Matabeleland Tuskers

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Tuskers Sneak Home on Final Day

This week's Logan Cup pairing between Southern Rocks and Matabeleland Tuskers had looked almost certain to be a draw, but the home side were given the chance of a rapid-fire run-chase on the final afternoon and seized it with both hands the secure a 6-wicket victory in Bulawayo.

Rocks had set a decent total of 341 in their first innings, thanks largely to another impressive knock by Sikandar Raza, who put on 146 before being bowled by Keith Dabengwa. There was minimal support from most of his Rocks colleagues, though, as Keegan Meth ran through them with few problems, taking 6/87. Anything Rocks could do, though, Tuskers decided to do better, with a one-man show of their own - Terry Duffin opening for Tuskers managed a hugely impressive 193, and with Gavin Ewing adding 81 in the middle order Tuskers were well set on their way. A tail-end collapse saw them bowled out for 391 - low, given the start Duffin had secured them, but a first-innings lead of 50 nonetheless.

Come their second knock, Rocks were less impressive - Sikandar Raza again led the scoring, but this time only managed 60 not-out as his side were bowled out for 225, leaving Tuskers chasing 176 to win but with time rapidly running out. A few early wickets gave Rocks hope of holding out the day, but a strong closing partnership between Adam Wheater (58*) and Steven Trenchard (49*) - who was only there as a mid-game replacement for Keith Dabengwa after he was called away on national duty - saw Tuskers home to their first win of the competition - enough to move them into second place in the tourney table. Full scorecard below the cut.
Rocks 341 (107 overs; Sikandar Raza 146, Meth 6/87) & 225 (108 overs; Sikandar Raza 60*, Ncube 3/67), Tuskers 391 (106.3 overs; Duffin 193, Kulinga 5/114) & 176/4 (31.3 overs; Wheater 58*, Mahwire 2/65). Matabeleland Tuskers win by 4 wickets.

Tuskers Upset Mountaineers

In the second match of this week's MetBank One-Day games, Matabeleland Tuskers scored an upset win over Mountaineers in a low-scoring encounter in Bulawayo. Mountaineers won the toss and elected to field, going on to make short work of most of Tuskers' line-up, with seven batsmen failing to reach double figures. Terry Duffin, batting 7th, finally found some form in time to give Tuskers some semblance of credibility, scoring an unbeaten 54, with the only notable support coming from Keith Dabengwa (39) and Charles Coventry (29). The side were bowled out for a low 185, though, with one ball remaining from their 40 overs. Tendai Chatara led Mountaineers' bowling with 3/34.

Given the strength of Mountaineers' batting lineup, then, that should have left them a she-in for an easy win, but led by Chris Mpofu's 3/28 Tuskers dismantled Mountaineers' lineup. Hamilton Masakadza but up the only resistance, scoring 71, but none of the other batsmen passed 13 as Mountaineers were bowled out for 168, giving Tuskers a 17-run win. On top of Mpofu's contribution, Tawanda Mupariwa, Keegan Meth and Keith Dabengwa all took a pair apiece to help secure the win.

That leaves Tuskers top of the table on run-rate over Rocks, with Mountaineers propping up the bottom. With only one round played it's hardly the time to make predictions for the season, but it's certainly off to a different start from last year. Full scorecard below the cut.
Tuskers 185 (39.5 overs; Duffin 54*, Chatara 3/34), Mountaineers 168 (37.3 overs; H Masakadza 71, Mpofu 3/28). Matabeleland Tuskers win by 17 runs.

Mountaineers Off to Winning Start Over Tuskers

Mountaineers signalled their intent to have another impressive season with a win over Tuskers in Bulawayo that left the home side looking to once again be the also-rans of the domestic setup. Tuskers, having won the toss and elected to bat, were saved from a dismal first innings by Charles Coventry, who claimed the first ton of the season with an impressive 116 - but that was almost half of Tuskers' total - Keegan Meth (31) and Sean Williams (30) were the next-best scorers in a disappointing total of 267, with Natsai Mushangwe claiming 4/68 for the visitors.

That said, Mountaineers' weren't much better first time around, managing only 256 and giving Tuskers the point for a first-innings lead. Opener Tino Mawoyo top-secret with 66, while Prosper Utseya's 55 and Hamiltn Masakadza's 40 were the best of the rest. Njabulo Ncube's 4/43 and Chris Mpofu's 3/66 helped keep Tuskers in the hunt.

Tuskers' second innings managed to be worse than the first, with one innings again propping up the side, this time Keegan Meth's 94. The home side were bowled out for 243, with Shingi Masakadza claiming 5/53. That left Mountaineers chasing 255 to win and, led by another comeback performance by Mark Vermeulen (105* - which would have been doubly sweet at the home ground of the franchise that just axed him), they secured the win with minimal problems. That leaves Mountaineers sitting happily on top of the tournament table, for now at least, and Tuskers wondering when they'll ever be able to find those winning ways. Full scorecard below the cut.
Tuskers 267 (102.2 overs; Coventry 116, Mushangwe 4/68) & 236 (72.5 overs; Meth 81, S Masakadza 5/53), Mountaineers 256 (90.3 overs; Mawoyo 66, Ncube 4/43) & 248/5 (70.4 overs; Vermeulen 105*, Ncube 2/33). Mountaineers win by 5 wickets.

Tuskers Head Into Boot Camp

With the domestic cricket season just over two weeks away, the Tuskers franchise cricket team have organized a three day team building camp scheduled for a farm near Turk Mine from the 24th to the 26th of this month. The camp will see the team engage in some team building and strategic planning activities ahead of a season that promises to be both exciting and competitive.

The Tuskers squad began their pre-season training in July under the watchful eye of the seasoned and widely travelled former Zimbabwe captain and now Tuskers assistant coach Heath Streak, and according to him the team has shown a lot of commitment and determination in preparing for the new season.

"The guys are raring to go. They have been working on their fitness and would have started really getting into it now. The camp would give us a chance to strategize on how we will approach the three formats of the game, namely 4 day game, one day game and T20. We will be travelling with a psychologist and the team fitness trainer who will help us out," said Streak

Team captain Gavin Ewing believes this season will be a better one as the players are in an excellent frame of mind and the team spirit is great.

"The guys are very excited about the camp. It will give us the chance to get to know each other in a different environment hence understand each other better. We have been working hard for each other and everyone wants to see the next player succeed. At the end of last season we showed the type of cricket we are capable of playing and we will be looking to pick up from there and win some trophies this season," said Ewing

Ewing also expressed appreciation for the support the executive team had given them during the pre season period and said with continued support and the hard work the team is putting in, they were confident of putting in a formidable challenge for the honors this season.

Meanwhile, the planning for the coming season has gathered momentum with the entire Tusker’s team holding a strategic meeting last month and an annual general meeting for the Tuskers franchise management committee scheduled for the 26th of August at Queens Sports Club.
[Source: ZC]

Streak Speaks on Test Return Preparations

The Chronicle has an interview with national bowling coach Heath Streak (who is now also Matabeleland Tuskers coach, along with David Houghton), which touches on the preparations for Zim's return to Test cricket. Streak acknowledges that, despite the national side's good results in the recent tri-series against India and Sri Lanka, work is still required on the bowling front:

They know they under-performed last season and they are working hard to improve on their shortcomings. Last season, they were inconsistent. There is a lot of work that needs to be done during the off-season so that we create a strong foundation and start the season well.

As for Tuskers, the side is reducing its pool of local contracted players from 20 to 13 for the coming season, while also hoping to add two English players to its roster:

"We have got a good squad made up of experienced players and youngsters who are determined to learn. We are also going to have top quality overseas players in our team who we hope the players will learn a lot from."

The domestic season will start on 6 September with Tuskers playing host to Mid West Rhinos at Queens Sport Club.
The Chronicle - Zim will be ready for Test cricket next year: Streak

Dead Rubber Ends in Draw

...which was probably predictable enough. With nothing left to play for but pride, Rocks and Tuskers settled on sharing what pride was on offer in their final Logan Cup match of the season. Rocks arguably got the better of the matchup, with a first-innings 431 that included centuries from Craig Ervine (108) and Richmond Mutumbami (100), and a cautious 82 from Erick Chauluka, an innings that gave them a 171-run over their Bulawayo rivals, who had been bowled out for 260 thanks to good work by Tendai Chitongo (4/53) and Blessing Mahwire (3/41). Tuskers did make something of a comeback in their second innings, though, with their 397 enough to make sure that Rocks were fighting more against the clock in their second knock than against Tuskers' bowlers. Greg Strydom made an impressive contribution, knocking 89 off just 55 balls (clearly trying to stake a late claim to a place in the WorldT20 squad). Rocks nearly threw it away, though - facing a target of 227 to win from 41 overs on the last day, they collapsed alarmingly, losing 8 wickets before the end of play (with in-form Keith Dabengwa taking 4/33) and just holding out to secure the draw. Full scorecard below the cut.
Tuskers 260 (72.4 overs; Dabengwa 63, Chitongo 4/53) & 397 (96.5 overs; Strydom 89, Odoyo 3/39),
Rocks 431 (141 overs; C Ervine 108, Dabengwa 3/89) & 136/8 (41 overs; Tikolo 42, Dabengwa 4/33). Match drawn.

Franchise 'B' League: Rhinos Draw with Tuskers

These matches took place a while back, so I'm not going to dig into the details, but the scorecards are only becoming available now. Posting what I have for the record - full scorecard below the cut.
Tuskers 407/8 decl (75 overs; Duffin 99, Mpofu 3/127) & 257 (52.3 overs; Chipare 119, Nyathi 4/30), Rhinos 206 (63.2 overs; Chikunya 45, Nyathi 45, Mankunzini 4/24) & 48/0 (10 overs; Chikunya 22*, Mahlunge 19*). Match drawn.

Franchise 'B' League: Tuskers beat Eagles by 168 runs

These matches took place a while back, so I'm not going to dig into the details, but the scorecards are only becoming available now. Posting what I have for the record - full scorecard below the cut.
Tuskers 158 (41.1. overs; Chari 40, Mbofana 3/13) & 292/5 decl (50.2 overs; Vermeulen 137, Mwenda 1/28), Eagles 62 (20.5 overe; Zinyama 22, Mamhiyo 5/34) & 220 (82.2 overs; Mwakayeni 57, Mankunzini 3/40). Tuskers 'B' win by 168 runs.

Franchise 'B' League: Mountaineers Draw with Tuskers

These matches took place a while back, so I'm not going to dig into the details, but the scorecards are only becoming available now. Posting what I have for the record - full scorecard below the cut.
Tuskers 183 (39.4 overs; Ngulube 40, Bukutu 4/45) & 206/5 decl (32 overs; Vermeulen 121, Sanyika 2/59), Mountaineers 106 (50.1 overs; Kasuza 40, Mamhiyo 4/22) & 21/2 (4.1 overs; Kasuza 7, Mamhiyo 1/8). Match Drawn.

Vipers Claim Third Place With Easy Win Over Tuskers

Essentially settling the tournament's only abandoned match, the 3rd-place playoff was a simple affair for the Desert Vipers, who claimed a 35-run victory over the Bulawayo side in the first of today's matches. Batting first after winning the toss, Vipers amassed a less-than-impressive 126/7 from their 20 overs. Raymond van Schoor (46) and Dwaine Pretorius (36) accounted for most of Vipers' total, with the rest of the side failing to manage significant contributions. Where they were poor, though, Tuskers were woeful, with 8 of their side failing to reach double figures and only Tawanda Mupariwa (31) at 9th putting up significant resistance as the side were bowled out for 91. A disappointing end to the tourney for Tuskers. Full scorecard below the cut.
Vipers 126/7 (20 overs; van Schoor 46, Mpofu 2/26), Tuskers 91 (18.3 overs; Mupariwa 31, Klazinga 2/13). Vipers win by 35 runs.

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