Matabeleland Tuskers

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Williams Returns from Injury

The Chronicle reports that Sean Williams will be available for Matabeleland Tuskers' Logan Cup match against Mountaineers, set to begin on Wednesday (2nd December). Williams has been laid up for quite some time now with a hamstring injury. The paper also reports that Terrence Duffin, Mark Vermeulen and Keith Dabengwa are all unlikely to play in the match, although Vermeulen and Dabengwa are named in the full squad that will travel to Mutare.
The Chronicle - Sean Williams back for Tuskers

Rhinos Edge Past Tuskers

Tuskers' turnaround ground to a halt on Saturday as Rhinos snuck a 1-wicket win in their Faithwear Metbank pairing in Bulawayo. Rhinos won the toss and opted the field, giving Tuskers the chance to set the pace for the match, and the early signs were good that they'd manage to put on a decent total. Bornaparte Mujuru led the scoring with 51, while Charles Coventry added 41, but the lower order went all to pieces - none of the bottom five reached double figures - allowing Rhinos to restrict them to 193 all-out. Malcolm Waller took 3/35, while Ed Rainsford chipped in with 2/47.

Rhinos got luck in their chase, though - only one person managed a decent innings (Vusi Sibanda's 82, one again pressing his case for a return to the national side), with the best of the rest being Graeme Cremer's 16. Patience allowed Rhinos to sneak their way home in the 48th over, though, with just one wicket to spare. For Tuskers, Chris Mpofu, Keegan Meth, John Nyumbu and Keith Dabengwa each took two wickets apiece. The win sees Rhinos close the gap between them and top-of-table Mountaineers from 10 points to 8. Full scorecard below the cut.
Tuskers 193 (42.1 overs; Mujuru 51, Waller 3/35), Rhinos 194/9 (47.3 overs; Sibanda 82, Dabengwa 2/18). Rhinos win by 1 wicket.

Tuskers, Rhinos Draw in Rain-Affected Match

The Logan Cup headed into its second set of match-ups this week after a few weeks off, with the first match being the pairing of Tuskers and Rhinos in Bulawayo. After winning the toss, Tuskers got off to a flyer in their first innings, totalling 418. Charles Coventry led the charge with 100, while Gavin Ewing (62), Greg Strydom (55) and Keegan Meth (67) also made significant contributions. For Rhinos, Graeme Cremer did most of the damage with an impressive 7-wicket haul. Tuskers continued their good work when Rhinos came to bat, though, restricting the Kwekwe side to just 207, with Vusi Sibanda's 111 the only score of note. Chris Mpofu led the Tuskers bowling with 5/52.

That left Rhinos following-on, and between tons from Brendan Taylor (168) and new signing Riki Wessels (114) and interruptions due to rain, the side petered out to a draw, with Rhinos closing the final day on 419/7. Mpofu again was the best of the Tuskers attack, taking 3/56. Full scorecard below the cut.
Tuskers 418 (119.2 overs; Coventry 100, Cremer 7/124), Rhinos 207 (61.4 overs; Sibanda 111, Mpofu 5/52) & 419/7 (following on; 109 overs; Taylor 168, Mpofu 3/56). Match drawn.

Tuskers Give Support to Schools Cricket

Today's Chronicle has a short piece on the role Matabeleland Tuskers are playing to re-introduce cricket to school in their area, for both boys and girls, as part of ongoing efforts to expand the sport's reach. The full article is reproduced below the cut for those interested.
The Chronicle - Schools cricket to resume

Tuskers Gore Rocks

Tuskers, fresh from their Logan Cup win against the Rocks earlier in the week, would have been looking to continue their good run in this match, and on early form seemed likely to pick up another win. After winning the toss and opting to bad, the Bulawayo side posted an impressive 299/7 - Bornaparte Mujuru led the charge with a rapid 89 off 81 balls, supported by Terence Duffin (68) and Dion Ebrahim (61). Tafadzwa Kamungozi was the best of the bunch with the ball for Rocks, taking 2/59, but come the half-way point it looked as though Rocks had a small mountain to climb.

While they made a spirited attempt, though, it was a mountain they couldn't quite scale. Openers Erick Chauluka (44) and Steven Marillier (21) got the side off to a reasonable start, but from there wickets began to fall regularly, despite some decent individual knocks - Steve Tikolo top-scored with 54, Tendai Chitongo added 36 and Thomas Odoyo chipped in with 32 - but the total was just too much and Rocks were bowled out 39 runs short of their target - although by that stage the run-rate was probably beyond them anyway. Surprise performance of the tournament so far, though, goes to Tuskers' Dion Ebrahim, who took 5/45 with the ball - a remarkable performance given that he doesn't even bowl regularly. That brings his career List A bowling figures to 8 wickets in 126 matches.

Flight mode! Blessing Mawhire bowls to Terence Duffin
Flight mode! Blessing Mawhire bowls to Terence Duffin

Bornaparte Mujuru in action
Bornaparte Mujuru in action

That gives Tuskers some points, but still leaves them bottom of the table on net run rate at the halfway point of the competition - not where they'll want to be. Full scorecard below the cut.
Tuskers 299/7 (50 overs; Mujuru 89, Kamungozi 2/59), Rocks 261 (46.5 overs; Tikolo 54, Ebrahim 5/45). Tuskers win by 38 runs.
[Images used in this post ©ZC]

Tuskers Finally Off the Mark with Huge Win Over Rocks

Tuskers beat Masvingo-based Southern Rocks by an huge margin of an innings and 241 runs in the Logan Cup over the weekend. Southerns failed to show a winning attitude from the first ball with, Blessing Mahwire and Thomas Odoyo giving unnecessary runs to the visiting Tuskers. Tendai Chisoro tried to repair the damage caused by his seniors as he topped the bowlers list with figures of 3/79, while Tafadzwa Kamungozi and Hillary Matanga bagged two wickets each while Odoyo got one wicket. Tuskers, who had won the toss, batted exceptionally well with Terence Duffin scoring a career best 144, while Dion Ebrahim (89), Gavin Ewing (68), Keith Dabengwa (56) Keegan Meth (44) all chipped in on the way to a healthy total of 554/9, at which point Tuskers skipper Gregory Strydom decided to declare.

Rocks went in to bat but put in a woeful performance - in their first innings they managed just 141 runs all out, with notable performances from tail-end batsmen Odoyo (39) and Hilary Matanga (24) saving the side from even greater disaster. Steve Marrillier (20) was the only other Rocks player to reach double figures. Paceman Tawanda Mupariwa was the pick of the Tusker's bowlers, taking 4/27 runs, with John Nyumbu taking 2/28. With Rocks still 413 runs behind, the follow-on was enforced, but while Rocks were slightly better the second time around, it was still nowhere near good enough to salvage a draw. Blessing Mahwire made an impressive 61 runs while Eric Chauluka and Chisoro made 22 runs each, but Tuskers bowled Rocks out for 199, Nyumbu again leading the bowling figures with 4/42.

Tuskers' Tawanda Mupariwa
Tuskers' Tawanda Mupariwa

Coming out of losing three matches in a row, Tuskers coach Robin Brown was a happy man, and was keen to see his charges repeat their win in tomorrow's Faithwear meeting between the two sides. He is not likely to change his squad for that encounter. Full scorecard for this match is below the cut.
Tuskers 554/9 decl (157 overs; Duffin 144, Chisoro 3/79), Rocks 141 (67 overs; Odoyo 35, Mupariwa 4/37) & 199 (following on, 126.1 overs; Mawhire 61, Nyumbu 4/42). Matabeleland Tuskers win by an innings and 214 runs.
Image &copy ZC

Tuskers Downed Again

Monday saw Matabeleland Tuskers face Mashonaland Eagles on home turf in the Faithwear One-Day Series. Tuskers are the real under-performers of the domestic season so far, but once again they failed to get off to a good start, managing to score just 228 all out in their 50 overs. A high-powered Eagles chased successfully chased their target to win by 4 wickets, their first one-day success.

Terrence Duffin, whose performance has been below expectations of late and who was replaced as Tuskers captain by Greg Strydom for this match, redeemed some sense of pride as he made 53 off 65 balls before being stumped by wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva. Dion Ebrahim made 59 runs off 87 balls and Keegan Meth scrapped a valuable 51 runs only to be bowled by an in form Admire Manyumwa. Strydom made 19 off 27 balls while Keith Dabengwa, Matthew Williams, Tawanda Mupariwa contributed ten runs between them to leave the score on 218/9. The ever energetic John Nyumbu, partnered by the Zimbabwe U19 paceman Steven Chimhamiyo, brought the hosts to their 228 grand total. Nyumbu attempted to hit Mark Mbofana for six only to be caught by Chris Silverwood.

Mark Mbofana bagged 4/20 runs in seven overs making him the cream of the Eagles bowling attack. Manyumwa impressed the small crowd that had gathered at Queens Sports Club to watch the Monday when he took 3/40, runs while Mutombodzi and skipper Greg Lamb managed to grab a wicket each. Mashonaland set a very attacking field to restrict the hosts, although skipper Greg Lamb dropped a sitter off an attempted off-drive from Duffin.

Eagles went to bat after lunch break with Alois Tichana (10) and Tafadzwa Mufambisi (38) and were determined to win, displaying some great one-day cricket shots. Tichana was caught by Ebrahim to give Dabengwa his first wicket of the match, Mufambisi fell victim to former captain Mupariwa, while Nyumbu claimed Ryan Butterworth for 14 runs. Eagles' skipper lead from the front as he made 67 runs after facing 63 balls, making a seventh wicket partnership with Manyumwa of 39 to bring the visitors to their win.

Spin bowler John Nyumbu bowling to Eagles at Queens Sports Club
Spin bowler John Nyumbu bowling to Eagles at Queens Sports Club

Mupariwa and Dabengwa were once again the pick of the bowlers, recording figures of 2/37 in ten overs and 2/42 respectively. Nyumbu, (Zimbabwe A`s newly found spinner) and Matthew Williams managed to grab one wicket each. That leaves Tuskers languishing pointless at the bottom of the table, and with an uphill climb ahead of them to restore lost pride. Full scorecard below the cut. Tuskers 228 (50 overs; Ebrahim 59, Mbofana 4/20), Eagles 230/6 (48.2 overs; Lamb 67*, Dabengwa 2/42). Eagles win by 4 wickets

Eagles Heap More Misery on Tuskers

Matabeleland Tuskers hosted Mashonaland Eagles this week in the fourth round of the Logan Cup, and saw their winless streak in the tournament extended to 3 matches as Eagles eased their way to a 6-wicket win. The writing was on the wall from the first day, when Tuskers were bowled out for 237 after having won the toss and elected to bat. Their innings got off to a decent enough start, with Bornaparte Mujuru (71) and Dion Ebrahim (87) putting on 154 for the 2nd wicket and forming a good foundation, but the support they needed from further down the order never came. Admire Manyumwa was on sparkling form for Eagles, too, taking 5/41 in just over 18 overs to help heap indignity on the home side.

Come Eagles' turn to bat, their batsmen were soon getting in on the act. Some early breakthroughs would have gotten Tuskers' hopes up - Eagles were on 4/42 at on point - but three men were to turn the match, as Ryan Butterworth (109), Greg Lamb (94) and Regis Chakabva (111) combined to leave Tuskers with a huge mountain to climb in the second innings. Eagles were finally bowled out for 419, a lead of 182 that Tuskers only barely managed to claw back when they came to bat again. This time around Mujuru (74) again led the charge, but with only Matt Williams (49*) at 9th contributing a significant score is was another tale of woe for Tuskers. Star of the recent U19 series, Tinotenda Mutombodzi, took 4/71 on the way to bowling Tuskers out for 227, leaving Eagles chasing a meagre target of 46 to win the match.

They made something of a meal of it, mind you, losing 4 wickets along the way, but Butterworth (17*) and Mark Mbofana soon finished off the chase. That puts Eagles on top of the tournament table, although Moutaineers have a game in hand on them, and leaves Tuskers wondering what else could possibly go wrong. Full scorecard below the cut.
Tuskers 237 (85.2 overs; Ebrahim 87, Manyumwa 5/41) & 227 (85.2 overs; Mujuru 72, Mutombodzi 4/71), Eagles 419 (135.3 overs; Chakabva 111, Mupariwa 4/72) & 46/4 (17.4 overs; Butterworth 17*, Mupariwa 2/6). Mashonaland Eagles win by 6 wickets

Tuskers Remain Winless as Mountaineers Ease to Victory

Tuskers' woeful start to the season continued on Monday, while Mountaineers in turn maintained their 100% record in the Faithwear series with a thumping 8-wicket win in Bulawayo. Mountaineers won the toss and opted to field, and immediately had Tuskers on the back foot when Mark Vermeulen, who has been having a poor run of form so far this season, went for just one run, closely followed by Charles Coventry just four balls later. Sean Williams (58) was able to steady the innings, though, in tandem with Dion Ebrahim (15) and then Tafadzwa Ngulube (25), while Gavin Ewing's 48 not-out proved a useful lower-order contribution. Njabulo Ncube took 2/27 for Mountaineers, while Prosper Utseya was back to his parsimonious best, conceding just 29 runs from his 10 overs and helping restrict Tuskers to 217/7 from their allotted 50 overs.

Not a bad score, by most measures, but woefully inadequate on the day as Mountaineers treated Tuskers' bowlers as though it were a Twenty20 match. Only four batsmen were needed to chase the target, with Tino Mawoyo (50), Hamilton Masakdaza (51*) and current form man of the season Timycen Maruma (104*) more than countering Tatenda Taibu's disappointing knock of just 5. Mountaineers reached their target with a whopping 17 overs to spare, and in doing so confirmed their status as tournament favourites. Chris Mpofu (2/33) took both wickets for Tuskers, whose misery continues.

Full scorecard below the cut.
Tuskers 217/7 (50 overs; Williams 58, Ncube 2/27), Mountaineers 218/2 (33 overs; Maruma 104*, Mpofu 2/33). Mountaineers win by 8 wickets.

Tuskers Trampled by Mountaineers

Ask any Zimbabwe fan before the season started which sides would have been in the running for a title, and Tuskers would have been one of the sides mentioned - they've got, on paper, one of the best sides in the new franchise setup, but so far they've spectacularly failed to find any winning form, and against Mountaineers this week imploded to another embarrassing loss. And they'd started so well, too - after winning the toss and opting to field, they had visitors Mountaineers on the ropes at 7/99 at one point, as Mountaineers struggled to find any form with the bat. Seven of their batsmen departed for single-figure scores - a real worry for a side that relies heavily on its batting talent - and only 70 from Stuart Matsikenyeri and a lower-order 56 from Shingi Masakadza spared their blushes as they were bowled out for 203.

From there, Tuskers should have pressed their advantage, but instead they managed to turn in an even worse performance with the bat. Openers Dion Ebrahim (41) and Terry Duffin (17) got the side off to a good start with an opening partnership of 48, but from there it all began to go wrong as wickets began to fall at regular intervals. A 6th-wicket partnership of 76 between Gregory Strydom and Tafadzwa Ngulube stopped the rot for a while, but it wasn't enough as Tuskers ended on just 191, with their advantage wasted.

In the second innings, Mountaineers made sure not to repeat their mistakes, and led by Hamilton Masakadza (172*) and Timycen Maruma (76) - the pair put on 154 for the 5th wicket - they worked their way to 393/6 before declaring their innings over and leaving Tuskers to chase a target of 406. As with Rocks in the other match of the round, though, they never got close. Collapsing to 58/7 left the writing very much on the wall, and while Sean Williams at 10th led a lower-order fightback with a composed 76, the end came quickly as Tuskers were bowled out for 201.

A 204-run win for the Mountaineers, then, and top place in the tournament table for the time being (Rhinos were on a bye this week, and on current form I'd expect them to regain top place once they've played their game in hand). For Tuskers, yet another disappointment - they've got the players, but you have to wonder what they need to do to get match-winning performances out of them. Full scorecard below the cut.
Mountaineers 203 (68.1 overs; Matsikenyeri 70, Mpofu 4/39) & 393/6 decl (106 overs; H Masakadza 172*, Mpofu 2/86), Tuskers 191 (77.4 overs; Ebrahim 41, Maruma 3/18) & 201 (79 overs; Williams 76, Maruma 5/67). Mountaineers win by 204 runs

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