri put on a 109-run partnership off just 56 balls before ten Doeschate departed for 63; Matsikenyeri went on to score 89. Richard Muzhange led the Rhinos' bowling, taking 3/24 at an economy of 6/over - a rare bright spot in an innings that saw Cremer, Benade and Mugava each smashed around at over 10/over. With the openers having done the hard work, there wasn't much to write home about for the other batsmen - but with Eagles closing on 195/5, it was clear that Rhinos would have their work cut out for them.

Rhinos were under the cosh from then end of the 4th over, when "captain fantastic" Brendan Taylor departed for 24. The Rhinos middle order failed to come to the party, with numbers 3-7 all failing to reach double figures; barring some resistance by Riki Wessels (42) at the top and a short-lived fightback by Simon Mugava (13) and Shaun Tait (26) in the tail, the result would have been complete embarassment for the Rhinos; as it was they were still bowled out for 142, handing Eagles a 53-run win and a place in tomorrow's playoff. Peter Trego led the good work by Eagles' bowlers, taking 4/27. Full scorecard below the cut.
Eagles 195/5 (20 overs; Matsikenyeri 89, Muzhange 3/24). Rhinos 142 (18.2 overs; Wessels 42, Trego 4/27). Mashonaland Eagles win by 53 runs.

[Stanbic T20] Eagles Beat Woeful Rocks, Clinch Final Playoff Berth

The final match in the group stage of the Stanbic T20 saw Eagles meet Rocks, with the prize for the winner being the final slot in tomorrow's playoff stage, where they'd meet Midwest Rhinos. Rocks won the toss and opted to field, while Eagles got off to a horrible start when top-order failures left them on 30/3 in the 7th over. That was when Peter Trego and Elton Chigumbura got stuck in, though - the pair put on 60 for the 4th wicket at over 7/over, while after Trego's departure his replacement Ryan ten Doeschate continued the good work adding another 34 with Chigumbura at over 10/over before he headed back to the pavilion himself. Those two knocks helped see Eagles to a respectable 147/7 at the close of innings, and given Rocks' form in the tournament they would've been confident that that was enough.

And so it proved. Rocks also suffered early losses, but while Eagles dug in and recovered from them, the loss of Kaia and Mutumbami for not much return seemed to knock the stuffing out of Rocks, who gave up the fight and seemed to make no effort to chase the target that had been set for them. A steady procession of wickets followed as Eagles stamped their domination on the match - for the first time this tournament - and bowled Rocks out for a woeful 77 runs in the 17th over. Nathan Waller was the pick of Eagles' bowlers, with 3/8 from 3 overs. Full scorecard below the cut.
Eagles 147/7 (20 overs; Chigumbura 47, Burger 4/31), Rocks 77 (16.2 overs; Maregwede 15, Waller 3/8). Mashonaland Eagles win by 70 runs.

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