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.
Eagles suffered the intervention of rain in their run-chase against Rhinos in the other Pro50 match of the weekend, but it came too late to save Rhinos, with Eagles just managing to complete the 20 overs required to ensure a result. Rhinos had posted 189 earlier, with their top order suffering an uncharacteristic collapse before Roland Benade (67), Nyasha Mayavo (38) and Simon Mugava (31) dug in in the lower order to bring some respectability to the score. Trevor Garwe and Nathan Waller did the damage for Eagles, taking 3 wickets apiece. Eagles openers Cephas Zhuwao (58) and Simbarashe Gupo (30) led Eagles reply, with both falling shortly before the rain intervened - but with the Duckworth-Lewis calculations setting Eagles a target of 61, they were well ahead and easily took the points. Full scorecard below the cut.
Rhinos 189/9 (50/50 overs; Benade 67, Garwe 3/24) ,Eagles 102/2 (20/20 overs; Zhuwao 58, Muzhange 1/34). Mashonaland Eagles win by 42 runs (D/L method).
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.
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.
After going all to pieces in their Logan Cup encounter during the week, Mountaineers didn't manage much better in the Pro50 rematch on Saturday. Mountaineers won the toss and put Eagles in to bat, managing to restrict them to 218 (after having them at 11/4 in the 4th over); Sikandar Raza and Elton Chigumbura top-scored, both with 58, while Tendai Chatara demolished the Eagles top order on the way to taking 5/38. That should have given Mountaineers a decent chance, but a collapse from 56/1 to 58/4 in the 13th & 14th overs killed their momentum. From there, Eagles made steady progress at chipping away at the remaining batsmen, and when rain intervened at the end of the 33rd over, Mountaineers were already sliding to defeat on 133/8. That proved to be the end of play, and when the Duckworth-Lewis calculations were done, Mountaineers were 59 runs short of the revised target of 193. Full scorecard below the cut.
Eagles 218 (49.3/50 overs; Sikandar Raza 58, Chigumbura 58, Chatara 5/38), Mountaineers (33/33 overs; Pettini 33, Jarvis 3/49). Mashonaland Eagles win by 59 runs (D/L method).
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.
While Mountaineers seemed at one point in the first innings to have Eagles by the throat, a ton by Eagles' Elton Chigumbura and a spectacular second-innings collapse by Mountaineers saw Eagles eventually emerge victors. Mountaineers had posted 219 in their first innings, before going on to reduce Eagles to 34/5 before Chigumbura came to the crease. His presence allowed Eagles to rebuild, and they went on to secure a first-innings lead before being bowled out for 238. At that point, it all went horrible wrong for Mountaineers, though, as Kyle Jarvie (4/18), Tatenda Gumunyu-Manatsa (3/9) and Chigumbura (3/20) blew through their batsmen, bowling the side out for a miserable 55, and while Eagles did manage to lose 3 wickets on the way to their target of 37, the result was never in doubt. If there was a bright spot for Mountaineers, is was the performance of Shingi Masakadza, who took a combined 9/75 in the match, but overall it'll be a match they'll want to forget. Full scorecard below the cut.
Mountaineers 219 (82.5 overs; Pettini 55, Gumunyu-Manatsa 4/33) & 55 (26.3 overs; Utseya 11, Chatara 11*, Jarvis 4/18), Eagles 238 (74.3 overs; Chigumbura 121, S Masakadza 6/54) & 39/3 (8.5 overs; Bishop 15*, S Masakadza 3/21). Mashonaland Eagles win by 7 wickets.
They may be in-form in the other forms of the game, but Tuskers' poor run in the Pro50 continued at the weekend with a huge loss to the resurgent Mountaineers. Put into bat after Mountaineers won the toss, Tuskers posted 199 before being bowled out in the 46th over; Terry Duffin and Charles Coventry top-scored, both with 34, but Tendai Chatara's 5/39 with the ball proved key in restricting Tuskers.
Come Mountaineers' innings, Tuskers struck early to remove openers Phil Mustard and Jethro Mawudzi at the end of the 3rd over (on to run-out, the other caught by Coventry off the bowling of Querl), but those were the final wickets to fall: from there, Hamilton Masakadza (64*) and Kevin Kasuza (110* off 91 balls) blitzed their way to an easy Mountaineers win, reaching the target in the 32nd over. Tuskers remain rooted to the bottom of the table, while Mountaineers are now level on 10 points with Southern Rocks. Full scorecard below the cut.
Tuskers 197 (45.1 overs; Duffin 34, Coventry 34, Chatara 5/39), Mountaineers 199/2 (31.3 overs; Kasuza 110*, H Masakadza 64*, Querl 1/52). Mountaineers win by 8 wickets.
The second Logan Cup match of the round ended in a draw in Bulawayo, as rain - which had affected several days' play already - led to the abandonment of the final day of the match. Tuskers came away with the first-innings point, which may yet prove significant as it leaves them with a one-point lead over Eagles at the top of the tournament table, with both sides having 3 matches yet to play.
Put into bat by Mountaineers, Tuskers posted 236 from their first innings, with Steven Trenchard (62) and Paul Horton (50) both contributing significant knocks; Shingi Masakadza and Tendai Chatara took 3 apiece for Mountaineers to help contain Mountaineers to a respectable total. But Mountaineers then came up against an on-fire Glen Querl, who took 5/29 during the Goats' reply and, aided by Keegan Meth (3/50), helped bowl the visitors out for a poor 129. An early collapse in the Tuskers second innings saw Tuskers waste their initiative, but then the rain had the final say with Tuskers on 43/4, and that was the end of that. Full scorecard below the cut.
Tuskers 236 (89.4 overs; Trecnahrd 62, S Masakadza 3/57) & 43/4 (17 overs; Horton 21, Tiripano 3/12), Mountaineers 129 (54.1 overs; Maruma 27, Querl 5/29). Match drawn.
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]