The second match of the round was Mashonaland Eagles v Midwest Rhinos in Harare. Both sides have been performing well in the 4-day Logan Cup, but have struggled to keep up with Mountaineers in the one-day competition and would have been looking to try and close the gap. Eagles won the toss and opted to field, and at first it seemed as though the opportunity to set the pace had given Rhinos the advantage - openers Riki Wessels (63) and Friday Kasteni 28) put on 89 for the opening wicket, and with Brendan Taylor adding a half-century of his own the Rhinos reached 268/6 from their 50 overs, a total that seemed as though it would be enough. Ray Price took 2/27 from his 10 overs for Eagles.
The early wicket of Tafadzwa Mufambisi with just 2 runs on the board would have also raised Rhinos' hopes, but it was all downhill from there as Eagles discovered some batting form - a third-wicket stand of 65 between Forster Mutizwa (49) and Ryan Butterworth (44) formed the foundation of the inninga, while Elton Chigumbura's powerful 90 not-out off just 55 balls drove Eagles to victory with just 7 balls to spare. The win sees Eagles leap-frog Rocks to take third place and narrow the gap on Rhinos to just 2 points. Full scorecard below the cut.
Rhinos 268/6 (50 overs; Wessels 63, Price 2/27), Eagles 269/6 (48.5 overs; Chigumbura 90*, Higgins 2/33). Eagles win by 4 wickets.
Mashonaland Eagles maintained their position at the top of the Logan Cup table, and an unbeaten record, with a 6-wicket win over Midwest Rhinos in Harare on Friday. Rhinos had looked in control at the end of day one - having been put into bat after Eagles won the toss, Rhinos finished the day on 280/6, lead by another ton from captain Vusi Sibanda (153). The early session on day two saw them collapse to 312 all out, though, with Trevor Garwe's 3/33 doing most of the damage. In reply, Eagles innings followed a similar pattern - Forster Mutizwa's 190 did most of the work, with useful contributions from Samuel Mwakayeni (70) and Ryan Butterworth (41), but there wasn't much else on offer. Eagles still managed to reach 406, though, giving them a first innings lead of 92. Michael Chinouya's 3/35 was the best of the bunch for Rhinos.
The second innings saw a further decline by Rhinos - Malcolm Waller (54) and Graeme Cremer (61) were the good knocks, while a number of other players got starts but failed to push on as Rhinos managed just 269 before being bowled out on the morning of the final day. Elton Chigumbura's 4/67 proved very useful - the big man also managed two catches and a run-out. Eagles were left chasing a target of 176, which they chased down with only minimal drama and with six wickets (and 6 overs) left in hand. The result leaves Eagles firmly in the driving seat of the tournament, and the only unbeaten side left. Full scorecard below the cut.
Rhinos 312 (98.5 overs; Sibanda 153, Grawe 3/33) & 269 (97.3 overs; Cremer 61, Chigumbura 4/67), Eagles 406 (117.3 overs; Mutizwa 190, Chinouya 3/35) & 176/4 (34.1 overs; Mwakayeni 46, Sibanda 2/45). Eagles win by 6 wickets.
The Faithwear Metbank series matchup between Mountaineers and Mashonaland Eagles ended with no result after rain stopped play. Early rain had already seen the match reduced to 43 overs per side, while Eagles had built a reasonable start of 111/2 led by Forster Mutizwa (42*), but then the rain came down again and that was the end of that. Both sides take 2 points from the match. Scorecard below the cut, what there is of it.
Eagles 111/2 (21.5/43 overs; Mutizwa 42*, S Masakadza 2/16), Mountaineers did not bat. No result - rain stopped play.
Mashonaland Eagles claimed their third win of the competition in Mutare in the other Logan Cup match of the week, cementing their position at the top of the table. Batting first after being put in by Eagles, Mountaineers managed only a meagre 291 from their first innings, with Stuart Matsikenyeri accounting for 110 of them. Some support came from Tino Mawoyo (42) and Jethro Maudzi (57), but otherwise it was an unremarkable innings by the Mutare side. Trevor Garwe took 4/59 for Eagles. In reply, Eagles cemented their early advantage by scoring 315, giving them a small first-innings lead of 24. Greg Lamb's 85 was the best of the bunch, with Regis Chakabva (55) also claiming a half-ton as Eagles put in a more balanced batting display.
Mountaineers' second innings had more players getting decent knocks - Hamilton Masakadza led the scoring with 52, while Stuart Matsikenyeri (50) and Timycen Maruma (47) also chipped in - but the failure of others to push on once again left them with a score that looked decidedly sub-par for a side that prides itself on its batting talent. 249 was the score when they were bowled out - Kyle Jarvis took 6/60 for Eagles, who were left chasing 226 to win in their second innings. It was a target that was chased down with minimum fuss, with Forster Mutizwa's unabaten 90 leading the way, ably supported by Greg Lamb's 77 not-out. Eagles claimed the victory with 6 wickets to spare. Full scorecard below the cut.
Mountaineers 291 (83.4 overs; Matsikenyeri 110, Garwe 4/59) & 249 (65.5 overs; H Masakadza 52, Jarvis 6/60), Eagles 315 (87.4 overs; Lamb 85, Maruma 4/88) & 227/4 (49.3 overs; Mutizwa 90*, Ncube 2/39). Eagles win by 6 wickets.
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.
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
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
Southern Rocks finally got a win under their belt on Monday, defeating Eagles by 5 wickets in their Faithwear Series match in Harare, although it was hardly a team effort from the Masvingo-based outfit. Rocks won the toss and opted to field, and Eagles never seemed quite comfortable at the crease - a number of players got starts, but other than Greg Lamb (48) and Elton Chigumbura (42*), no-one made a significant contribution as the side worked their way to 236/8 from their 50 overs. Rocks' new star signing Steve Tikolo took 2/49, while Chamu Chibhabha took 2/30.
In reply, it was really a two-man show for Rocks, as Tikolo (82) and Craig Ervine (83*) did the bulk of the work in chasing down the target, with smaller contributions by Darlington Matambanadzo (28) and Tendai Chitongo (33). Rocks reached their target with nine balls to spare, leaving Eagles without a win in the one-day competition. Full scorecard below the cut.
Eagles 236/8 (50 overs; Lamb 48, Chibhabha 2/30), Rocks 238/5 (48.3 overs; Ervine 83*, Chigumbura 3/40). Rocks win by 5 wickets.
Two apparent mis-matches in the Logan Cup this round, the first of which was the meeting at Zimbabwe Cricket Academy between Eagles and Rocks, who were newly-strengthened by the arrival of Kenyan maestro Steve Tikolo and a few 'returning rebels'. Not that they helped, in this round at least. Rocks won the toss and opted to field, and Eagles were quick to seize the opportunity to build a decent score - after not quite firing in the first two rounds of matches, their batsmen finally for their act together and put on 357 for their first innings. Things didn't entirely go their way - Ryan Butterworth's early departure with the score on just 8 was one of a few disappointing outings, but with half-centuries from Elton Chigumbura (61), Admira Manyumwa (61) and Trevor Garwe (58*), the Eagles did a good job of setting the first-innings pace. Steve Tikolo showed few signs of rustiness - he had been playing in the Kenyan national league prior to joining the Rocks - by leading the Rocks' bowling with 2/59, while Chamu Chibhabha, Tafadzwa Kamungozi and Hilary Matanga chipped in with 2 wickets apiece.
I reply, though, Rocks' batting simply wasn't up to the challenge - at one point the side were in deep trouble on 62/6 as the top order simply collapsed, and it took a fighting 55 from Ryan Chinyengetere at seventh to add a touch of respectability to the score as Rocks were bowled out for a meagre 159. Most of the damage was done by the pairing of Chigumbura (3/35) and Greg Lamb (3/38), giving Eagles a first-innings lead of 198.
Eagles' second innings wasn't quite as imperious as the first, but then it didn't need to be. Forster Mutizwa led the scoring, adding 78, while Lamb made up for a disppointing first innings with a knock of 41 before the home side declared with the score on 260/9. Tikolo once again led with the ball for Rocks, taking an impressive 3/23, but by this point the match was already beyond the Masvingo side - faced with a target of 459 to win they never got close. Their second innings was marked by a few good individual performances - returnee Craig Ervine led the scoring with 65, while Tikolo added 47 and Steve Marillier put on 44 - but beyond them there was scant support from the rest of the side, and Rocks were bowled out for 224, well short of the target.
That gave Eagles a 234-run win and second place in the tournament table, and gave a little more credence to their chairman's claims in the media prior to the match that his side would soon bounce back. With so many changes in the domestic game this season, it's taking some time for sides to gel and find their form, and the running is being made by those sides that have gotten their act together the quickest. Eagles seem to be there, now. Full scorecard below the cut.
Eagles 357 (111.3 overs; Chigumbura 61, Manyumwa 61, Tikolo 2/59) & 260/9 decl (59 overs; Mutizwa 78, Tikolo 3/23), Rocks 159 (60 overs; Chinyengetere 55, Chigumbura 3/35) & 224 (93.1 overs; Ervine 65, Price 5/57). Eagles win by 234 runs
Eagles were on the verge of their opening win in the Faithwear one-day competition, but instead managed to lose to Rhinos by a meagre 3 runs at Kwekwe Sports Club on Sunday, leaving Rhinos unbeaten at the top of the table. Batting first after Eagles won the toss and elected to field, Rhinos posted at total of 252 before being bowled out - Brendan Taylor again led his side's batting with 62, while Friday Kasteni contributed 48. Greg Lamb (3/46) and Trevor Garwe (3/51) were the pick of an effective Eagles attack. Given that the home side had been earlier reduced to 12/3 after Elton Chigumbura struck twice in his first over, though, Eagles would still have been disappointed to let Rhinos push on that far.
In reply, Eagles suffered the same early-overs wobbles, losing both openers for just 5 runs on the board, but Prince Masvaure's 60 got their innings back on track and, with the support of Lamb (41) and Chigumbura (46), the Harare side soon seemed to be on track for victory, but a suicidal run by Tino Mutombodzi while his side were just 4 short of their target handed the points to Rhinos. With more than three overs left in the match, Mutombodzi set off for a run that wasn't there - Rhinos captain Vusi Sibanda sent in the ball to wicketkeeper Brendan Taylor, who effected the runout, and that was that.
Another successful day at the office for Rhinos, then, who are definitely now the side to watch in domestic competition. Full scorecard below the cut.
Rhinos 252 (49.2 overs; Taylor 62, Lamb 3/46), Eagles 249 (46.4 overs; Masvaure 60, Muzarabani 2/38). Rhinos win by 3 runs.
At few weeks ago, Week Two's first match would have been expected to be a top-of-the-table clash between Rhinos and Eagles, but instead turned into something of a tame draw. Rhinos won the toss had no hesitation in electing to bat on a batsman-friendly Kwekwe wicket. Their first innings total of 344 was built around a third-wicket stand of 204 between Brendan Taylor (129) and Friday Kasteni (100), who recorded his second ton of the season. Unfortunately, the pair received scant support from the rest of their side, with Ed Rainsford's 30 being the best of the rest. The best performance of the innings, however, went to Eagles' U19 leg spinner Tinotenda Mutombodzi, who claimed 7/54 in 26 overs.
The Eagles made heavy work of their reply, eventually being bowled out for 380, with a sizeable chunk of that total coming from the bat of Forster Mutizwa (156*). Graeme Cremer was yet again the pick of the bowlers for Rhinos, taking 5/158 in 48.5 overs (raising warning bells about him being overbold), while Ray Price was unable to bat due to injury and played no further part in the match - surely a worrying situation ahead of the two series against Kenya and Bangladesh. (UPDATE: CricketArchive's scorecard for the match notes that Price had to leave the match due to a family illness.)
The end of Eagles' innings came late on Day Three, leaving a draw already the most likely outcome, and that's how it turned out. Despite a few early breakthroughs by Eagles' bowlers, Rhinos were able to bat out the rest of the match, denying Eagles the chance to chase. Rhinos' second innings was topped by Graeme Cremer's 94 - he's turning into quite the all-rounder - while Elton Chigumbura was best of the bowlers for Eagles with 4/94. Douglas Hondo also chipped in with 3/87. Come the end of Day Four, Rhinos were on 370/9, and that's all she wrote. Eagles took one more point from the match on account of their better batting performance in the first innings, but in reality there wasn't much between these two. Full scorecard below the cut.
Rhinos 344 (Taylor 129, Mutombodzi 7/84) & 370/9 (Cremer 94, Chigumbura 4/94), Eagles 380 (Mutizwa 156*, Cremer 5/160). Match Drawn.