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[Pro50] Mountaineers Finish Bottom After Loss to Rocks

Southern Rocks may be an embarassment in the 4-day game, but their one-day season hasn't been quite so bad - their win over Mountaineers in the final round sees them finish a respectable 3rd in the table (let's hear it for mid-table mediocrity), while leaving the usually-mighty Mountaineers languishing in last place. See the Cricinfo match report. Full scorecard below the cut.
Mountaineers 134 (29.4 overs; Maruma 72, Matanga 2/13), Rocks 135/9 (38.1 overs; Chibhabha 39, Mushangwe 4/41). Southern Rocks win by 1 wicket.

[Pro50] Rhinos Claim Easy Win Over Mountaineers

A Mountaineers lower-order collapse ensured victory for Rhinos in their match against Mountaineers. 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 313/5 (50 overs; Ballance 120, Mujaji 2/51), Mountaineers 260 (44.2 overs; Pettini 71, Muzhange 4/55). Midwest Rhinos win by 53 runs.

[Logan Cup] Rocks Hold Out for Draw Against Mountaineers

Southern Rocks finally got a number in a column other than 'L', with a draw in their rain-affected match against Mountaineers - although it was purely the rain that prevented another thumping loss. For more, see the Cricinfo match report. Full scorecard below the cut.
Mountaineers 412/9d (155 overs; Maruma 143, Tiripano 102*, Matanga 3/52), Rocks 145 (51.5 overs; Chinyengetere 28*, Tiripano 3/13) & 114/6 (f/o; 62 overs; Masvaure 20, Chatara 3/16). Match drawn.

[Logan Cup] Rhinos and Mountaineers Draw

The match between Rhinos and Mountaineers fizzled out to a fifth-day draw, thanks mostly to almost a full day's lost play due to rain, although Rhinos would have been the happier of the two sides at the end after posting 421/6 declared in their second innings to remove any chance of a Mountaineers win. Vusi Sibanda (162) and Gary Ballance (116) impressed in that knock, and their performances were really the highlight of the match. Rhinos had posted 253 in the first innings, led by Stephen Marillier's 53, before Mountaineers replied with 313 - more than half of that coming from the bat of opener Mitchell (178). Sibanda and Ballance, though, but on a 2nd-wicket partnership of 232 together, and that was that. Rhinos allowed their remaining batsmen to get some practice in before declaring, after which Mountaineers unenthusiastically batted out the minimum time until they were allowed to concede the draw. With the title already in Tuskers hands after their win earlier in the round, there really wasn't much left to fight for. Full scorecard below the cut.
Rhinos 253 (96 overs; Marillier 53, Chatara 5/63) & 421/6d (110 overs; Sibanda 162, Tiripano 4/84), Mountaineers 313 (104.3 overs; Mitchell 178, Madziva 4/70) & 85/2 (29 overs; Mitchell 39*, Cremer 1/41). Match drawn.

[Pro50] Eagles Maintain Winning Ways with Win Over Mountaineers

After going all to pieces in their Logan Cup encounter during the week, Mountaineers didn't manage much better in the Pro50 rematch on Saturday. Mountaineers won the toss and put Eagles in to bat, managing to restrict them to 218 (after having them at 11/4 in the 4th over); Sikandar Raza and Elton Chigumbura top-scored, both with 58, while Tendai Chatara demolished the Eagles top order on the way to taking 5/38. That should have given Mountaineers a decent chance, but a collapse from 56/1 to 58/4 in the 13th & 14th overs killed their momentum. From there, Eagles made steady progress at chipping away at the remaining batsmen, and when rain intervened at the end of the 33rd over, Mountaineers were already sliding to defeat on 133/8. That proved to be the end of play, and when the Duckworth-Lewis calculations were done, Mountaineers were 59 runs short of the revised target of 193. Full scorecard below the cut.
Eagles 218 (49.3/50 overs; Sikandar Raza 58, Chigumbura 58, Chatara 5/38), Mountaineers (33/33 overs; Pettini 33, Jarvis 3/49). Mashonaland Eagles win by 59 runs (D/L method).

[Logan Cup] Mountaineers Collapse to Hand Eagles Win

While Mountaineers seemed at one point in the first innings to have Eagles by the throat, a ton by Eagles' Elton Chigumbura and a spectacular second-innings collapse by Mountaineers saw Eagles eventually emerge victors. Mountaineers had posted 219 in their first innings, before going on to reduce Eagles to 34/5 before Chigumbura came to the crease. His presence allowed Eagles to rebuild, and they went on to secure a first-innings lead before being bowled out for 238. At that point, it all went horrible wrong for Mountaineers, though, as Kyle Jarvie (4/18), Tatenda Gumunyu-Manatsa (3/9) and Chigumbura (3/20) blew through their batsmen, bowling the side out for a miserable 55, and while Eagles did manage to lose 3 wickets on the way to their target of 37, the result was never in doubt. If there was a bright spot for Mountaineers, is was the performance of Shingi Masakadza, who took a combined 9/75 in the match, but overall it'll be a match they'll want to forget. Full scorecard below the cut.
Mountaineers 219 (82.5 overs; Pettini 55, Gumunyu-Manatsa 4/33) & 55 (26.3 overs; Utseya 11, Chatara 11*, Jarvis 4/18), Eagles 238 (74.3 overs; Chigumbura 121, S Masakadza 6/54) & 39/3 (8.5 overs; Bishop 15*, S Masakadza 3/21). Mashonaland Eagles win by 7 wickets.

[Pro50] Tuskers Remain Bottom After Loss to Mountaineers

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.

[Logan Cup] Tuskers and Mountaineers in Rain-Affected Draw

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.

[Stanbic T20] Mountaineers Reclaim T20 Title

An exciting T20 final between the two former champions ended in victory for the first holders of the trophy, Mountaineers. At the halfway stage it looked as if the home team and last season's champions, Mashonaland Eagles, would triumph, as Mountaineers turned in an indifferent batting performance, and recent high scores in this tournament, especially by the home side, suggested that 143 was too small a target. But Mountaineers bowled and fielded superbly, and the pressure of the occasion probably affected the batsmen, and a middle-order collapse resulted in a fine victory for the Mutare-based team.

It was a humid afternoon with the possibility of more rain when Hamilton Masakadza won toss and bucked the trend by deciding to bat, perhaps with possible interruptions in play in mind. He probably soon regretted it, as the Mountaineers innings never took off. The start was promising enough, when Kevin Kasuza and Phil Mustard scored 29 together in just over three overs, before Kasuza (8) skied a catch into the covers. Then came a major blow, as Masakadza himself drove over a yorker from Andrew Hall and was bowled without scoring.

During the last year or two Mountaineers' batting has been all too dependent on Masakadza, and this time they never recovered from that loss, although at least they did not collapse. Mustard alone of the top order succeeded, scoring 34 of the first 50 runs, which came up in the seventh over. He made 56 altogether off 31 balls, falling lbw to his fellow English professional Rory Hamilton-Brown. When Prosper Utseya fell the score was 95 for five in the 13th over, not a bad scoring rate but with too many wickets down and too little batting strength in the tail.

Chris Harris held the innings together with a sound unbeaten innings of 34, and at last he found a reliable partner in Shingi Masakadza, who made 23 not out off 18 balls. But there was no major hitter available to take advantage of the death overs, and the final score was 142 for six, good enough at the start of the tournament but small stuff compared with the totals compiled in the last few matches. Hamilton-Brown, with two for 14 off three overs, returned the best figures, while Peter Trego took one for 15 off his four overs.

Dirk Nannes and Shingi Masakadza did their utmost to fight back for Mountaineers in a fine spell of bowling at the start of the Mashonaland Eagles innings. The dangerous Ryan ten Doeschate, after his magnificent century yesterday, today cut a catch to point with only a single to his credit; Trego slashed and was caught at the wicket also for 1. When Hamilton-Brown swung a catch to deep square leg the score was 25 for three in the fifth over and the game was on.

However, the inconsistent Stuart Matsikenyeri was on this occasion batting superbly, apart from a sharp return chance on 20, which the bowler failed to hold. The underrated Forster Mutizwa proved an admirable partner and the two began to turn the match around for Mashonaland Eagles. Mountaineers' other bowlers did not present the same threat as their new-ball pair and run-scoring was easier. The partnership added 44 and looked good enough to complete the job when there was a mix-up over a quick single and Matsikenyeri was run out for 34.

An unfortunate accident saw Mutizwa struck on the shoulder by a hard throw from the field; perhaps affected by this, he popped up a return catch to Utseya off the next ball he faced and was out for 27, leaving Mashonaland Eagles now struggling at 83 for five, required run rate now almost ten. They have more strength in their lower order than Mountaineers do, but Chigumbura (14) holed out at long-on and Andrew Hall was stumped for 2. With seven wickets lost, Regis Chakabva, yet to score, was the only recognized batsman left and 55 runs were needed off less than five overs.

Harris was bowled with great cunning, and Chakabva, struggling to score, got a leading edge to provide a simple return catch; 90 for eight. Mashonaland Eagles seemed to have reached the point of no return - but then Nathan Waller struck out boldly and lofted two successive balls from Harris for sixes. Nannes bowled a bad over to give away 12 runs, but then finished it with a superb yorker to bowl Waller for a gallant 19. The last pair needed to score 28 runs off the final two overs, but Shingi Masakadza needed only one delivery to york Tino Mutombodzi and bring the trophy home to Mountaineers. The Mutare side had performed superbly with the ball to come back, if not quite from the dead, then from the brink of disaster. The bowling honours were well shared, with three wickets to Shingi Masakadza, and two each to Nannes, Harris and Utseya. Full scorecard below the cut.
Mountaineers 142/6 (20 overs; Mustard 56, Hamilton-Brown 2/14), Eagles 115 (18.1 overs; Matsikenyeri 34, S Masakadza 3/21). Mountaineers win by 27 runs.
[Match report via ZC

[Stanbic T20] Mountaineers Edge Tuskers to Secure Final Spot

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.

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