Domestic Cricket

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Tuskers 'B' Claim Twenty20 Title

While our attention was distracted by the World Cup, this weekend was finals weekend for the T20 and one-day inter-provincial 'B' competitions. The Twenty20 was first up, on Saturday, with Matabeleland Tuskers and Southern Rocks facing off for the title, and with Rocks having already claimed the 'B' 4-day title they would have been hoping to continue their winning roll.

Tuskers won the toss and opted to field, giving Rocks the chance to set the running - they tallied up 122/5 from their alotted overs, with Alester Maregwede (29) leading the scoring. Two wickets came by run-out, while Tochukwu Enwerem had the best figures for Tuskers with 1/20.

Tuskers only just managed to chase that down, though - Mark Mabuza's 25 was the best of their innings, as they crossed the line with just one ball to spare to claim a 2-wicket win, having almost self-destructed with some terrible running of their own - the last 4 wickets of their over "fell" to run-outs. Roy Kaia took 1/14 for Rocks to lead their figures. Full scorecard below the cut.
Rocks 122/5 (20 overs; Maregwede 29, Enwerem 1/20), Tuskers 124/8 (19.5 overs; Mabuza 25, Kaia 1/14). Matabeleland Tuskers 'B' win by 2 wickets.

Southern Rocks Claim Inter-Provincial 'B' Title

We've gotten very little in the way of results for the Inter-Provincial 'B' series, which saw the five franchise 'B' sides face off in a series of 3-day matches, but we did at least get full details of the tournament final. That ended in Masvingo yesterday with a thumping win for Southern Rocks over Mountaineers. Rocks, batting first after winning the toss, posted 530, with tons from Tendai Chisoro (130) and Tendai Chitongo (164) forming the backbone of their innings and Alester Maregwede chipping in with a useful 72. That was more than enough, and Chitongo again did the heavy lifting, taking 4/32 and 4/22 with the ball on the way to bowling Mountaineers out for 197 and, after enforcing the follow-on, 122 - which left them still 211 runs short of Rocks' massive total. Kudzai Sauramba's 49 in the first innings was the best score that Mountaineers could muster. Full scorecard below the cut.
Rocks 530 (165 overs; Chitongo 164, Mufudza 3/91), Mountaineers 197 (45.2 overs; Sauramba 49, Chitongo 4/32) & 122 (41.3 overs; Sauramba 47, Chitongo 4/22). Southern Rocks 'B' win by an innings and 211 runs.

Tuskers Claim Final Spot With Win Over Rhinos

Matabeleland Tuskers ensured their place in the Logan Cup final with a comprehensive win over Midwest Rhino in the second of this week's Logan Cup matches. With some impressive batting performances powering them on, Tuskers posted 393/8d and 335/3d in their innings, with Paul Horton and Gavin Ewing both scoring 119 in the second. For Rhinos, Riki Wessels saved their blushes in the first innings, scoring a huge 146 before Rhinos were bowled out for 298, but they were left chasing 431 in the second innings, or having to bat out 4 sessions to secure the draw that would have been good enough to get them to the final - but that proved too much of a challenge as they were bowled out for 253 to give Tuskers a comfortable 177-run win. Full scorecard below the cut.
Tuskers 393/8d (96.3 overs; Trenchard 84, Nicolson 3/121) & 335/3d (54.5 overs; Horton 119, Ewing 119, Mugava 2/42), Rhinos 298 (88.4 overs; Wessels 146, Meth 3/44) & 253 (67.1 overs; Benade 64, Mboyi 3/47). Matabeleland Tuskers win by 177 runs.

Mountaineers Defeat Rocks by 9 Wickets

Mountaineers completed the group stage of their Logan Cup campaign with another thumping win, this time a 9-wicket victory over the winless Southern Rocks. Tendai Chatara starred for Mountaineers, taking 11 wickets in the match and conceeding just 49 runs in 38 overs bowled to return figures of 6/33 and 5/16; Rocks could only manage 177 & 94 in their innings. Their second-innings total was enough to make Mountaineers bat again, but they needed less than 11 overs in their second innings to claim the full seven points - although it must be said that their first innings was dominated by three good knocks (Tino Mawoyo's 62, Timycen Maruma's 54 and Bernard Mlambo's 40) while the rest of the side failed miserably. Mountaineers will no doubt be glad to have some experience back in the side some the final.

Rocks finish bottom of the heap, while Mountaineers now go on to meet Tuskers in the final. Full scorecard below the cut.
Rocks 177 (66 overs; Mutumbami 67, Chatara 6/33) & 94 (37.5 overs; Sikandar Raza 25, Chatara 5/16), Mountaineers 218 (68.4 overs; Mawoyo 62, Vitori 6/55) & 56/1 (10.3 overs; H Masakadza 29*, Mahwire 1/32). Mountaineers win by 9 wickets.

New Dates for MetBank Pro40 Semi-Finals Announced

Dates are in for the rescheduled MetBank Pro40 semi-finals - if you remember, the first attempt at finals weekend was completely washed out.

Friday 25 March: Mountaineers v Midwest Rhinos
Saturday 26 March: Matabeleland Tuskers v Southern Rocks

I assume the final will take place on the 27th, but that's not yet confirmed. Matches to be played at Harare Sports Club.

Eagles Draw with Tuskers

The other Logan Cup match of the round, Mashonaland Eagles v Matabeleland Tuskers, was a heavily rain-affected affair that drew to a close after the completion of the first innings. Tuskers chose to field after winning the toss, and held Eagles to 131, with Dean Mazhawidza's 78 being the only thing that stood between the side and even greater humilation. Keegan Meth had an outstanding spell with the ball, taking seven wickets for 42. As an indication of how much the weather had affected the match, it took Eagles until the morning of day four to complete their innings, which was just over 60 overs long.

Tuskers lasted a similar amount of time, but managed to post 188 and at least secure the point for a first-innings lead. Unlike Eagles, there was no stand-out innings, with Adam Wheater's 33 being the best of an otherwise forgettable innings. Chad Keegan took 4/43, with Andrew Hall chipping in with 2/36. With no chance of either side completing a second innings in the remaining time, that was all she wrote.

Full scorecard below the cut. The result leaves Tuskers in third in the tourney table, behind Rhinos - who they'll now meet in the final round, starting Friday, in a match that will decide who goes on to meet Mountaineers in the Logan Cup final. Tuskers must win that match to go through, while for Rhinos a draw will do.
Eagles 131 (60.2 overs; Mazhawidza 78, Meth 7/42), Tuskers 188 59.3 overs; Wheater 33, Keegan 4/43). Match drawn.

Rhinos Trampled by Mountaineers

After beating Eagles by an innings in the last round, it was Rhinos' turn to get thumped by a similar margin this week as Mountaineers ran rampage over them in this week. Mountaineers were put in to bat first by Rhinos, and went on to set a first-innings total of 245 - a poor score by most measures. Gary Chirtimuta led the way with 105, while Justin Lewis produced another good spell with the ball to take 6/52 and keep Mountaineers in check.

That was the theory, anyway. But Rhinos followed their decent work with the ball with two thoroughly dismal innings with the bat, posting 61 & 88. For Mountaineers, both Donald Tiripano and Tendai Chatara too five'fers - one in each innings - while Rhinos managed a top score of just 23 (Neville Madziva in the first innings). A match best forgotten for Rhinos, then, and a result that guarantees Mountaineers their place in the Logan Cup final.

Full scorecard below the cut. Rhinos go on to meet Tuskers in the final round which, depending on the result on the ongoing Tuskers / Eagles match, could be a winner-takes-all playoff for the second final spot - in which case Rhinos will be hoping for a sudden and dramatic improvement in form.
Mountaineers 245 (85.1 overs; Chirimuta 105, Lewis 6/52), Rhinos 61 (27.2 overs; Madziva 23, Tiripano 5/26) & 88 (f/o; 40.3 overs; Mugava 20, Chatara 5/35). Mountaineers win by an innings and 96 runs.

Tame Draw for Rocks and Tuskers

A few big knocks, a lot of poor ones, and a tame draw of a result in Bulawayo - that's what the second of this week's Logan Cup matches served up, and with Tuskers needing a win to keep hold of second place in the tournament table, that wasn't the result they were looking for. Southern Rocks posted 261 to open the match, led by Chamu Chibhabha's 105 - he was ably supported by Richmond Mutumbami (54) and Stuart Matsikenyeri (47), but if you total them up you'll see that there wasn't muuch of a contriubtion from the rest of the team. Tuskers' bowlers spread the wickets around, with Njabulo Ncube, Keegan Meth and Tawanda Mupariwa each taking three apiece. In reply, Adam Wheater's 126 formed the basis of Tuskers' innings as they worked their way to 365, with captain Gavin Ewing scoring 80 as Tuskers secured the first-innings point. Blessing Mahwire took 4/54.

Time ran out on Rocks' second innings, though - it had gotten off to a good start, with Roy Kaia scoring 112 and Chamu Chibhabha falling just short of a ton of his own with 91, but the match was declared a draw with Rocks on 292/4, leaving Sikandar Raza unbeaten on 41*. And that was all she wrote. Tuskers move down into third after this round's matches, overtaken by Rhinos after their thumping defeat of Eagles, while Rocks remain rooted to the bottom and without a win in the series yet. Full scorecard below the cut.
Rocks 261 (103 overs; Chibhabha 105, Mupariwa 3/35) & 292/4 (111 overs; Kaia 112, Meth 2/52), Tuskers 365 (129.1 overs; Wheater 126, Mahwire 4/54). Match drawn.

Eagles' Wings Clipped by Rhinos

Eagles were trounced by an innings and 70 runs in the first of this week's Logan Cup matches. After collapsing to a paltry 97 all-out on the opening day, with Simbarashe Gupo's 24 being the best of a woeful outing. Ian Nicolson (4/33) and Neville Madziva (3/10) did the bulk of the damage between them, leaving Eagles struggling before they even began.

Rhinos' good form continued with the bat, too, as they posted 365 before declaring with a wicket still in hand, with opener Gary Ballance scoring 120 along with some useful contributions coming from Malcolm Waller (91) and Vusi Sibanda (46). Chad Keegan (4/72) did have some success with the ball for the home side, but with Rhinos taking a 268-run lead into the second innings.

And, as it happened, that was enough of a lead for them not to need to bat again. Eagles did better the second time around, but that 268 turned out to be too much of a mountain for them to climb, posting 198. Douglas Hondo's unbeaten 60* at the bottom of the order showed there was at least some fight in there, but not enough. The result puts Rhinos into second place in the table (pending the result of the ongoing Tuskers v Rocks match), and leaves Eagles still without a win in a season that, outside of the Twenty20 competition, has been truly woeful. Full scorecard below the cut.
Eagles 97 (72.1 overs; Gupo 24, Nicolson 4/33) & 198 (60 overs; Hondo 60*, Mugava 3/72), Rhinos 365/9d (91.3 overs; Ballance 120, Keegan 4/72). Midwest Rhinos win by an innings and 70 runs.

Mountaineers Trounce Eagles

A dramatic batting collapse on the final day saw Mashonaland Eagles slide to a 284-run defeat at the hands of Mountaineers yesterday. Set a target of 374 - unlikely in the first place - Eagles lost their first wicket with the score on just 11, and the procession of batsmen continued from there as Natsai Mushangwe (5/21) and Donald Tiripano (3/34) demolished the Eagles lineup.

Earlier, Mountaineers had set a competitive first-innings total of 354, scored largely by Bernard Mlambo (141) and Timycen Maruma (56). While the rest of thier lineup struggled to make headway against the Eagles bowlers, led by Chad Keegan's 3/76), that proved enough to secure them the first-innings point as Eagles were in turned bowled out for 229, despite 50s by Cephas Zhuwawo and Andrew Hall. In their second innings, Mountaineers seemed in terminal early trouble as they slumped to 23/4, but the partnership of Hamilton Masakadza (unbeaten on 120) and Gary Chirimuta (66) rescued the innings and, with the score on 248/6, the home side felt secure enough to declare. Their confidence was well-founded, as Eagles proceeded to fall apart, handing Mountaineers an impressive victory and seeing them extend their lead at the top of the Logan Cup table. Eagles, meanwhile, continue their winless run in the competition and continue to languish in 4th, ahead of Southern Rocks. Full scorecard below the cut.
Mountaineers 354 (94.2 overs; Mlambo 141, Keegan 3/76) & 248/5d (70 overs; H Masakadza 120*, Keegan 3/30), Eagles 229 (72.4 overs; Hall 56, Tiripano 3/23) & 89 (41.4 overs; Mutizwa 22, Mushangwe 5/21). Mountaineers win by284 runs.

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