Mashonaland Eagles

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[Stanbic T20] Eagles Beat Tuskers to Reach Final

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

[Stanbic T20] Eagles Soar Through to Next Playoff Round

Eagles met Rhinos in the first playoff match of the Stanbic T20 this morning, with the price of failure being elimination from the tournament. Eagles were put in to bat after Rhinos won the toss, and got off to a storming start as openers Ryan ten Doeschate and Stuart Matsikenyeri put on a 109-run partnership off just 56 balls before ten Doeschate departed for 63; Matsikenyeri went on to score 89. Richard Muzhange led the Rhinos' bowling, taking 3/24 at an economy of 6/over - a rare bright spot in an innings that saw Cremer, Benade and Mugava each smashed around at over 10/over. With the openers having done the hard work, there wasn't much to write home about for the other batsmen - but with Eagles closing on 195/5, it was clear that Rhinos would have their work cut out for them.

Rhinos were under the cosh from then end of the 4th over, when "captain fantastic" Brendan Taylor departed for 24. The Rhinos middle order failed to come to the party, with numbers 3-7 all failing to reach double figures; barring some resistance by Riki Wessels (42) at the top and a short-lived fightback by Simon Mugava (13) and Shaun Tait (26) in the tail, the result would have been complete embarassment for the Rhinos; as it was they were still bowled out for 142, handing Eagles a 53-run win and a place in tomorrow's playoff. Peter Trego led the good work by Eagles' bowlers, taking 4/27. Full scorecard below the cut.
Eagles 195/5 (20 overs; Matsikenyeri 89, Muzhange 3/24). Rhinos 142 (18.2 overs; Wessels 42, Trego 4/27). Mashonaland Eagles win by 53 runs.

[Stanbic T20] Eagles Beat Woeful Rocks, Clinch Final Playoff Berth

The final match in the group stage of the Stanbic T20 saw Eagles meet Rocks, with the prize for the winner being the final slot in tomorrow's playoff stage, where they'd meet Midwest Rhinos. Rocks won the toss and opted to field, while Eagles got off to a horrible start when top-order failures left them on 30/3 in the 7th over. That was when Peter Trego and Elton Chigumbura got stuck in, though - the pair put on 60 for the 4th wicket at over 7/over, while after Trego's departure his replacement Ryan ten Doeschate continued the good work adding another 34 with Chigumbura at over 10/over before he headed back to the pavilion himself. Those two knocks helped see Eagles to a respectable 147/7 at the close of innings, and given Rocks' form in the tournament they would've been confident that that was enough.

And so it proved. Rocks also suffered early losses, but while Eagles dug in and recovered from them, the loss of Kaia and Mutumbami for not much return seemed to knock the stuffing out of Rocks, who gave up the fight and seemed to make no effort to chase the target that had been set for them. A steady procession of wickets followed as Eagles stamped their domination on the match - for the first time this tournament - and bowled Rocks out for a woeful 77 runs in the 17th over. Nathan Waller was the pick of Eagles' bowlers, with 3/8 from 3 overs. Full scorecard below the cut.
Eagles 147/7 (20 overs; Chigumbura 47, Burger 4/31), Rocks 77 (16.2 overs; Maregwede 15, Waller 3/8). Mashonaland Eagles win by 70 runs.

[Stanbic T20] Rhinos Defeat Fighting Eagles

The sun is finally shining and the players have accustomed themselves to this format of the game, the runs are flowing at Harare Sports Club. In another high-scoring match with a thrilling finish, Mid-West Rhinos just staved off a remarkable batting challenge from Mashonaland Eagles to win by 7 runs. The young Richard Muzhange bowled particularly well at the death to save the match for his team, after brilliant innings from Stuart Matsikenyeri and Peter Trego.

Mashonaland Eagles, who gave the captaincy today to the Surrey captain Rory Hamilton-Brown, inevitably decided to field. Brendan Taylor and Riki Wessels made a sound start, moving the score along and taking few chances, bringing the 50 up in the eighth over, although Taylor was missed off a difficult chance on the square-leg boundary. They speeded up, the 100 being reached in the 12th over, both batsmen reaching fifties soon afterwards. Wessels was first to go, at 111, pulling a catch to midwicket for 51 off 44 balls. At the 15-over mark the score was 114 for one, and at this point Taylor skied a catch, out for 54 off 42 balls.

Well as they batted, such a score with only two wickets down and five overs to go was perhaps a little disappointing. Fortunately for Mid-West Rhinos, Gary Ballance was now in and he carried on exactly where he had left off the previous afternoon. With a series of brilliant strokes, especially adept at swinging balls over the midwicket boundary, he tore the bowling apart, being mainly responsible for another 70 runs coming off the last five overs. His share was 53 not out, scored off 25 balls, with two fours and five sixes, a display of hitting even more awesome than that which won the previous match.

Mid-West Rhinos therefore finished with the almost invincible score of 184 for three. Mashonaland Eagles were handicapped at the bowling crease by the loss of Raymond Price, who had to leave the field in the middle of his second over after hurting his hand attempting a difficult return chance. Both wickets fell to Rory Hamilton-Brown (two for 32).

Mashonaland Eagles kept their heads as they replied, the opening pair putting on 27 by sensible cricket in four overs before Hamilton-Brown (19) skied a catch. His partner Matsikenyeri, after a very shaky start against the pace of Shaun Tait, settled in and played some good strokes, aided now by Trego, and after ten overs they had taken the score to 75 for one – exactly 11 an over needed off the remaining ten.

Matsikenyeri reached his fifty off 41 balls, and the 100 came up in the 14th over. Then the batsmen stepped up a gear, and at 15 overs they were pulling back into the game, with 126 on the board; Mid-West Rhinos (pre-Ballance) at this stage had only 114. Tate came back and slowed down the scoring rate until he was taken off after bowling two accidental beamers in an over. Then Matsikenyeri was caught at the wicket trying to scoop a ball from Mike Chinouya, for 73 off 55 balls (four sixes, four fours). Mashonaland Eagles now needed 34 off the final three overs.

Tension mounted as Richard Muzhange bowled a superb over for three runs; 31 now needed off the last two. Chinouya conceded 11, which left 20 runs to be had from the young Muzhange’s final over of the match. Trego hit 2, 2, 6 and 1, when Ryan ten Doeschate was run out attempting a second. Nine were needed from two balls, with Trego facing. He could only manage a single off the first; Elton Chigumbura could not hit the final delivery, and the bowler had kept his head to win the match for his team at the death. The gallant Trego was unbeaten with 71 off 49 balls.

Mid-West Rhinos are deservedly on a high at present after two superb victories under pressure – but they still have some members of their side failing to contribute significantly, and this makes them vulnerable when their top players inevitably have a bad day. Full scorecard below the cut.
Rhinos 184/2 (20 overs; Taylor 54, Hamilton-Brown 2/32), Eagles 177/3 (20 overs; Matsikenyeri 71, Mugava 1/33). Midwest Rhinos win by 6 runs.
[Match report via ZC]

[Stanbic T20] Mountaineers Thump Eagles

A good battle between Mashonaland Eagles and Mountaineers was rather spoiled by the weather, which worked against Mountaineers after they had made a fine start batting first, and even more so when Mashonaland Eagles chased a reasonable target of 140, which rapidly became a difficult one under the conditions.

Mashonaland Eagles followed the invariable practice of fielding when they won the toss, but Mountaineers this time were well prepared for it and came out in fine spirit. Tino Mawoyo led the charge, swatting the first legitimate delivery of the match, from Elton Chigumbura, over cover for six. He was dropped at slip off Kyle Jarvis in the next over, but ran to 16 off 10 balls before departing. With Phil Mustard and Hamilton Masakadza in, the scoring rate was more than ten an over, and the score was 58 for two in the sixth over when Mustard was brilliantly run out by Jarvis for 22 off 12 balls.

The 100 went up in the 13th over, but shortly afterwards Masakadza was caught at long-off and Mountaineers’ problems began. The light worsened seriously, batting became more difficult and rain caused a break of 23 minutes at 120 for five after 16 overs. Resuming afterwards lost their innings more momentum, and although they tried to hit out in the four overs remaining, they only managed a total of 139 for seven. Nathan Waller, with three for 20, was the most successful bowler.

If batting was difficult for Mountaineers, though, it was by no means easy for Mashonaland Eagles, although the light had improved a little. Dirk Nannes struck two devastating blows with his first two deliveries, trapping Rory Hamilton-Brown lbw and then bowling Peter Trego. Stuart Matsikenyeri, who opened with Hamilton-Brown, hit briefly and boldly for 19, and there followed a useful stand of 32 between Ryan ten Doeschate (18) and Regis Chakabva. When ten Doeschate skied a catch, superbly taken by Shingi Masakadza, the score was 58 for four in the ninth over and Mashonaland Eagles were falling slightly behind. But there were still powerful guns to come in Chigumbura, Forster Mutizwa and Andrew Hall.

Another useful partnership, with Chigumbura, was cut short when Chakabva was lbw for 23, attempting a reverse sweep. The required run rate was now almost 10, and quickly worsened as the batsmen struggled in what was rapidly becoming semi-darkness. At 15 overs 59 were needed in five – but all was not lost as long as Chigumbura and Hall stayed together. But then the rain began again, and the match was over, awarded in favour of the Mountaineers. On the whole this was a fair result. Full scorecard below the cut.
Mountaineers 139/7 (20/20 overs; H Masakadza 36, Waller 3/20), Eagles 82/6 (15.1/15.1 overs; Chakabva 23, Nannes 2/9). Mountaineers win by 22 runs (D/L method).
[Match report via ZC]

[Stanbic T20] Tuskers Trample Eagles

The second match of Day One saw Chris Gayle's arrival on the scene - possibly the most-anticipated appearance of the tournament, but when Tuskers opted to field after winning the toss, Tuskers fans had to wait a little longer to see him in action. Eagles had a disappointing innings, reaching 120/8 for their allotted overs as a stead stream of wickets throughout the innings kept their scoring in check, with Njabulo Ncube (3/27) and Keegan Meth (2/15) both having good spells. Elton Chigumbura top-scored for Eagles with 26, with Andrew Hall (22) and Forster Mutizwa (21) both also chipping in, but as in the first game there were more single-digit scores on the card that double-digit ones.

No such problems for Tuskers, who raced to the target for the loss of 3 wickets, and quickly enough - within 16 overs - to secure a bonus point that puts them on top of the tournament table. There were no fireworks from Chris Gayle on this occasion - 1 wicket and just 10 runs - but Charles Coventry, batting 5th, put on a hell of a show, smashing an unbeaten 44 from just 26 balls, including 2 fours and 4 sixes, to help see his side home. For Eagles, Chigumbura, Trego and Price claimed a wicket apiece in the losing cause. Full scorecard below the cut.
Eagles 120/8 (20 overs; Chigumbura 26, Ncube 3/27), Tuskers 123/3 (16 overs; Coventry 44*, Chigumbura 1/15). Matabeleland Tuskers win by 7 wickets.

Kenya Score Win Over Eagles in 3rd T20

Cephas Zhuwao's 59 for Eagles wasn't enough to prevent Kenya from claiming their first win of their Zimbabwean tour, as their lower-order pairing of Patel and Odhiambo did most of the work in seeing them home after Eagles were bowled out for 150. Full scorecard below the cut.
Eagles 150 (19.1 overs; Zhuwao 58, Obuya 2/9), Kenya 151/7 (19.1 overs; Patel 42*, Mbofana 2/12). Kenya win by 3 wickets.

Eagles Beat Kenya in 2nd T20

The Kenyan national team continued to be highly competitive but not enough to convert their efforts to a victory as they slumped to a two wicket defeat against the Mashonaland Eagles at Harare Sports Club on Thursday. Mash Eagles lead 2-0 in their three match preparation series prior to their campaign to defend their Stanbic Bank 20 series title.

Kenya batted first and set 122 runs for the loss of seven wickets after winning the toss. Morris Ouma (15) looked confident in the initial stages of his innings before Ray Price had him bowled. Dominic Wesongo was the top run scorer, lower in the order for the Kenyans with an unbeaten 27 runs from 26 balls. The home sides spin pair of Raymond Price and young Tinotenda Mutombodzi continued to torment the visitors, Price once again being the pick of the bowlers with two wickets for 26 in four overs.

Former English county players Peter Trego (22) and Rory Hamilton-Brown (28) were the top scorers for the Eagles set the pace and kept the Eagles well above the run rate for the better half of their innings. Young Nathan Waller had a brisk sensational 16 from nine balls which featured two massive sixes to guide the Eagles to a much easier victory in 18.1 overs. Nehemiah Odhiambo and his captain Collins Obuya took two wickets apiece. Full scorecard below the cut.
Kenya 122/7 (20 overs; Wesongs 27*, Price 2/26), Eagles 126/8 (18.1 overs; Hamilton-Brown 28, Obuya 2/9). Mashonaland Eagles win by 2 wickets.
[Match report via ZC]

Eagles Edge Kenya in 1st T20

Mashonaland Eagles handed the Kenya national team a three-wicket defeat in the first Twenty20 match of their tour of Zimbabwe at Harare Sports Club yesterday.

The visitors won the toss and chose to bat first setting a target of 124 runs for the loss of six wickets but the home team chased down the target with two balls remaining.

Zimbabwe Cricket domestic franchises MidWest Rhinos and the Mashonaland Eagles are hosting the Kenyan national team as part of their preparations for the Stanbic Bank 20 series starting on the 24th of November.
The visitors team captain Collins Obuya top scored in the match with an inspiring 44 from 32 balls and Duncan Allad who opened the batting chipped in with a handy 15 runs.

Although the Mash Eagles used seven bowlers and each almost got a wicket, veteran left-arm spinner Ray Price played a big role to stop massive run scoring with an attacking economic bowling.
Price finished without a wicket but only conceded 18 from his allotted four overs. Nehemiah Odhiambo finished off the innings with a quick cameo of 30 from 38 balls.

Mash Eagles were convinced that the total was low enough to take on the Kenyans without too much diligence. They lost early wickets with the captain Stuart Matsikenyeri among the low scorers, caught for just five runs.

Elton Chigumbura (24) played his natural game and upped the run rate with his partner Foster Mutizwa (34), a partnership which drove the Eagles a step closer to the target, though not within safety.
The Eagles needed 10 runs from the last over and they capitalised on some sloppy Kenyan fielding and managed to push through a victory with two balls to spare. Full scorecard below the cut.
Kenya 124/6 (20 overs; Obuya 44, Zhuwao 1/2), Eagles 126/7 (19.3 overs; Mutizwa 34*, Varaiya 2/22). Mashonaland Eagles win by 3 wickets.
[Match report via ZC]

[Logan Cup] Tuskers Humilitate Eagles

Matabeleland Tuskers were all over Mashonaland Eagles in their Logan Cup 4th round match in Harare, which ended this morning. Batting first after winning the toss, Paul Horton led the side from the front, scoring a patient 104 as Tuskers posted 418. Craig Ervine (60) and Keith Dabengwa (59) also made good contributions along the way, while Innocent Chinyoka, Tatenda Manatsa and Nathan Waller each took three apiece for Eagles. A good knock by Tuskers, but no indication at that point of the carnage to follow.

And "carnage" is probably the best word for it as, when Eagles came to reply, the combined efforts of Glenn Querl (6/20) and Bradley Staddon (4/13) ripped through Eagles' lineup with no resistance: only Sikandar Raza (19) and Stuart Matsikenyeri (17) reached double figures, while Eagles' bottom six all departed without scoring, as their side slumped to a humiliating 52 all out, still 366 behind Tuskers' first-innings total. Tuskers naturally wasted no time in enforcing the follow-on, but while this time there was some fight in Eagles, in the form of an early partnership between Raza (28) and Ryan Bishop (22), and some mid-innings fight from Peter Moor (29) and Nathan Waller (23), for the rest of the side it was the same old story. Resuming on 59/2 at the beginning of day three, Eagles then lost 4 wickets without adding to that score before Moor and Waller managed some damage-control; but saving the game was far beyond their abilities and once the departed, 4 balls apart with the score on 112, the end wasn't far away. Eagles were bowled out second time around for 138, giving Tuskers a huge win - the second time they've beaten Eagles by an innings margin - and allowing their Bulawayo rivals to leap-frog them to top spot in the tournament table. Full scorecard below the cut.
Tuskers 418 (109.1 overs; Horton 104, Chinyoka 3/48), Eagles 52 (26.3 overs; Sikandar Raza 19, Querl 6/20) & 139 (50.5 overs; Moor 29, Dabengwa 3/7). Matabeleland Tuskers win by an innings and 228 runs.

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