Bad weather denied Mountaineers and the Southern Rocks a result in their Castle Logan cup match which only permitted two days play, at Mutare Sports Club. The match was plagued with heavy rain and wet outfield condition, but this however did not change Mountaineers position from the top of the log with 26 points, neither did it remove Rocks from their rock bottom position with no win and just two points on the board.
Meanwhile the Kwekwe Match between Midwest Rhinos and Matabeleland Tuskers was abandoned due to a wet outfield caused by excessive rainfall without a ball being bowled.
In Mutare, Rocks won the toss and elected to bat posting 259 all out in the first innings. Stuart Matsikenyeri enjoyed his return to Mutare Sports club as he top scored with 64 runs with support from Raza Butt 31 runs and Tafadzwa Kamungozi who hit out a run a ball 44 runs. As the weather threatened to stop play on countless occasions both team tried to make the most of their time in the middle with the Mountaineers 218 all largely down to efforts from Tinotenda Mawoyo who scored 40 runs and Mark Vermeulen’s entertaining knock of 34 runs.
Rocks made the Mountaineers work hard for their runs, with Brian Vitori and Kamungozi each picking up four wickets. Vitori was the main threat as his pace proved to be the difference between the two teams’ first innings totals. The young left arm seamer could have picked up more wickets had his team been more clinical in their fielding. Steven Marillier and Tatenda Taibu gave the Rocks innings more zest with half centuries that put up 158 for three in the final session. Taibu was out for 53 runs of 55 balls in an innings that featured five fours and two sixes.
Marillier’s knock was more patient for 68 off 89 balls with only eight boundaries from the innings. Taibu and Marillier built the Rocks’ highest partnership 76 runs for the third wicket. The two captains agreed to call it a day with an hour of play left; the score at this point was realistically beyond any teams reach, as the hosts needed 194 runs in the last 15 overs of the final day. Scorecard for the Rocks / Mountaineers match is below the cut.
Rocks 259 (76 overs; Matsikenyeri 64, Mushangwe 3/71) & 158/3 (35 overs; Marillier 62, Maruma 1/17), Mountaineers 218 (77.2 overs; Mawoyo 40, Kamungozi 4/60). Match drawn.
Midwest Rhinos v Matabeleland Tuskers: Match abandoned.
[Match report via ZC]
A five wicket haul from lanky fast bowler Christopher Mpofu saw Matabeleland Tuskers romp to a 65 run win over Mashonalad Eagles inside three days in a Castle Logan Cup encounter at Queens Sports Club, despite a superb century from visiting captain Foster Mutizwa. Mpofu picked five for 80 runs including the big wicket of Mutizwa who top scored for his side with 116 runs to deny Mash Eagles what seemed a well deserved first win in the Logan Cup. Fellow seamer Tawanda Mupariwa weighed in with three crucial wickets as Tuskers collected all the points from the match.
With the heavy rains having pounded the pitch on Thursday night, a wet outfield saw the entire morning session being lost as no play was possible. Eagles declared their first innings on 32/1 and Tuskers who scored 339 in their first innings chose to forfeit their second innings, leaving Eagles with a victory target of 308 runs with one and a half days to achieve it.
After the early loss of Cephas Zhuwao, who had his off stump knocked over by Mupariwa, Mutizwa and Prince Masvaure put on 57 runs for the second wicket with some hard knocks. Mpofu broke the stand when he had Masvaure caught behind for 29 but the batsman was convinced that the ball had grazed his arm on the way to Adam Wheater and reluctantly walked off the field. Ryan Butterworth never looked settled and was in the middle for just five minutes before getting a low edge from a Bradley Staddon delivery to be taken at first slip by Paul Horton to depart for a seven ball duck.
Mutizwa continued to dominate the Tuskers bowlers and was strong on the off side, punishing anything on the off stump, dispatching 11 fours on his way to his half century off 77 deliveries. He raced to the 90s in no time but was stuck there for sometime as a rejuvenated Njabulo Ncube peppered him with some unplayable short balls. After facing up to 139 balls and hammering 17 fours, Mutizwa got to the century when he pulled Ncube for four through mid wicket.
None of the bowlers tried out by Tuskers skipper Gavin Ewing had an answer as Mutizwa and continued to flay them all over the park. Mpofu finally got Mutizwa when he had him snared at mid wicket by Ewing. World Cup bound Regis Chakabva got six runs before Mpofu bowled him and Mpofu had another wicket in the same over, getting a leg before wicket decision against Tinotenda Mutombodzi who was out for a two ball duck and suddenly the match swung in favour of Tuskers.
Mupariwa claimed the big of Andrew Hall, the former South African all-rounder getting an edge to Wheater. Mpofu had his five wickets, Chad Keegan edging and taken by Wheater and it was all over soon afterwards when Mupariwa induced Lamb to an edge which was caught by Wheater. Mark Mbofana did not bat after breaking a finger fielding on the first day. Full scorecard below the cut.
Tuskers 339 (141.5 overs; Wheater 90, Keegan 3/30) & forfeited innings, Eagles 32/1 dec (15 overs; Masvaure 17*, Mpofu 1/9) & 242 (67.2 overs; Mutizwa 116, Mpofu 5/80). Matabeleland Tuskers win by 65 runs.
[Match report via ZC]
It was meant to be Mountaineers' first match on a newly-laid pitch & outfield at Mutare Sports Club, but the weather knocked that idea on the head - play was washed out on day one, delayed on day two, and come the beginning of day three conditions and a poor forecast led to the abandonment of the fixture. With the first innings remaining unfinished, no points were awared to either side.
MidWest Rhinos, missing Graeme Cremer, Ian Nicolson and Taurai Muzarabani, had won the toss on Thursday and decided to bat against a Mountaineers team at full strength. Play only began after tea, and the newly relaid outfield was still soft, uncut and rather muddy in places. It is unlikely fussy English cricketers would have wanted to play. Almost three hours’ play were possible, and the two schoolboys seen on the premises and suspected of being spectators would have had an entertaining time, as wickets fell and runs came at a good pace until the batsmen shut up shop in the closing overs.
Rhinos were soon in deep trouble against the tournament leaders, and it was largely of their own making. There was a little movement off the pitch, but the batsmen couldn’t – and didn’t – use it as an excuse. The first wicket to fall was that of Friday Kasteni, in the second over, nudging a catch into the slips off Tinashe Panyangara. In the next over, bowled by Shingi Masakadza, Brendan Taylor was not happy to be given out lbw; both openers were gone without scoring. The next over brought another wicket, as Gary Ballance, after hitting two boundaries, one a fortuitous thick edge through the slips, edged a catch into the same area as he attempted to drive, and three wickets were down for just 8 runs. "We pride ourselves on our honesty," the Rhinos coach Jason Gillespie said, adding that all three had admitted to poor shot selection.
Vusi Sibanda and Malcolm Waller fought back by positive methods, hitting the loose ball well and playing with much more intelligence. A good stand seemed to be developing when Sibanda played over a yorker from his rival captain, Hamilton Masakadza, and was bowled for 14; 41 for four. With Riki Wessels as his new partner, Waller continued to play what looked set to be a superb rescue innings. Sadly, he was out to the poorest stroke of them all, fencing feebly outside his off stump to be caught at the wicket off Shingi Masakadza. He had made 38 off 73 balls, and his team was now 81 for five.
Paul Franks, the Nottinghamshire seam-bowling all-rounder, now came in and kept the score ticking over with Wessels. With the seamers earning a well-deserved rest after their fine efforts, spinners Timycen Maruma and Prosper Utseya came on to bowl, slowing the scoring, especially Utseya, whose six overs cost four runs. The batsmen survived to fight another day – but sadly the weather had other ideas, and that was all she wrote. Full scorecard below the cut.
Rhinos 110/5 (45 overs; Waller 38, Panyangara 2/29), Mountaineers did not bat. Match abandoned.
Relentless rains forced a draw result in the Castle Logan Cup match between Southern Rocks and Matabeleland Tuskers. The two teams were determined to force a result, but the skies had other ideas. Southern Rocks’ surprise declaration was succeeded by another shocker when Tuskers declared first thing in the morning meaning that their second innings lasted only 13.3 overs with score at 76/2.
This meant that Rocks needed 318 runs from the day’s allocated 90 overs. However, that was not to be as the overnight rains could not hold up. Play started in the afternoon and the overs to be played was reduced to 45 overs. Rocks went in to bat; Chamu Chibhabha had a quick 24 off 32 balls while Steve Marillier was had his usual pedestrian knock of 10 from 33. Unfortunately, play could only go on for a mere 10.3 overs as the rains kept falling until the match was declared a draw.
Tuskers will march out of Masvingo with a single point that they accumulated by virtue of the first innings lead. On day three, Craig Ervine had spearheaded a fight back for Southern Rocks with a terrific unbeaten 167. The day commenced on a bright note for the host team when Chamu Chibhabha and Craig Ervine amassed 119 runs for the third wicket partnership. This was an interesting passage of play that resulted to a stimulating contest between bat and ball. Ervine was dealing in boundaries denying left arm spinner Keith Dabengwa any room to settle.
On the other hand, Keegan Meth continued to trouble Chibhabha bowling straight and keeping the ball on the stumps most of the time. After a couple of lbw shouts, Meth’s persistence finally paid off when he broke through Chibhabha defences to send the Rocks opener back to the pavilion with 74 from 116 balls. Meth, though failing to find that late swing which has become his trademark continued with good rhythm when he dismissed Elton Chigumbura lbw in the next over.
After lunch Ervine raced to his fifth first-class century as he continued to hold the Rocks’ batting together. Sikandar Butt had an uncharacteristic slow start putting up another meaningful 58 run partnership with Ervine. The two looked to be going well until Butt graced Njabulo Ncube with a wicket when he went fishing for a short and wide delivery taking a shot that failed to beat Terrence Duffin at mid-off.
Ncube, inspired by the wicket increased his intensity with a series of bouncers that were directed towards the new batsman Richmond Mutumbami. In a moment of aggressive bowling he struck Mutumbami on the helmet twice in consecutive deliveries.
Mutumbami managed to break the shackles and started to play his shots. In an exhibition of classy and all round stroke play the Masvingo bred batsman strolled to 54 runs from 91 balls before Rocks dropped a bombshell by declaring with the score 342/5. The decision sent shock waves to almost everyone at the ground considering the fact Rocks were still 241 runs behind.
In an effort to force a result on the match Tuskers came looking to make quick runs and managed to score 76 for the loss of two wickets before the close of day three, but then the weather intervened. Full scorecard below the cut.
Tuskers 583/7d (156.2 overs; Horton 209, Ewing 191, Matanga 3/86) & 76/2d (13.3 overs; Wheater 39, Vitori 1/11), Rocks 342/5d (94.4 overs; Ervine 167*, Meth 3/75) & 36/0 (10.3 overs; Chibhabha 24*, Marillier 10*). Match drawn.
[Match report via ZC]
Disappointingly, the match between Mashonaland Eagles and Mid-West Rhinos at Harare Sports Club fizzled out in a tame draw. Andrew Hall’s fighting century saved the match for his team, and Mid-West Rhinos were unable to bowl out the home side, while the declaration came too late to give either side a reasonable chance of victory. Again Mash Eagles were indebted to their player-coach Hall for getting them off the hook in a tight position.
Overnight the match was in the balance, with Eagles on 192 for seven in their first innings, 225 runs ahead. Rhinos needed a quick breakthrough, but this they did not get. Hall, 89 overnight, simply carried on from where he left off, taking 25 minutes to reach his century, which took him 172 balls. Chad Keegan, his tail-end partner, continued to stick to the basics, playing straight and waiting for the loose ball, and this method stood him in good stead. Even the second new ball made no impression on the batsmen. They had added 137 for the eighth wicket before Keegan finally departed, Vusi Sibanda taking a fine diving return catch in his follow-through. Keegan’s 45 was the highest of the English professional’s career.
By now, with a lead of 290, Eagles were on even terms or better, this partnership having almost turned the game on its head. Raymond Price came in and scored 13 briskly before being caught off a sweep at short fine leg, and then came the declaration, at 274 for nine. Hall remained unbeaten with 127, scored off 211 balls and containing 12 fours, a typical fighting innings that almost certainly saved the match for his team. The best bowler was Ed Rainsford with three for 41 off 18 overs, tight accurate bowling throughout, while Graeme Cremer also took three wickets.
Rhinos now needed 308 to win in 64 overs, well over four runs an over on a pitch that had not really been good for quick scoring, and with a heavy outfield. It was not an enterprising declaration, as only a large and brilliant innings by somebody could have won Rhinos the match, and this would also make it harder for Eagles to bowl them out in the time remaining. It never looked like becoming an interesting finish.
The first ball of the innings, Chad Keegan to Brendan Taylor, kept quite low and the batsman had to jab down on it; this no doubt also convinced the visitors that the target was simply not a practical proposition. The pitch was now too flat to encourage the bowlers, apart from a bit of uneven bounce, so batting practice was the order of the day. Friday Kasteni made 17 off 68 balls before a leading edge brought a catch at backward point off Raymond Price, while Taylor, who has not made too many runs recently, was just happy to play a quiet game and regain his form. Gary Ballance was more inclined to enjoy himself, using his feet against the spin and showing enterprise, while Taylor was caught at square leg for 67. Ballance himself was caught at extra cover for 32, and when play was ended by mutual agreement an hour early, as provided for in the laws, Mid-West Rhinos were 137 for three and the match was further from a result than it had ever looked during the first three days. It was an unfortunate end to a good close match. Full scorecard below the cut.
Eagles 319 (96.1 overs; Mbofana 68, Cremer 3/88) & 274/9d (93.5 overs; Hall 127*, Rainsford 3/41), Rhinos 286/9d (98.4 overs; Ballance 125, Hall 3/43) & 137/3 (49.5 overs; Taylor 67, Price 2/55). Match drawn.
[Match report via ZC]
Sorry, couldn't resist. Midwest Rhinos secured victory over Southern Rocks without needing to bother with Day Four in the second of this week's Logan Cup ties. Batting first, Rhinos posted 459/7 before declaring, with tons from Vusi Sibanda (136) and Malcolm Waller (102) leading the charge, while Mluleki Nkala (50) and Roland Benade (51*) also chipped in. That was, it turned out, more than enough to win the match.
Rocks weren't without their moments, though, with Roy Kaia impressing in both innings, albeit in a losing cause. Rocks were bowled out for 197 first time around after a poor start - although Kaia and Richmond Mutumbami put on 96 for the 3rd wicket, the high-point of the innings. Still 262 runs short of Rhinos' total, Rocks were then forced to follow on, and this time got off to a good start, with Kaia (58) and Samuel Mwakayeni (45) putting on an opening stand of 104. Wickets fell regularly from there, though, and with Malcolm Waller (4/57) and Simon Mugava (3/49) on form for Rhinos, Rocks were bowled out again for 205, still well short of making Rhinos bat again.
The result doesn't effect standings in the tournament table, with Rhinos in third and Rocks propping up the table in fifth. Full scorecard below the cut.
Rhinos 459/7d (115 overs; Sibanda 136, Matanga 3/78), Rocks 197 (67.2 overs; Kaia 68, Mugava 4/33) & 205 (62.1 overs; Kaia 58, Waller 4/57). Midwest Rhinos win by an innings and 57 runs.
Despite batting collapses in both their innings, Mountaineers held on to claim a win over Mashonaland Eagles in the first of this week's Logan Cup games. Mountaineers opened the match with a below-par 283 in their first innings, composed of Greg Smith's 118 and Mark Vermeulen's 86 and not much else, as the rest of Mountaineers' lineup essentially crumbled. Eagles' bowlers shared the work, with Chad Keegan, Tino Mutombodzi and Prince Masvaure each taking two wickets. In reply, Eagles managed a nice, round 300 runs before themselves being bowled out, Mark Mbofana's 73 led the scoring in a more evenly-shared innings, while Silent Mujaji's 4/71 led the bowling figures for Mountaineers.
That gave Eagles the point for a first-innings lead, but at least at the start of their innings Mountaineers seemed set to finally break loose - the opening pair of Tino Mawoyo (82) and Bernard Mlambo (28) put on 71 for the first wicket, while Jonatahn Beukes added another 52, and at one point Mountaineers were nicely placed at 144/2. From there, though, it was all downhill, as batsman after batsman departed without reaching double figures. Natsai Mushangwe's 17 from 15 balls was as near to "resistance" as the middle and lower order offered on the way to being bowled out for 218, setting Eagles a target of 202 to win - a target that seemed very gettable, based on their first innings performance.
Cricket has a way of surprising, though, and Eagles' second turn with the bat ended up mirroring Mountaineers' in many ways, with just Mark Mbofana (64*) managing a score of any note - Simbarashe Gupo was the next-highest scorer, with just 23 - as Eagles were bundled out for 158, handing Mountaineers a 43-run win that secured their place at the top of the tournament table and added another layer of misery to Eagles' season. Full scorecard below the cut.
Mountaineers 283 (77.5 overs; Smith 118, Masvaure 2/32) & 218 (62 overs; Mawoyo 82, Mutombodzi 4/35), Eagles 300 (114.5 overs; Mbofana 73, Mujaji 4/71) & 158 (77.1 overs; Mbofana 64*, Chatara 4/21). Mountaineers win by 43 runs.
Another match, another draw, although at least Mashonaland Eagles and Southern Rocks managed to more or less get the full four days' play out of their match in Harare. The match wasn't much to write home about, though, with a handful of good individual performances bein wrapped up in mediocre team scores. Batting first after being put into bat by Rocks, Eagles' woeful form outside the Twenty20 game continued as they were bowled out for 202, with Mike Chinouya and Robertson Chinyengetere each taking three wickets. Forster Mutizwa's 48 from 49 balls was the highlight of Eagles' innings, while several other players got starts but failed to push on. With one point on offer for the first-innings lead, though (the only point the game would provide), Rocks chased well, with fifties from Stuart Matsikenyeri (54) and captain Steve Tikolo (57) proving the difference between the sides as Rocks reached 238 before their own innings ended. Innocent Chinyoka took 4/53 for Eagles.
For most of their second innings, Eagles managed to be even worse than the first - it wasn't until the 7th-wicket pair of Nick Compton (136*) and Trevor Garwe (65) hit the crease that Eagles showed any sign of fight. They went on to add 188 for the 7th wicket, and when Garwe eventually fell Eagles declared on 292/7, setting Rocks a target of 257 to win - difficult with the time that was left to them at that point, but doable. While Stuart Matsikenyeri again led the fight, though, adding 80, three ducks from the top 5 batsmen put paid to Rocks' chances of a successful chase and the match was called off as a draw once the minimum number of overs had been bowled.
That leaves Southern Rocks as the only team to take a point (and just one at that) from this week's round of matches, although that still leaves them propping up the table a point behind Eagles, who are similarly without a win. Full scorecard below the cut.
Eagles 202 (73.3 overs; Mutizwa 48, Chinyengetere 3/15) & 292/7d (84.3 overs; Compton 136*, Chinouya 3/42), Rocks 238 (90.1 overs; Tikolo 57, Chinyoka 4/53) & 137/4 (44 overs; Matsikenyeri 80*, Masvaure 2/17). Match drawn.
The Castle Logan Cup match between Matabeleland Tuskers and Mountaineers ended in a draw after heavy rains caused the abandonment of play after the lunch break on the third day at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo. Out of four days, only one and half days of play took place after the first day was washed out completely by the heavy rains.
The match only started on the second day when Tuskers skipper Gavin Ewing won the toss and opted to bat first. Opener Paul Horton top scored for Tuskers with 125 runs from 273 deliveries as Tuskers were bowled out for 264 all out in 109.1 overs. Mountaineers were on 99 for the loss of four wickets in 23.4 overs going into the lunch interval on day three and heavy rains started to fall just before the players were due to take back to the field and the match never resumed, the visitors still training by 165 runs in the first innings.
Tuskers had resumed from their overnight score of 255 runs for the loss of seven wickets with Bradley Staddon and Tawanda Mupariwa the two batsmen in the middle. Only nine runs were added to their overnight score before pace bowler Greg Smith ran through the remaining three batsmen, dismissing Mupariwa and Staddon in quick succession before bringing the Tuskers innings to an end when Njabulo Ncube tried to clear the third man boundary with the ball going up in the air and caught by Timycen Maruma. Smith took four wickets for 29 runs in 18.1 overs, eight of the overs being maidens, leg spinner Maruma three wickets for 17 runs in nine overs with two maidens.
Mountaineers lost four wickets before lunch. Bernard Mlambo, Tinotenda Mawoyo, Jonathan Beukes and Greg Smith were the batsmen to lose their wickets. With the weather intervening again, though, that was the end of the match. With the first innings not reaching completiong, no tournament points were awarded to either side. Full scorecard below the cut.
Tuskers 264 (109.1 overs; Horton 121, Smith 4/29), Mountaineers 99/4 (23.4 overs; Mawoyo 40, Mupariwa 1/46). Match drawn.
[Match report via ZC]
Midwest Rhinos claimed their first Logan Cup win of the season with an 87-run win over Tuskers in Bulawayo. Rhinos, led by Riki Wessels' first-innings 105, put on 348 for their first innings before bowling Tuskers out for 256 to claim the first-innings point and a 94-run lead at the half-way point. Terry Duffin fell just short of a ton himself, scoring 97 for Tuskers before falling to the bowling of Malcolm Waller.
Rhinos second innings was much like the first, with Wessels claiming his second ton of the match with an unbeaten 101 before Rhinos declared on 238/9, setting Tuskers a target of 331 to win the match. While Horton (95) and Trenchard (50) made a fight of it, though, Waller cut through the rest of the Tuskers lineup, claiming 5/58 in the second innings as Tuskers were bowled out for 243, leaving them well short of their target.
The win wasn't enough to allow Rhinos to overtake Tuskers in the tourney table, though, as Tuskers remain in second with Rhinos in third. Full scorecard below the cut.
Rhinos 348 (89 overs; Wessels 105, Ncube 3/71) & 238/9d (71.1 overs; Wessels 101*, Ncube 4/69), Tuskers 256 (88.4 overs; Duffin 97, Muzarabani 4/54) & 243 (74.5 overs; Horton 95, Waller 5/48). Midwest Rhinos win by 87 runs.