The second match of the day at Harare Sports Club was Mashonaland Eagles versus Matabeleland Tuskers, with Tuskers looking to find the sort of form that has so far evaded them in both longer forms of the game. Eagles won the toss and opted to field, allowing Tuskers to set the pace for the match, but with wickets falling regularly (including four run-outs) they were unable to do so. A decidedly out-of-form Sean Williams topped the scoring with 44 as the side stuttered their way to 118/7 from their 20 overs. Needing 119 to win, Eagles never really seemed to be in trouble, powering their way to the target within 18 overs. Elton Chigumbura lived up to his "Boom Boom" nickname, firing 48 off just 34 balls and ensuring that Eagles eased home with 15 balls to spare. Full scorecard below the cut.
Tuskers 118/7 (20 overs; Williams 44*, Chigumbura 2/27), Eagles 121/5 (17.3 overs; Chigumbura 48*, Dabengwa 2/13). Eagles win by 5 wickets.
Matabeleland Tuskers deprived Mashonaland Eagles of their unbeated record in the latest round of Logan Cup matches, although any joy at the win should be tempered by it being over a clearly second-string Eagles side, as coach Chris Silverwood opted to rest his top players with his side already assured of top place in the tournament table and a place in the final. Put into bat after Eagles won the toss, Tuskers set a first-innings total of 425 before declaring with 2 wickets in hand, with Keith Dabengwa leading from the front with 136, and Bornaparte Mujuru (71) and Dion Ebrahim (74) also making significant contributions. Innocent Chinyoka (4/83) was the most effective of an Eagles attack that saw 9 different bowlers have a go.
The Eagles batting was even less effective than the bowling, too. In their first innings, they were bowled out for 264, falling short of the follow-on target and being forced to bat again as a result. Prince Masvaure led the first-innings scoring with 94, while Ryan Butterworth's 102 in the second added at least some respectability to the score as Eagles were bowled out again, this time for an even 300. Chris Mpofu claimed a 5-wicket haul in the second innings to top the bowling figures for Tuskers.
Eagles' capitulation left Tuskers with a fairly easy 140 to chase to win, which they managed for the loss of three wickets. Mujuru again played a key role with the bat, scoring 61 not-out as Tuskers eased home. That ends the 'regular season' for Eagles, who have a bye for the final round of matches but can rest assured that they can't be caught by the sides behind them, while Tuskers go on to play Rocks in a dead rubber that shouldn't affect their final standings. Full scorecard below the cut.
Tuskers 425/8 decl (105.2 overs; Dabengwa 136, Chinyoka 4/83) & 142/3 (32.4 overs; Mujuru 61*, Munyede 1/14), Eagles 264 (96.4 overs; Masvaure 94, Nyumbu 3/77) & 300 (following on; 102.3 overs; Butterworth 102, Mpofu 5/75). Tuskers win by 7 wickets.
Another poor outing by Southern Rocks saw Mashonaland Eagles claim an innings victory, ensuring that their lead at the top of the Logan Cup table is now essentially unassailable - the side enjoys a 25-point lead over second-placed Mountaineers with both sides having only one match remaining. Rocks batted first after Eagles won the toss and opted to field, but managed only 188 - Hilary Matanga led with 38, while Elton Chigumbura took 4/49. Eagles then got their chance, and posted a modest 275/9 in reply before declaring, with Chigumbura scoring 78. Tanyaradzwa Munyaradzi took 4/58 for Rocks. Eagles total wasn't anything spectacular, even by the standards of the Logan Cup - but an abject collapse by Rocks in their second innings made sure that there was no need for Eagles to bat again. Rocks added just 68 - Chamu Chibhabha (21) was the best of the bunch and one of only three players to reach double figures. Ray Price led the carnage for Eagles, taking 4/21, as Rocks continued bumping along at the bottom of the table. Full scorecard below the cut.
Rocks 188 (72.1 overs; Matanga 38, Chigumbura 4/49) & 68 (56 overs; Chibhabha 21, Price 4/21), Eagles 275/9 decl (73.4 overs; Chigumbura 78, Munyaradzi 4/58). Eagles win by an innings and 19 runs.
Eagles' draw with Rhinos was enough for them to secure their position at the top of the Logan Cup table, and saw Rhinos fall further off the pace in the race for a place in the final with only two matches to play. With Eagles batting first after Rhinos chose to field, Greg Lamb led the way with 171, with support from Elton Chigumbura (53) and Regis Chakabva (70) as the side posted 376, with Ed Rainsford and Graeme Cremer claiming 4 wickets apiece. With Rhinos' best score in reply being Rikki Wessels' 66, though, the home side were left with a 90-run deficit after declaring on 286/9.
Come their second innings, though, Eagles looked far more vulnerable as Cremer ripped through the side, taking a career-best 8/92. It was only the tail-end efforts of Trevor Garwe (53*) that saved Eagles' blushes - and left Rhinos short of time to mount their comeback. Needing 295 from their second innings to win, they were able to reach only 168/5 before the close on the final day, with Mluleki Nkala (57) and Friday Kasteni (44) posting a 109-run opening partnership while Ray Price took 2/35 for Eagles. Full scorecard below the cut.
Eagles 376 (101.4 overs; Lamb 171, Rainsford 4/57) & 204 (78.4 overs; Garwe 53*, Cremer 8/92), Rhinos 286/9 decl (84.4 overs; Wessels 66, Chigumbura 4/66) & 168/5 (66 overs; Nkala 57, Rice 2/35). Match drawn.
Eagles managed to hold off Mountaineers to secure a draw in their latest Logan Cup meeting - Mountaineers were only denied victory by lack of time, and would be right to feel disappointed. Mountaineers won the toss on day one and opted to field, seeing Eagles put on 266 in their first innings. Elton Chigumbura led the scoring with 77, with Greg Lamb next on 44, but the rest of the innings was a story of starts but no-one pushing on. Njabula Ncube took 3/48 for Mountaineers to help keep Eagles in check. In reply, though, Mountaineers were unable to capitalise on their early advantage, only managing to score 241 themselves and handing Eagles a 25-run lead. Tatenda Taibu's 60 was the best of the bunch, while Douglas Hondo (3/35) and Trevor Garwe (3/36) kept the match under control for Eagles.
Come the second innings, the loss of Eagles' opener Alois Tichana on the second ball wouldn't have been the most inspiring of starts, but 101 by #2 Prince Masvaure, many as part of a 93-run partnership with Forster Mutizwa (50), helped Eagles to 264 and cushioned the side against the almost-inevitable lower-order collapse. Propser Utseya's 3/86 led the bowling for Mountaineers. With time running out, Mountaineers were left a target of 290, and if more time had been left to them would have been in with a good shot at chasing it - at close of play, they were 190/4, with Tino Mawoyo (75) and Tatenda Taibu (63) both having had good knocks. It wasn't enough to change the result, though, and a draw it was, with both sides leaving the match with 12 points. Full scorecard below the cut.
Eagles 266 (90.5 overs; Chigumbura 77, Ncube 3/48) & 264 (92.5 overs; Masvaure 101, Utseya 3/86), Mountaineers 241 (95.1 overs; Taibu 60, Hondo 3/35) & 190/4 (64.4 overs; Mawoyo 75, Garwe 1/23). Match drawn.
ZC have issued a fixture list for the Franchise 'B' League, which will see sides play a series of 2-day matches during January, February and March. For the full schedule, check our Domestic Fixtures page.
Matabeleland Tsukers came within a whisker of keeping their semi-final hopes alive today, but Eagles eventually denied them with a 9-run win at Harare Sports Club. Tuskers won the toss and put Eagles in to bat, and the home side made the most of the opportunity given to them as they powered to 236/4 in their 5 overs - Greg Lamb (88*) and Forster Mutizwa (56) again provided the backbone for the innings, with Prince Masvaure also contributing an important 47 to the total. Tuskers' bowling failed to impress, with Tawanda Mupariwa's 1/15 being the best of the bunch.
In reply, Tuskers here always there or thereabouts as far as the required run-rate was concerned, but where Eagles managed to keep their wickets intact, Tuskers were losing theirs at regular intervals and by the closing stages of the innings found themselves in a position where an established batsman may have been able to sneak the win - but that wasn't to be, as the tail folded leaving Tuskers a painful 9 runs short and with 8 balls unfaced. Dion Ebrahim's 67 was the highlight of the innings, albeit a slow one off 110 balls, while Prince Masvaure again featured for Eagles, leading the bowling figures with 2/18. That assures Eagles of third spot in the table and a place in the semi-finals, which Tuskers are now assured of sitting out. Full scorecard below the cut.
Eagles 236/4 (50 overs; Lamb 88*, Mupariwa 1/15), Tuskers 227 (48.4 overs; Ebrahim 67, Masvaure 2/18). Eagles win by 9 runs.
Mashonaland Eagles completed a ninth-wicket victory over Matabeleland Tuskers with ease at Harare Sports Club in their Logan Cup match, as the visitors put in a disappointing display and showed little real fight as they went under. Trevor Garwe had another good day, taking five wickets in the innings, and some dashing batting by the Eagles opening batsmen gave the match an entertaining finish. Apart from a fighting partnership between Sean Williams and Keith Dabengwa, Tuskers submerged with scarcely a bubble.
Tuskers were 70 for four wickets overnight, still 20 runs behind after Eagles had taken a 90-run lead on the first innings. They had not added to this total when they lost the second of the two night-watchmen they had used the previous evening, Chris Mpofu, well caught low in the slips by Forster Mutizwa off Elton Chigumbura for 1.
This brought in Dabengwa to join Williams, and the pair put on the one substantial partnership of the innings. At first it hardly looked likely to survive, as Williams was dropped in the slips off Chigumbura with only a single to his credit, and Dabengwa made a very shaky start and was lucky to survive for long. Within minutes he had almost popped a catch to mid-off, then lobbed a ball over midwicket and almost ran himself out looking for an unlikely second run for the mishit. Then he settled down to give Williams good support.
The Tuskers captain's best strokes were through the covers, where he drove handsomely. The pair had added 63 invaluable runs, almost doubling the total, when Raymond Price rather belatedly came on to bowl, and immediately broke through. Williams moved across his stumps and was adjudged lbw for 33.
This was virtually the end of the Tuskers' resistance. Mbeke Mabuza batted a while without scoring before being out lbw shouldering arms to a ball from Garwe, and we had the rather ridiculous situation of a fine strokeplayer like Greg Strydom, who has a double-century to his credit, coming in at number nine, thanks to the decision of the team to use two night-watchmen.
Had Dabengwa stayed, another good stand might well have been possible, but the left-hander was going through another shaky period, and this time he did not survive it. He mistimed a drive off Garwe, skying the ball for mid-on to take the catch running back. He had made 35, the top score for his team.
Strydom hit two belligerent fours in an over from Garwe, but Keegan Meth popped a bouncer from Chigumbura tamely to short leg, bringing the last man, John Nyumbu. Eagles then fell back on the questionable tactic of giving up trying to dismiss Strydom, but simply keeping him away from the bowling so as to attack Nyumbu. On this occasion it worked, as Strydom is probably - and certainly looked - unused to batting in a situation like this. He finally tried to scoop a ball from Kyle Jarvis to leg, but only succeeded in popping up a simple catch to the keeper. He made 12, and the innings total was a disappointing 153. Garwe finished with five wickets for 43, well earned for good bowling, if slightly flattered by the feeble batting. There were two wickets each for Chigumbura and Jarvis.
This left Eagles a mere 64 runs for victory after lunch. The openers Sam Mwakayeni and Tafadzwa Mufambisi went like a train from the start, as if determined to emphasize their team's superiority and get the match over in time for siesta. Tuskers opened the bowling with Nyumbu, an enterprising move which failed to pay, as he lasted just two overs for 19 runs. The pacemen were also hammered with gay abandon, and the 50 came up in half an hour before Mufambisi miscued a drive off Meth to the cover sweeper and departed for 18.
This did slow the breathtaking momentum a little, but it still took less than ten overs to reach the target, the winning hit being a lofted straight drive for four by Mutizwa. Mwakayeni finished with 34 not out from just 22 balls, and must have wished he had shown similar enterprise in his first innings, where his painful 28 lasted 124 balls. Thus Eagles finished the match in complete dominance, and only a major turn of events can prevent them from winning the Logan Cup this season.
The two teams meet again on Tuesday 15 December at the same venue for their Faithwear Cup match, played over 50 overs per side. Eagles have been less dominant in this competition, but Tuskers will have to make a major turnaround if they are to secure a measure of revenge. Full scorecard below the cut.
Tuskers 217 (76.4 overs; Strydom 71, Lamb 4/38) & 153 (54.4 overs; Dabengwa 35, Garwe 5/43), Eagles 307 (99.1 overs; Lamb 72, Dabengwa 3/42) & 66/1 (Mwakayeni 34*, Meth 1/9). Eagles win by 9 wickets.
The Faithwear meeting between Southern Rocks and Mashonaland Eagles was abandoned after less than five overs play after rain intervened. That leaves the match a no result, with two points awarded to each side. Scorecard, what little there is, is below the cut.
Rocks 8/0 (4.1 overs; Machiri 5*, Chigumbura 0/2), Eagles did not bat. No result - rain stopped play.
The other match of the round also ended in a draw, but in this one there was at least the chance of a result as Eagles very nearly snatched a win in Masvingo. Day one was washed out, and when play finally got under way on day two it was the home side at the crease, sent in to bat after Eagles won the toss. Over the course of the next day and a bit they managed to amass a reasonable total of 321, a decent innings by the standards of the Logan Cup this year, with Tendai Chitongo (66) and Craig Ervine (60) leading the way. For Eagles, Trevor Garwe continued to stake out his claim to a place in the national side, taking 4/59. But the match was all Eagles' from there - in reply, they built an impressive total of 512 before declaring with two wickets still in hand. Forster Mutizwa (113) and Greg Lamb (106) both scored tons, with 50s coming from Tafadzwa Mufambisa (58), Elton Chigumbura (84) and Regis Chakabva (53). At the point of declaration, Eagles has around two sessions left on the final day in which to bowl Rocks out and claim the win.
And they just about managed it, to. Rocks did manage to hold out for the rest of the day, but with the side having collapsed to 104/8 before the close they would have been breathing a sigh of relief when the end finally came. Alester Maregwede's 21* was the best of a very poor bunch, while Elton Chigumbura (3/26) and Douglas Hondo (3/20) did the damage with the ball. Eagles would have been upset not to sneak the win, but they still took the lions' share of points from the match, scoring 13 to Rocks' 9 and further extending their lead at the top of the table. Full scorecard below the cut.
Rocks 321 (122.1 overs; Chitongo 66, Garwe 4/59) & 104/8 (47.2 overs; Maregwede 21*, Hondo 3/20), Eagles 512/8 decl (124.4 overs; Mutizwa 113, Mawhire 5/92). Match drawn.