Matabeleland Tuskers deprived Mashonaland Eagles of their unbeated record in the latest round of Logan Cup matches, although any joy at the win should be tempered by it being over a clearly second-string Eagles side, as coach Chris Silverwood opted to rest his top players with his side already assured of top place in the tournament table and a place in the final. Put into bat after Eagles won the toss, Tuskers set a first-innings total of 425 before declaring with 2 wickets in hand, with Keith Dabengwa leading from the front with 136, and Bornaparte Mujuru (71) and Dion Ebrahim (74) also making significant contributions. Innocent Chinyoka (4/83) was the most effective of an Eagles attack that saw 9 different bowlers have a go.
The Eagles batting was even less effective than the bowling, too. In their first innings, they were bowled out for 264, falling short of the follow-on target and being forced to bat again as a result. Prince Masvaure led the first-innings scoring with 94, while Ryan Butterworth's 102 in the second added at least some respectability to the score as Eagles were bowled out again, this time for an even 300. Chris Mpofu claimed a 5-wicket haul in the second innings to top the bowling figures for Tuskers.
Eagles' capitulation left Tuskers with a fairly easy 140 to chase to win, which they managed for the loss of three wickets. Mujuru again played a key role with the bat, scoring 61 not-out as Tuskers eased home. That ends the 'regular season' for Eagles, who have a bye for the final round of matches but can rest assured that they can't be caught by the sides behind them, while Tuskers go on to play Rocks in a dead rubber that shouldn't affect their final standings. Full scorecard below the cut.
Tuskers 425/8 decl (105.2 overs; Dabengwa 136, Chinyoka 4/83) & 142/3 (32.4 overs; Mujuru 61*, Munyede 1/14), Eagles 264 (96.4 overs; Masvaure 94, Nyumbu 3/77) & 300 (following on; 102.3 overs; Butterworth 102, Mpofu 5/75). Tuskers win by 7 wickets.
A draw against Matabeleland Tuskers in Bulawayo saw Mountaineers lose some ground on Eagles in the tournament table. Batting first, Gregory Strydom (54) and Thabo Mboyi (50*) helped Tuskers to 236 in their first innings, after which Tatenda Taibu's 95 led Mountaineers' reply, as the side posted 265 to claim a small first-innings lead. Tawanda Mupariwa took a career-best 6/52. Dion Ebrahim (114) led Tusker's reply, with enough coming from the other players for the side to reach 303/8 before declaring - although the declaration came with the knowledge that Mountaineers had little chance of reaching their target (275) in the time remaining. Sure enough, the clock ran out with the visitors on 104/4, led by Hamilton Masakadza's unbeaten 57. Full scorecard below the cut.
Tuskers 236 (77.5 overs; Strydom 54, Maruma 3/31) & 303/8 decl (88.4 overs; Ebrahim 114, Utseya 4/70), Mountaineers 265 (92.3 overs; Taibu 95, Mpofu 3/67) & 104/4 (31 overs; H Masakadza 57*, Meth 3/26). Match drawn.
Another poor outing by Southern Rocks saw Mashonaland Eagles claim an innings victory, ensuring that their lead at the top of the Logan Cup table is now essentially unassailable - the side enjoys a 25-point lead over second-placed Mountaineers with both sides having only one match remaining. Rocks batted first after Eagles won the toss and opted to field, but managed only 188 - Hilary Matanga led with 38, while Elton Chigumbura took 4/49. Eagles then got their chance, and posted a modest 275/9 in reply before declaring, with Chigumbura scoring 78. Tanyaradzwa Munyaradzi took 4/58 for Rocks. Eagles total wasn't anything spectacular, even by the standards of the Logan Cup - but an abject collapse by Rocks in their second innings made sure that there was no need for Eagles to bat again. Rocks added just 68 - Chamu Chibhabha (21) was the best of the bunch and one of only three players to reach double figures. Ray Price led the carnage for Eagles, taking 4/21, as Rocks continued bumping along at the bottom of the table. Full scorecard below the cut.
Rocks 188 (72.1 overs; Matanga 38, Chigumbura 4/49) & 68 (56 overs; Chibhabha 21, Price 4/21), Eagles 275/9 decl (73.4 overs; Chigumbura 78, Munyaradzi 4/58). Eagles win by an innings and 19 runs.
I have to stop with the punning. But not today. Mountaineers proved their class by beating the hapless Rocks by an innings and 114 runs, with the match almost being the Masakadza family show, as Hamilton and Shingi both made key contributions to the win - Hamilton with a first-innings 183, and Shingi with a ton of his own and seven wickets in the match. Rocks, put into bat, put on 263 in their first innings, led by Craig Ervine's 55, while Timycen Maruma's 5/107 also impressed, but in reply Mountaineers racked up 562 before declaring with 9 wickets lost. That left Rocks needing 299 just to make Mountaineers bat again, and they barely got halfway there - barring a fighting 79 from Alester Maregwede, Rocks' batting imploded under sustained fire from the younger Masakadza and Prosper Utseya, and the side were bowled out for 185. Full scorecard below the cut.
Rocks 263 (95.1 overs; Ervine 55, Maruma 5/107) & 185 (62.4 overs; Maregwede 79, Utseya 5/28), Mountaineers 562/9 decl (131.5 overs; H Masakadza 183, Kamungozi 4/124). Mountaineers win by an innings and 114 runs.
Eagles' draw with Rhinos was enough for them to secure their position at the top of the Logan Cup table, and saw Rhinos fall further off the pace in the race for a place in the final with only two matches to play. With Eagles batting first after Rhinos chose to field, Greg Lamb led the way with 171, with support from Elton Chigumbura (53) and Regis Chakabva (70) as the side posted 376, with Ed Rainsford and Graeme Cremer claiming 4 wickets apiece. With Rhinos' best score in reply being Rikki Wessels' 66, though, the home side were left with a 90-run deficit after declaring on 286/9.
Come their second innings, though, Eagles looked far more vulnerable as Cremer ripped through the side, taking a career-best 8/92. It was only the tail-end efforts of Trevor Garwe (53*) that saved Eagles' blushes - and left Rhinos short of time to mount their comeback. Needing 295 from their second innings to win, they were able to reach only 168/5 before the close on the final day, with Mluleki Nkala (57) and Friday Kasteni (44) posting a 109-run opening partnership while Ray Price took 2/35 for Eagles. Full scorecard below the cut.
Eagles 376 (101.4 overs; Lamb 171, Rainsford 4/57) & 204 (78.4 overs; Garwe 53*, Cremer 8/92), Rhinos 286/9 decl (84.4 overs; Wessels 66, Chigumbura 4/66) & 168/5 (66 overs; Nkala 57, Rice 2/35). Match drawn.
Tuskers got off to a flier in their match against Rhinos, thanks to an impressive 158 by Keith Dabengwa, but failed to make the most of their early advantage, eventually falling to a convincing 8-wicket loss against Rhinos. Batting first after winning the toss, Tuskers suffered an early blow when #2 batsman Gavin Ewing was forced to retire hurt early in the match (he was able to return later), but with Dabengwa on form the side were looking good on 293/5 when he finally struck out, bowled by Ed Rainsford (2/43). Keegan Meth's 66 towards the end of the innings also helped propel the side to 337, when Tuskers declared, clearly feeling they had enough on the board to mount a good challenge. Rhinos were quick to dispel any such notion, though - while the home side suffered a lower-order collapse, the last six wickets falling for 73 runs, the good work had already been done by the top, with Vusi Sibanda (131) continuing his amazing series with another ton, and Brendan Taylor (104) also passing the century mark - the pair added 160 for the 4th wicket, and that was enough to give Rhinos the upper hand.
They didn't waste the opportunity, either, going on to bowl out Tuskers for 240 in their second innings and leaving themselves a target of 170 to win when their turn to bat came around again. Once again it was Sibanda that led the charge, adding an unbeaten 77, with Mluleki Nkala contributing 54 as Rhinos reached their target for the loss of just 2 wickets. Full scorecard below the cut.
Tuskers 337/8 decl (101.4 overs; Dabengwa 158, Cremer 4/133) & 240 (88.5 overs; Ebrahim 77, Muzarabani 3/29), Rhinos 408 (129.2 overs; Sibanda 131, Taylor 104, Meth 5/26) & 172/2 (32 overs; Nkala 54, Nyumbu 1/23). Rhinos win by 8 wickets.
Eagles managed to hold off Mountaineers to secure a draw in their latest Logan Cup meeting - Mountaineers were only denied victory by lack of time, and would be right to feel disappointed. Mountaineers won the toss on day one and opted to field, seeing Eagles put on 266 in their first innings. Elton Chigumbura led the scoring with 77, with Greg Lamb next on 44, but the rest of the innings was a story of starts but no-one pushing on. Njabula Ncube took 3/48 for Mountaineers to help keep Eagles in check. In reply, though, Mountaineers were unable to capitalise on their early advantage, only managing to score 241 themselves and handing Eagles a 25-run lead. Tatenda Taibu's 60 was the best of the bunch, while Douglas Hondo (3/35) and Trevor Garwe (3/36) kept the match under control for Eagles.
Come the second innings, the loss of Eagles' opener Alois Tichana on the second ball wouldn't have been the most inspiring of starts, but 101 by #2 Prince Masvaure, many as part of a 93-run partnership with Forster Mutizwa (50), helped Eagles to 264 and cushioned the side against the almost-inevitable lower-order collapse. Propser Utseya's 3/86 led the bowling for Mountaineers. With time running out, Mountaineers were left a target of 290, and if more time had been left to them would have been in with a good shot at chasing it - at close of play, they were 190/4, with Tino Mawoyo (75) and Tatenda Taibu (63) both having had good knocks. It wasn't enough to change the result, though, and a draw it was, with both sides leaving the match with 12 points. Full scorecard below the cut.
Eagles 266 (90.5 overs; Chigumbura 77, Ncube 3/48) & 264 (92.5 overs; Masvaure 101, Utseya 3/86), Mountaineers 241 (95.1 overs; Taibu 60, Hondo 3/35) & 190/4 (64.4 overs; Mawoyo 75, Garwe 1/23). Match drawn.
ZC have issued a revised schedule for the remainder of the domestic season, which affects all three domestic competitions. For full details, check our Domestic Fixtures page, but the main changes are:
Faithwear MetBank One-Day Series
The semi-finals, which were due to be played tomorrow, have been moved to 7th April. The final will close out the domestic season on 10th April.
Most fixtures have been moved forward by one week, so the next round will begin tomorrow (13th January). The final weeks' fixtures, and the final, have been moved to late March.
The competition has been brought forward, with matches to be played between 12-20 February. The full schedule for this competition has not yet been issued.
Nothing like leaving things a bit late...
After losing a full day to rain, Mountaineers and Rhinos played out yet another draw in Kwekwe, with Mountaineers securing their lead over Rhinos in the Logan Cup table by claiming more of the bonus points on offer. Put into bat after Mountaineers won the toss, Rhinos posted 202 for their first innings, a disappointing total by their standards as for once the side failed to have anyone blaze a trail for them - Graeme Cremer's 46 was the best of the bunch, closely followed by Brendan Taylor (41), but after that it was a case of failed starts - and a blinder of a innings by Shingirai Masakadza, who took 6/54 for Mountaineers.
In reply, Mountaineers suffered many of the same problems as Rhinos had before them, but where Rhino's best two got out in the 40's, Mountaineers' best two pushed on to impressive totals. Hamilton Masakadza added 155, while Tatenda Taibu reminded us that he still does have class by adding 95 - together, the pair added 235 for the 3rd wicket, the partnership the made the difference between the batting of the two sides. Ed Rainsford took 5/83 for Rhinos, with Taurai Muzarabani and Graeme Cremer claiming a pair each. Mountaineers finally declared on 362/9, but by then the match was already into the final day and a result was very unlikely. Rhinos reached 94/1 in their second innings before the close of play, rounding out another tame draw. Full scorecard below the cut.
Rhinos 202 (66.5 overs; Cremer 45, S Masakadza 6/54) & 94/1 (36 overs; Chikunya 39*, Matsikenyeri 1/20), Mountaineers 362/9 decl (117.5 overs; H Masakadza 155, Rainsford 5/83). Match Drawn.
In the run-up to this match, the Tuskers back-room team were bullishly telling people that they would find form after their Christmas break - and sure enough, that seems to have happened, as they pulled off an innings victory over the hapless Southern Rocks in Bulawayo. Tuskers won the toss on day one and put Rock into bat, a decision that paid early dividends - Rocks quickly fell to 23/3 as Tendai Machiri, Erick Chauluka and Robertson Chinyengetere departed without making much impact, with regular wickets falling thereafter. Opening batsman Alester Maregwede formed what backbone the innings had, putting on 42, with the only useful support coming from captain Steve Tikolo (33). Rocks went on to be bowled out for 149, with Keegan Meth (3/14) and Chris Mpofu (3/31) doing most of the damage.
If Rocks were hapless in their innings, Tuskers were imperious in theirs - of the six batsmen to have a knock in their innings, only one failed to pass 50 (opener Keith Dabengwa on 20) as the side raced to a huge 456/5 before declaring. Charles Coventry's unbeaten ton was the best of the bunch, but Greg Strydom (87), Dion Ebrahim (82), Gavin Ewing (71) and Sean Williams (71) all played their part. Steve Tikolo was again one of the few Rocks players to make any sort of impact, leading Rocks' bowling figures with 3/105. That wasn't going to be enough to save the side, though, as Rocks were left facing a 307-run mountain just to make Tuskers bat again.
They couldn't climb that mountain, either - although Rocks' second innings was at least better than the first. The story was much the same as the first, with two knocks of note (Tendai Machiri's 79 and Steve Tikolo's 61) saving blushes while the rest of the side failed to compete. With Erick Chauluka absent hurt they were also one man down for the innings, which drew to a close with the side still 87 short of getting Tuskers back to bat, thanks largely to John Nyumbu's 4/29. Not a good day for the Rocks, then, but the gloom is lifting in the Tuskers camp. Full scorecard below the cut.
Rocks 149 (56.5 overs; Maregwede 42, Meth 3/14) & 220 (75.2 overs; Machiri 79, Nyumbu 4/29), Tuskers 456/5 decl (93.4 overs; Coventry 100*, Tikolo 3/105). Tuskers win by an innings and 87 wickets.