Bad weather denied Mountaineers and the Southern Rocks a result in their Castle Logan cup match which only permitted two days play, at Mutare Sports Club. The match was plagued with heavy rain and wet outfield condition, but this however did not change Mountaineers position from the top of the log with 26 points, neither did it remove Rocks from their rock bottom position with no win and just two points on the board.
Meanwhile the Kwekwe Match between Midwest Rhinos and Matabeleland Tuskers was abandoned due to a wet outfield caused by excessive rainfall without a ball being bowled.
In Mutare, Rocks won the toss and elected to bat posting 259 all out in the first innings. Stuart Matsikenyeri enjoyed his return to Mutare Sports club as he top scored with 64 runs with support from Raza Butt 31 runs and Tafadzwa Kamungozi who hit out a run a ball 44 runs. As the weather threatened to stop play on countless occasions both team tried to make the most of their time in the middle with the Mountaineers 218 all largely down to efforts from Tinotenda Mawoyo who scored 40 runs and Mark Vermeulen’s entertaining knock of 34 runs.
Rocks made the Mountaineers work hard for their runs, with Brian Vitori and Kamungozi each picking up four wickets. Vitori was the main threat as his pace proved to be the difference between the two teams’ first innings totals. The young left arm seamer could have picked up more wickets had his team been more clinical in their fielding. Steven Marillier and Tatenda Taibu gave the Rocks innings more zest with half centuries that put up 158 for three in the final session. Taibu was out for 53 runs of 55 balls in an innings that featured five fours and two sixes.
Marillier’s knock was more patient for 68 off 89 balls with only eight boundaries from the innings. Taibu and Marillier built the Rocks’ highest partnership 76 runs for the third wicket. The two captains agreed to call it a day with an hour of play left; the score at this point was realistically beyond any teams reach, as the hosts needed 194 runs in the last 15 overs of the final day. Scorecard for the Rocks / Mountaineers match is below the cut.
Rocks 259 (76 overs; Matsikenyeri 64, Mushangwe 3/71) & 158/3 (35 overs; Marillier 62, Maruma 1/17), Mountaineers 218 (77.2 overs; Mawoyo 40, Kamungozi 4/60). Match drawn.
Midwest Rhinos v Matabeleland Tuskers: Match abandoned.
[Match report via ZC]
Half centuries from Sikandar Raza and Chamu Chibhabha inspired Southern Rocks to a 45 run victory over Matabeleland Tuskers in a Met Bank Pro40 Championship match in Masvingo. Overnight rains caused a delay on the start of play due to a wet out field; one of the bowlers’ ends was too damp prompting the umpires to delay the start of play for the safety of the bowlers. However, frantic efforts by the ground staff paid off when play resumed earlier than expected.
The match was reduced to 32 overs. Tuskers’ won the toss and elected to field. The rains of the past few days did little to change the state of the wicket that was flat. For Rocks’ openers, surviving the new ball was key, something that they achieved, though Sikandar Raza was lucky to survive early on. First, he was dropped on the first ball of Tawanda Mupariwa’s over by Keith Dabengwa at mid-off. The next ball Raza launched a big one for six over the bowler. On the third ball of the same over, he survived again when his shot failed to carry towards Gavin Ewing at mid-wicket. Chamu Chibhabha on the other hand was playing with caution, but at the same time being able to score with relative quickness.
The first wicket partnership blossomed to produce 160 runs before Dabengwa dismissed Raza for lbw, sending the big hitter packing with a well played 80 off 59 balls. In came, Chigumbura who quickly found his stride forming a decent 58 run partnership with Chibhabha. Mupariwa bounced back to take two wickets in the 25th over. The first ball of the over was a full toss that Chibhabha pulled for a six. Then Chibhabha was caught at backward point by Gavin Ewing for 89 from 83. Chigumbura, was dismissed when he sky rocketed the ball to by Sean Williams at long off. The departure of Chigumbura ushered a batting collapse. Bradley Staddon picked 2 wickets in one over as Rocks finished at 253/6.
Needing just under eight runs per over, Tuskers openers had to replicate their Rocks’ counterparts with a big partnership. However, that was not be, instead there was a bowling partnership that did the early damage. Brian Vitori and Blessing Mahwire gave Rocks’ the kind of start they were hoping for. Duffin could only manage 6 runs from 11 balls before Vitori broke through his defences. Vitori came again in the next over to haunt Tuskers with the wicket of Charles Coventry for 11 (6).
Ewing held on from the other end until he was undone by unfortunate run out by Mahwire with a gallant 41 from 29 deliveries. Horton played a straight drive with Mahwire managing to put a hand to ball that hit stumps catching Ewing out of his crease. Williams’ comeback after missing the Castle Logan Cup match due to sickness, did not last long when he got a feint edge to wicket keeper Richmond Mutumbami.
Stuart Matsikenyeri was precise with his field placing and bowling changes. After drinks he brought Hillary Matanga who immediately made his impact with the wicket of Paul Horton with his first ball. Matanga’s spell proved to be very significant when he went on to claim another scalp in his next over, taking the game further away from the reach of Tuskers who kept losing wickets at regular intervals.
In a desperate attempt to save the game, Ewing brought in injured Keegan Meth who failed to bowl because of a knee injury that he sustained in the morning. Meth could only conjure a 21 run partnership with Staddon but that was not to be enough for Tuskers who finished on 208/8 in 32 overs. Matanga was the pick of the Rocks’ bowlers with four wickets for 30 in six overs, while Brian Vitori had two for 31 in five overs. Full scorecard below the cut.
Rocks 253/6 (32/32 overs; Chibhabha 89, Staddon 2/33), Tuskers 208/8 (32/32 overs; Horton 48, Matanga 4/30). Southern Rocks win by 45 runs.
[Match report via ZC]
Relentless rains forced a draw result in the Castle Logan Cup match between Southern Rocks and Matabeleland Tuskers. The two teams were determined to force a result, but the skies had other ideas. Southern Rocks’ surprise declaration was succeeded by another shocker when Tuskers declared first thing in the morning meaning that their second innings lasted only 13.3 overs with score at 76/2.
This meant that Rocks needed 318 runs from the day’s allocated 90 overs. However, that was not to be as the overnight rains could not hold up. Play started in the afternoon and the overs to be played was reduced to 45 overs. Rocks went in to bat; Chamu Chibhabha had a quick 24 off 32 balls while Steve Marillier was had his usual pedestrian knock of 10 from 33. Unfortunately, play could only go on for a mere 10.3 overs as the rains kept falling until the match was declared a draw.
Tuskers will march out of Masvingo with a single point that they accumulated by virtue of the first innings lead. On day three, Craig Ervine had spearheaded a fight back for Southern Rocks with a terrific unbeaten 167. The day commenced on a bright note for the host team when Chamu Chibhabha and Craig Ervine amassed 119 runs for the third wicket partnership. This was an interesting passage of play that resulted to a stimulating contest between bat and ball. Ervine was dealing in boundaries denying left arm spinner Keith Dabengwa any room to settle.
On the other hand, Keegan Meth continued to trouble Chibhabha bowling straight and keeping the ball on the stumps most of the time. After a couple of lbw shouts, Meth’s persistence finally paid off when he broke through Chibhabha defences to send the Rocks opener back to the pavilion with 74 from 116 balls. Meth, though failing to find that late swing which has become his trademark continued with good rhythm when he dismissed Elton Chigumbura lbw in the next over.
After lunch Ervine raced to his fifth first-class century as he continued to hold the Rocks’ batting together. Sikandar Butt had an uncharacteristic slow start putting up another meaningful 58 run partnership with Ervine. The two looked to be going well until Butt graced Njabulo Ncube with a wicket when he went fishing for a short and wide delivery taking a shot that failed to beat Terrence Duffin at mid-off.
Ncube, inspired by the wicket increased his intensity with a series of bouncers that were directed towards the new batsman Richmond Mutumbami. In a moment of aggressive bowling he struck Mutumbami on the helmet twice in consecutive deliveries.
Mutumbami managed to break the shackles and started to play his shots. In an exhibition of classy and all round stroke play the Masvingo bred batsman strolled to 54 runs from 91 balls before Rocks dropped a bombshell by declaring with the score 342/5. The decision sent shock waves to almost everyone at the ground considering the fact Rocks were still 241 runs behind.
In an effort to force a result on the match Tuskers came looking to make quick runs and managed to score 76 for the loss of two wickets before the close of day three, but then the weather intervened. Full scorecard below the cut.
Tuskers 583/7d (156.2 overs; Horton 209, Ewing 191, Matanga 3/86) & 76/2d (13.3 overs; Wheater 39, Vitori 1/11), Rocks 342/5d (94.4 overs; Ervine 167*, Meth 3/75) & 36/0 (10.3 overs; Chibhabha 24*, Marillier 10*). Match drawn.
[Match report via ZC]
The MetBank Pro40 meeting between Midwest Rhinos and Southern Rocks, scheduled for yesterday in Kwekwe, was abandoned without any play due to rain & a wet outfield. With no result, both sides take two point each from the abandonment.
Sorry, couldn't resist. Midwest Rhinos secured victory over Southern Rocks without needing to bother with Day Four in the second of this week's Logan Cup ties. Batting first, Rhinos posted 459/7 before declaring, with tons from Vusi Sibanda (136) and Malcolm Waller (102) leading the charge, while Mluleki Nkala (50) and Roland Benade (51*) also chipped in. That was, it turned out, more than enough to win the match.
Rocks weren't without their moments, though, with Roy Kaia impressing in both innings, albeit in a losing cause. Rocks were bowled out for 197 first time around after a poor start - although Kaia and Richmond Mutumbami put on 96 for the 3rd wicket, the high-point of the innings. Still 262 runs short of Rhinos' total, Rocks were then forced to follow on, and this time got off to a good start, with Kaia (58) and Samuel Mwakayeni (45) putting on an opening stand of 104. Wickets fell regularly from there, though, and with Malcolm Waller (4/57) and Simon Mugava (3/49) on form for Rhinos, Rocks were bowled out again for 205, still well short of making Rhinos bat again.
The result doesn't effect standings in the tournament table, with Rhinos in third and Rocks propping up the table in fifth. Full scorecard below the cut.
Rhinos 459/7d (115 overs; Sibanda 136, Matanga 3/78), Rocks 197 (67.2 overs; Kaia 68, Mugava 4/33) & 205 (62.1 overs; Kaia 58, Waller 4/57). Midwest Rhinos win by an innings and 57 runs.
This was rather a disappointing match, spoiled by intermittent rain throughout the day and the poor performance of the Southern Rocks team - but then there were very few spectators to be disappointed anyway. Midweek matches in isolation do this tournament no favours at all. Mashonaland Eagles were on top almost from the start, with brilliant batting from Forster Mutizwa and Nick Compton in particular, while only a magnificent fighting innings from Steve Tikolo saved Southern Rocks from serious degradation.
These two teams are actually at the bottom of the competition table, although Southern Rocks began the match with eight points from two victories, while Eagles had no points from their four matches, all lost. With the weather uncertain, Southern Rocks put Eagles in to bat on winning the toss. Once again they soon dropped a catch, as Cephas Zhuwawo was let off a hard airborne hit at backward point; he was soon celebrating with a six over long-off. Simba Gupo also had a fortunate escape, edging a ball just over slip to the boundary, but at 47 in the eighth over Zhuwao was bowled by Brian Vitori for 17; he had not altogether batted in his usual devastating style, taking 23 balls for his runs.
Gupo, who has not had much success at franchise level, batted well for his innings, especially as it was interrupted several times by brief rain breaks. He made 54 off 67 balls before being out to an overhead catch at midwicket off Robertson Chinyengetere. Then came the match-winning of the innings, between Mutizwa and Compton. Mutizwa batted with wonderful fluency, at one stage hitting Bruce Tembo for two successive sixes, and raced to 62 off 49 balls before sweeping a catch to the fieldsman at deep square leg. Compton's 50 also brought up the 200 in the 36th over, and by the end of the innings he had reached 90 (80 balls), many of the later runs coming with outrageous reverse shots or swings over the wicket-keeper's head. The total reached a very useful 257 for six, with Tafadzwa Kamungozi taking four for 44 with the benefit of wickets in the last few overs when the batsmen were slogging.
Southern Rocks never looked like making a challenge. They lost Steve Marillier, lbw to the first ball of the innings, and three wickets were down for 38 in the seventh over, all to Chad Keegan. This included Sikandar Raza, the man Eagles feared most for his ability to carve the bowling to pieces, the catch taken by the bowler himself after the batsman had skied a ball straight up. The inexperienced Roy Kaia did his best, but was unable to score at any pace, and once again a face-saving operation was needed by Tikolo, coming in far too low in the order at number seven. The two were sharing a useful partnership that had reached 45 when the light drizzle through which play had taken place for some time again worsened and they left the field at 98 for five in the 23rd over.
After the interval, Tikolo showed what might have happened had he batted at, say, number four, as he quietly tore the bowling to pieces, hitting boundaries almost at will, and this finally encouraged Kaia to hit out as well. The partnership finally came to an end for 102 in 15 overs, as Kaia was run out off a no-ball, for a promising 40. Then came more rain - it would have saved trouble to call the match off at this point and let everyone go home, but the laws must be followed, and it was another 20 minutes before the inevitable became official and the match was awarded to Eagles on Duckworth-Lewis. Tikolo the Great finished with 68 not out off 55 balls, and his team 161 for six in the 30th over. Full scorecard below the cut.
Eagles 257/6 (40 overs; Compton 90*, Kamungozi 4/44), Rocks 161/6 (29.2 overs; Tikolo 68*, Keegan 3/21). Mashonaland Eagles win by 36 runs (D/L method).
[Match report via ZC]
Another match, another draw, although at least Mashonaland Eagles and Southern Rocks managed to more or less get the full four days' play out of their match in Harare. The match wasn't much to write home about, though, with a handful of good individual performances bein wrapped up in mediocre team scores. Batting first after being put into bat by Rocks, Eagles' woeful form outside the Twenty20 game continued as they were bowled out for 202, with Mike Chinouya and Robertson Chinyengetere each taking three wickets. Forster Mutizwa's 48 from 49 balls was the highlight of Eagles' innings, while several other players got starts but failed to push on. With one point on offer for the first-innings lead, though (the only point the game would provide), Rocks chased well, with fifties from Stuart Matsikenyeri (54) and captain Steve Tikolo (57) proving the difference between the sides as Rocks reached 238 before their own innings ended. Innocent Chinyoka took 4/53 for Eagles.
For most of their second innings, Eagles managed to be even worse than the first - it wasn't until the 7th-wicket pair of Nick Compton (136*) and Trevor Garwe (65) hit the crease that Eagles showed any sign of fight. They went on to add 188 for the 7th wicket, and when Garwe eventually fell Eagles declared on 292/7, setting Rocks a target of 257 to win - difficult with the time that was left to them at that point, but doable. While Stuart Matsikenyeri again led the fight, though, adding 80, three ducks from the top 5 batsmen put paid to Rocks' chances of a successful chase and the match was called off as a draw once the minimum number of overs had been bowled.
That leaves Southern Rocks as the only team to take a point (and just one at that) from this week's round of matches, although that still leaves them propping up the table a point behind Eagles, who are similarly without a win. Full scorecard below the cut.
Eagles 202 (73.3 overs; Mutizwa 48, Chinyengetere 3/15) & 292/7d (84.3 overs; Compton 136*, Chinouya 3/42), Rocks 238 (90.1 overs; Tikolo 57, Chinyoka 4/53) & 137/4 (44 overs; Matsikenyeri 80*, Masvaure 2/17). Match drawn.
An inexperienced but inspired Southern Rocks team caused a shock when they turned the tables on the Mountaineers team that had just beaten them by an innings in the Logan Cup match and won the exciting 40-over match that followed. It was a fine all-round team performance, with Steve Marillier and Tendai Chitongo taking the batting honours, while among the bowlers the debutant Bruce Tembo had a day to remember.
A light rain delayed the start of the match for about 90 minutes and caused it to be reduced to a 33-over contest. Mountaineers put Southern Rocks, who made five changes to their four-day team, in to bat on winning the toss. The Rocks’ hit-man, opening batsman Sikandar Raza, did not come off on this occasion, edging a ball from Tinashe Panyangara to the keeper with only one boundary to his credit.
Then came a crucial partnership between Marillier and Stuart Matsikenyeri that laid a firm foundation for the innings. Marillier made most of the early running, but then Matsikenyeri found his touch, although surviving a chance at long leg when 29 – one of several chances that the Mountaineers fielders put down during the morning. Marillier reached his fifty, off 60 balls, with a six over long-off, but was then bowled for 57 driving at a ball from Timycen Maruma. Matsikenyeri immediately followed for 36, caught at deep extra cover, and at 103 for three in the 19th over Rocks were in danger, especially when Steve Tikolo fell cheaply soon afterwards.
Here Chitongo, a player well rated by the coach Monte Lynch, took over with a fine mature innings. He added 29 in five overs with Alester Maregwede, helped to galvanize the lower middle order, and finished with 41 off 39 balls, the only batsman in the team to score at better than a run a ball. The final total was 192 for seven; there were two wickets each for Panyangara and Natsai Mushangwe, while Donald Tiripano also bowled well. It was not a great total considering the weakness of the home team’s bowling.
When Southern Rocks took the field, it was immediately clear they were fired up and enthusiastic, more so than their perhaps over-confident opponents had been. In the second over Tino Mawoyo was caught at mid-on for a single, a wicket that was celebrated by the fielders and a small vocal crowd of about 50 and growing. Bernard Mlambo quickly followed, skying a catch for 11; 16 for two in the fourth over. Both wickets went to the debutant seamer Tembo. Southern Rocks, it appeared, were ready to pull off an upset victory.
Then came what might have been the turning point, as Jonathan Beukes, on 2, skied a fairly simple catch towards midwicket, which the fielder running in dropped. It could have had disastrous consequences, as Beukes and Mark Vermeulen immediately started to attack, hammering the limited attack freely. No further wicket fell until 75, when Vermeulen was caught at long-on in the 12th over for 26 and Mountaineers were well ahead of the required run rate. Beukes was looking in fine form when he also fell to a boundary catch for 39 off 52 balls, and with the opposition 91 for four in the 16th over Southern Rocks were in with a chance again.
Excitement intensified as Maruma departed for 9. The fielding was tight and the batting tense and Mountaineers began to fall behind the clock. With ten overs left, 73 runs were still needed with four wickets left, the key one being that of Greg Smith. But first Tiripano (10) and then Smith (30) were narrowly run out by Robertson Chinyengetere trying to keep up the scoring rate, and the last wicket fell 30 runs short of victory with more than three overs in hand. The best figures were those of Tembo, two for 22, although he was only given four overs. Full scorecard below the cut.
Rocks 192/7 (33/33 overs; Marillier 57, Panyangara 2/34), Mountaineers 162 (29.2/33 overs; Beukes 39, Tembo 2/22). Southern Rocks win by 30 runs.
[Match report via ZC]
Good bowling by Tendai Chatara and Natsai Mushangwe took Mountaineers home to an expected comfortable victory over Southern Rocks before lunch on the final day at Masvingo Sports Club, by an innings and two runs. After a fine partnership by their overnight pair, the home batting collapsed in disappointing fashion, despite the benign pitch.
Southern Rocks resumed on the final morning at 184 for three wickets, still needing 92 runs to avoid the innings defeat. The odds of doing so looked to be in their favour, with Stuart Matsikenyeri and Steve Tikolo both well set and past their fifties, but few of the later batsmen showed much fight and Southern Rocks did not attain even this objective.
The partnership continued very comfortably for another 32 runs, with both batsmen hitting the ball well. But the crucial moment came when Tikolo edged a drive at a ball from Mushangwe to second slip and departed for a fine innings of 69 off 135 balls. The partnership had added 149 runs, but still left Southern Rocks 60 runs behind. Only two runs later Matsikenyeri, who well deserved a century after his long run of poor form, drove a ball into the covers, where it was misfielded. He started for the run and then hesitated, while his partner Sikander Raza kept running. Then he gave up and allowed the fielder to run thirty yards to remove the bails at the bowler’s end, a disappointing end to a fine innings of 88. He faced 160 balls and hit 12 fours and a six.
With the score still at 218, Alester Maregwede edged a catch to the keeper off Mushangwe. Raza only played a couple of the brilliant attacking strokes for which he is becoming famous, and then tried to drive Mushangwe down the pitch; he was both caught and stumped by the keeper, but the catch took precedence. Four good wickets had fallen for 15 runs, and it appeared that Southern Rocks were sinking without a fight.
Blessing Mahwire was not about to give it away, though, and he found support for a while from Brian Vitori, until the latter (9) shouldered arms to Chatara, now armed with the new ball, and had his off stump knocked out. The pair had added 29. Mike Chinouya was quickly bowled, unable to repeat his first-innings resistance, and nine were down for 256, still 20 runs short of saving the innings defeat. Any batsman who follows Chinouya to the crease must have very little batting ability, but Keith Kulinga did stick around long enough for 18 of the runs to be gathered before edging a ball from Chatara to slip and bringing the match to an end. Mahwire was unbeaten with a gallant 34.
Chatara finished with the best figures of four for 55, while Mushangwe had three for 59. Both bowled with good line and length, leaving the pitch to do the work and the batsmen to make the mistakes. Overall, the loss of top players to the Bangladesh tour proved more serious for Southern Rocks than their opponents, as they have much less strength in depth. However, at times some of their players needed to show more fighting spirit. It was a fine victory for Mountaineers, who increase their lead at the head of the Logan Cup table; it was marred to some extent, though, by dishonest appealing. Full scorecard below the cut.
Mountaineers 497/6d (136 overs; Beukes 106, Vermeulen 103, Kulinga 2/121), Rocks 221 (66.5 overs; Tikolo 53, Chatara 4/65) & 274 (f/o; 90.4 overs; Matsikenyeri 88, Chatara 3/55). Mountaineers win by an innings and 2 runs.
[Match report via ZC]
A superb unbroken second-wicket partnership of 126 between Paul Horton and Charles Coventry took Matabeleland Tuskers to an easy ninth-wicket victory over Southern Rocks in the third-place T20 play-off.
A batting collapse left Rocks with only an average total, and their weak bowling attack was quite unable to stem the flow of runs from two in-form batsmen.
Again overnight rain and a cloudy sky may have influenced Tuskers to put Rocks in to bat on winning the toss, but the sky soon cleared and conditions did not favour the ball as they had the previous morning.
For once Rocks’ danger man Sikander Raza did not come off, as he miscued a pull and was caught on the midwicket boundary for 2 in the second over. This brought in Tatenda Taibu, who was in brilliant form from the first ball. At his best he combines an excellent mix of quick running and powerful hitting, packing a mighty punch for a man with a light frame. He shared a partnership of 73 with Stuart Matsikenyeri, who is still out of form but did his best until he was run out for 23.
After ten overs the total was 77 for two, of which Taibu had 48. The 100 came up in the 13th over, at which point Taibu swung across the line to a yorker from the medium-paced Brad Staddon and was bowled for 60. He faced 37 balls, hitting 5 fours and 2 sixes.
This started a collapse from which Rocks never properly recovered. Without addition Elton Chigumbura was brilliantly caught one-handed by Charles Coventry on the long-off boundary, and six wickets fell for 32 runs in six overs. The New Zealander Chris Harris came in ridiculously low at number 10 – there are few better men for stemming a collapse – and he showed what he might have done by hitting 13 runs off four balls before the 20 overs were up. 154 for eight was an average total that might have been considerably better, and bad news for Rocks, whose bowling is their weak point. Keegan Meth and Staddon bowled well for two wickets each, while Keith Dabengwa bowled three overs for a wicket and only 11 runs.
Tuskers always batted as though they had time in hand. Neil Carter made must of the opening shots, but he was out for 20 off 15 balls, to a brilliant diving catch in the deep by Taurai Chitongo. The score was 32 for one in 4.1 overs. Then Coventry joined Paul Horton and decided he could play a less frenetic innings than he has been doing recently. He showed better shot selection and a greater willingness to work the ball around the field rather than simply aim for boundary shots, and the experienced Horton was the ideal partner for this game. At ten overs the total was 69 for one, and it was only after the 100 came up in the 13th over that Coventry felt he was not licensed to attack. The boundaries started to flow in his usual style, Horton began to join in, and 22 runs came off an over from Chigumbura. Horton was first to his 50, off 51 balls, and in the same over from Chitongo Coventry reached his off 33 balls with his third six. Another four from Coventry brought an easy victory in the penultimate over: he finished with 67 off 40 balls (6 fours, 3 sixes) and Horton 56 off 55. Full scorecard below the cut.
Rocks 154/8 (20 overs; Taibu 60, Staddon 2/24), Tuskers 158/1 (18.2 overs; Coventry 67*, Chigumbura 1/42). Matabeleland Tuskers win by 9 wickets.
[Match report via ZC]