Midwest Rhinos secured their place in the Pro50 final (to face Eagles) with a 3-wicket win over Tuskers on Saturday. See the Cricinfo match report. Full scorecard below the cut.
Tuskers 81 (21.1 overs; Dabengwa 24, Chinouya 5/35), Rhinos 82/7 (24.5 overs; Ballance 22, Ncube 5/35). Midwest Rhinos win by 3 wickets.
A dismal innings by Eagles made life easier for Tuskers in this match than it should have been - although Tuskers had their own batting woes to deal with. See the Cricinfo match report. Full scorecard below the cut.
Eagles 144 (46.2 overs; Garwe 40, Ewing 3/8), Tuskers 145/5 (37.3 overs; Chari 47*, Chinyoka 2/42). Matabeleland Tuskers win by 5 wickets.
Rhinos deflated Tuskers championship win a little with a convincing win in the final round of Logan Cup matched last week. Being a wee bit behind on my updates, I'm going to cheat a little and point you to the Cricinfo match report. Full scorecard below the cut.
Rhinos 116 (53.4 overs; Ballance 39, Staddon 4/18) & 296 (104.4 overs; Ballance 62, Ncube 3/62), Tuskers 115 (43.2 overs; Trenchard 41, Muzhange 5/30) & 143 (53.3 overs; Horton 38, Mugava 6/41). Midwest Rhinos win by 154 runs.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.