Southern Rocks

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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.

[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] Rocks Handed Yet Another Drubbing

Rocks' woeful performances in the Logan Cup this season have already had some people question their place in the current setup - most notably in one of ZC's own recent match reports - and this week's double collapse against Tuskers won't help them silence any critics. Rocks tumbled to 83 in their first innings, with Glenn Querl (5/28) leading the carnage on that occasion, but Rocks' bowlers managed to extract a measure of revenge when they came to bowl themselves - but for the efforts of Gavin Ewing (53) and Richard Jones (62) Tuskers wouldn't have done much better - but their final total of 177 eventually proved to be good enough on the day. Tendai Chisoro and Tafadzwa Kamungozi took 3 wickets apiece to lead the Rocks' bowling figures.

Come their second knock, Rocks at least managed to outscore their first innings, but being bowled out for 125 they left Tuskers chasing a target of just 32 runs to win, which they reached without loss to secure a 10 wicket win. Full scorecard below the cut.
Rocks 83 (41 overs; Maunze 41, Querl 5/28) & 125 (53.5 overs; Maunze 43, Ncube 7/35), Tuskers 177 (61.3 overs; Jones 62, Kamungozi 3/19) & 36/0 (9.1 overs; Duffin 26*, Horton 9*). Matabeleland Tuskers win by 10 wickets.

[Pro50] Tuskers Ease to Big Win over Rocks

Tuskers eased to an 8-wicket win over the Southern Rocks in the latest round of Pro50 matches, although it wasn't enough to lift them off the bottom of the tournament table. Put into bat, Rocks scored 123 before being bowled out in the 40th over - a performance more akin to the woeful form they've had in the Logan Cup this season, and far short of a competitive total. Tendai Chisoro top-scored with 25, while the wickets were shared around the Tuskers bowlers, with Gavin Ewing's 3/24 being the best of the bunch. Tuskers lost two wickets of their own while chasing down the target, but the result was never really in doubt, with Tuskers securing the points in the 31st over. Full scorecard below the cut.
Rocks 123 (39.2 overs; Chisoro 25, Ewing 3/24), Tuskers 127/2 (30.4 overs; Ewing 49*, Masvaure 1/6). Matabeleland Tuskers win by 8 wickets.

[Pro50] Rhinos Claim Win Over Rocks

Another match, another loss for Southern Rocks, this time a 7-wicket Pro50 loss to Rhinos. Put into bat, Rocks scored 211, with Richmond Mutambami's 82 forming the backbone of the innings. Robertson Chinyengetere added 30and that was about it as far as notable knocks went. Richard Muzhange and Simon Mugave took three apiece for Rhinos, whose chase of the target was never in doubt - the top three all scoring 50+, including 58 from in-the-doghouse Vusi Sibanda, and 77* from Gary Ballance. Rhinos reached the target in the 43rd over, with just 3 wickets lost. Full scorecard below the cut.
Rocks 211 (48.3 overs; Mutumbami 82, Muzhange 3/30), Rhinos 212/3 (42.2 overs; Ballance 77*, Matanga 2/43). Midwest Rhinos win by 7 wickets.

[Logan Cup] Rocks Winless Streak Continues

Played six, lost six - Southern Rocks' woeful run in the Logan Cup continued this round, this time to a 7-wicket defeat at the hands of the Midwest Rhinos - although this match at least made it into the fourth day. It's an improvement over the last round's two. Batting first, Rocks posted 178, with Hilary Matanga (63) doing the bulk of the work, while Ed Rainsford found some form to take 5/35 for Eagles. Brian Vitori similarly did well with the ball for Rocks, taking 5/90 but with precious little support from his team-mates, he couldn't keep a lid on Rhinos, who went on to score 444/8 before declaring, with Riki Wessels and Gary Ballance both claiming tons along the way.

Rocks then needed 266 to at least make Rhinos bat again, and given their form this season you maybe wouldn't have bet on them to reach that target, but led by Richmond Mutumbami's 92 they made a good run of their second innings, managing to post 313 - Graeme Cremer took 5/107 along the way - but with that leaving Rhinos a target of just 48, the end wasn't long in coming. Full scorecard below the cut.
Rocks 178 (68.2 overs; Matanga 63, Rainsford 5/35) & 313 (93 overs; Mutumbami 92, Cremer 5/107), Rhinos 444/8 decl (112.5 overs; Wessels 133, Ballance 124, Vitori 5/90) & 48/3 (10.5 overs; Waller 34*, Vitori 2/19). Midwest Rhinos win by 7 wickets.

[Logan Cup] Rocks Humiliated by Eagles in Two-Day Rout

Southern Rocks hit rock bottom today as they went down to a humiliating innings defeat at the hands of Mashonaland Eagles in only two days. Superb bowling from Kyle Jarvis was the main factor in rolling the visitors twice in less than a day’s play, but, well as he bowled, he may never have it as easy again in his entire career. He achieved the very rare feat in modern cricket of taking a ten-wicket haul in a single day and finished with remarkable match figures of ten for 53.

Without the injured Tatenda Taibu to add spirit to their batting, Southern Rocks looked a totally demoralized team. They may not be a strong team, but they usually hold their own in one-day cricket; in the four-day game they bat in particular as if they were on death row. This defeatist attitude has brought them disgrace yet again, so much so that right now they are a liability to the Logan Cup competition. Unless the players themselves get their heads right they are doomed to more dismal performances in what remains of the season.

The day began with Southern Rocks beginning their response to the Mashonaland Eagles total of 335, but their batsmen immediately showed they were quite unprepared mentally to build on the advantage given the team by their bowlers the previous evening. Conditions were rather testing early on, with Tatenda Gumunyu-Manatsa and Kyle Jarvis able to get a bit of movement and lift, but that did not excuse the dismal collapse that followed. Southern Rocks, like Mashonaland, have had endless trouble with their opening partnership, and Roy Kaia, the most successful in that position so far this season, has been moved down to number six. Southern Rocks might do well to follow the example of Mashonaland Eagles and promote a determined tail-ender after today’s display.

Prince Masvaure and Chamu Chibhabha both fell to the second balls they received, from Jarvis, edging into the slips, with the experienced Chibhabha playing a particularly flighty stroke. Sam Mwakayeni continued his sad run of low scores with 5, and Alister Maregwede suffered a vicious lifter first ball, which he could only fend off to third slip. After half an hour’s play Southern Rocks were facing disaster at 6 for four wickets.

Richie Mutumbami fought back briefly to make 12 before giving his wicket away with a nudge into the slips, and Tendai Chisoro, often a fighter, ran himself out foolishly for 7. The score slumped to 43 for seven. But Kaia was still there and he laid into Raymond Price’s bowling when the spinner came on, while Tinashe Panyangara also batted with spirit. At lunch the score had progressed to 69 for seven, but both fell quickly after the interval, with Price luring Kaia (26) out of his crease to be stumped for the highest score of the innings.

The last pair of Tanyaradzwa Munyaradzi and Brian Vitori showed some spirit in adding 23 for the last wicket, but Jarvis came back to finish off the innings for 98 when he bowled Vitori. His figures were five for 23, after being four for 10 at one stage, as the last pair gave him some stick. With Vitori coming in at number 11, Southern Rocks have no serious tail; their problem is that they don’t seem to have a serious top order either.

Naturally Southern Rocks had to follow on 237 runs behind, and the main question seemed only to be whether they could survive the day. First impressions were that this was unlikely, as they again showed little appetite for a fightback. Jarvis continued to wreak havoc. In his first over Mwakayeni lobbed a simple catch to mid-off; in his third he removed Masvaure and Mutumbami with successive deliveries. Kaia went in his fifth. Chibhabha, after a lethargic start, fought back for a while with 22, but then Jarvis burst through his defence and spectacularly bowled him to take his tenth wicket of the day, just after tea.

Chisoro played with determination for a while to make 20, but even those batsmen who did show some fight failed to stay for the long haul. When Jarvis was rested, several of the batsmen seemed to have a death wish in trying to sweep Price, who picked up two easy wickets from that shot, including Chisoro, and almost had more. Panyangara, however, considers he should bat higher in the order and made his point with some powerful and determined strokes. He had some lucky escapes from some mishits, but his innings of 39 off 43 off 30 balls (four fours, three sixes) was by some way the highest in both innings.

There were 24 overs still remaining in the day when Southern Rocks were bowled out for the second time. In this innings Jarvis took five for 30, while Price had three victims. Southern Rocks have some serious soul-searching to do over the New Year, and the team needs a new spirit if it is to avoid further disgrace in the rest of the season. The bowlers came out of this match with some credit, especially Vitori and Panyangara, but the fielding was lacking and the batting abysmal. Full scorecard below the cut.
Eagles 335 (88.5 overs; Mutizwa 118, Vitori 5/26), Rocks 98 (29.4 overs; Kaia 26, Jarvis 5/23) & 148 (34 overs; Panyangara 43, Jarvis 5/30). Mashonaland Eagles win by an innings and 89 runs.
[Match report via ZC]

[Pro50] Chibhabha Leads Rocks to Victory Over Eagles

This was a tight match on a rather uncooperative pitch where fine innings by Chamu Chibhabha and Tendai Chisoro proved the vital factor for Southern Rocks, who won by Duckworth-Lewis calculations in bad light at about ten minutes to six.

It was a warm sunny day as Southern Rocks won the toss and decided to field. The pitch turned out to be slow and scoring quickly was not easy, and the batsmen were to have particular difficulty timing their drives. The Mashonaland Eagles batsmen did not apply themselves particularly well, though, and a number of them fell to – or were dropped off – skyers.

Eagles for once managed to find a successful opening partnership; in fact the 57 that was put on turned out to be the highest stand of the innings. It consisted of Cephas Zhuwao and the tail-ender Tino Mutombodzi, a stop-gap opener who did a good job. Zhuwao, the 'big bully' as he is known, got off the mark in the second over with a six over midwicket off Tinashe Panyangara. However, in the same bowler’s next over he was dropped off a huge skyer at mid-off, and a few balls later Mutombodzi sliced a ball through the hands of the fielder at backward point. Zhuwao now decided there was no mileage in big hitting today and settled down to bat with more discretion. Finally at 57 Mutombodzi (27) played on to a ball from Tanyaradzwa Munyaradzi and, not long afterwards, Zhuwao fatally forgot his new policy and holed out at long-off. He had made 35 off 43 balls and was destined to be the top scorer of the innings.

When Forster Mutizwa, who never looked comfortable, was out for 8, the score was 79 for three after 18 overs. Rory Hamilton-Brown and Regis Chakabva dug in to stabilize the innings and put on 53 together, although the Englishman struggled to score. Chakabva was caught at the wicket off an attempted cut for 31 and Hamilton-Brown followed in the next over for 21 off 50 balls. Stuart Matsikenyeri and Mark Mbofana made a few at some speed but then were out; six batsmen reached 20 but none passed 35. The last wicket fell in the penultimate over, with the total 178. There was much poor fielding from Southern Rocks, but there was some good bowling, with Munyaradzi the most successful with four wickets for 35 runs. Despite the pitch, Mashonaland Eagles should have scored well over 200.

Southern Rocks had plenty of time to chase this target, but suffered a bad start when Prince Masvaure was caught in the slips without scoring, off Tatenda Gumunyu-Manatsa. Then came a vital partnership of 64 between Roy Kaia, who adopted the anchor rule, and Chamu Chibhabha, who recognized the nature of the pitch and wisely curbed his strokeplay. They batted through to the 20th over, when Hamilton-Brown took the ball and persuaded Kaia (23) to pull his first ball to midwicket.

Ashby Mutumbami made 10, but the key figure was Chibhabha, who continued to play with great discrimination. Alister Maregwede, with a dogged 8, slowed the scoring down and when he was out at 110 for four the required rate had risen to almost five, not easy on this pitch. This may have pressured Chibhabha into swinging across the line and being bowled by Kyle Jarvis for 59.

This could have been the turning point of the match, as Chisoro was left with five tail-enders as his only support. But he received good help from Panyangara, and when the umpires decided the light was too bad – a decision that would have infuriated a crowd if there had been one – 13 more were needed off the last 3.5 overs with four wickets in hand. The noble Chisoro finished with 39 not out and this victory will bring welcome relief to the beleaguered Southern Rocks team. Full scorecard below the cut.
Eagles 178 (46.2/48 overs; Zhuwao 35, Munyaradzai 4/35), Rocks 166/1 (44.1/44.1 overs; Chibhabha 59, Jarvis 2/43). Southern Rocks win by 11 runs (D/L method).

[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] Mountaineers Maintain Winning Momentum

An impressive all-round performance by Mountaineers gained them a straightforward victory over the struggling Southern Rocks team. The batting was a good team performance, while Shingi Masakadza led the bowling with three cheap wickets. On today’s showing, Mountaineers look to be heading for the final of this tournament.

On another hot sunny day Southern Rocks won the toss and, as always, put Mountaineers in to bat. Phil Mustard gave Mountaineers his usual cracking start, with two powerful boundaries immediately, but Hamilton Masakadza pulled a catch straight to mid-on for 8. Then came a crucial partnership between Mustard (40 off 31 balls) and Kevin Kasuza (27), who added 60 for the second wicket in just over six overs. When Mustard was caught at long-on at the end of the tenth over, the score was a promising 82 for two.

This gave the later batsmen the licence to hit out, and although there were no major partnerships after that, the score was doubled in the last ten overs. The best stand was that of 36 between Kudzai Sauramba, making his T20 debut, and Shingi Masakadza (13 off 10 balls). Sauramba is rather small in stature but he certainly packs a punch, to the extent of scoring 36 not out off 15 balls, including three sixes. He took the total to 166 for six, a daunting task for Southern Rocks. Despite this the bowling was generally steady, with Roy Kaia removing Mustard, Kasuza and Chris Harris for 31 with his gentle slow-medium bowling.

Southern Rocks never looked like challenging, especially after they lost both openers to Shingi Masakadza for 16, using five overs in the process. Jon Kent and Shane Burger fought back with a good partnership, and when Kent was unluckily run out after ten overs, the score was 49 for three. But this required 117 from the last ten overs, a near-impossible task. Burger and Tendai Chisoro added 51 in six overs before Chisoro fell to a brilliant boundary catch by Shingi Masakadza, the total then being 100 in the 16th over.

Burger’s 50 soon followed, off only 34 balls, but even this was not enough to match the merciless required run rate. He eventually fell in the 19th over, caught at backward point for 62 off 43 balls. Shingi Masakadza came back for the final over to take another wicket and finish with the excellent figures of three for 14 off his four overs. Dirk Nannes, with one for 17 off four, also had unusual figures for this form of the game. Southern Rocks could only manage 123 for six, and were far enough behind to earn Mountaineers a bonus point. Full scorecard below the cut.
Mountaineers 166/6 (20 overs; Mustard 40, Kaia 3/31), Rocks 123/6 (20 overs; Burger 62, S Masakadza 3/14). Mountaineers win by 43 runs.
[Match report via ZC]

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