Three sides maintain perfect start as NPL action heats up

Harare Kings – 267 all out in 44.2 overs (Cephas Zhuwao 98, Tinashe Chimbambo 80, Brandon Timoni 19; Tapiwa Mufudza 5/60, Tanaka Chesa 1/29, Keith Jaure 1/37)

Takashinga Patriots 1 – 268-4 in 43.5 overs (Regis Chakabva 75, Baxton Gopito 47*, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe 42; Anesu Chinevhu 2/54, Brandon Timoni 1/44, Hammad Aqil 1/50)

 

Takashinga Patriots 1 won by six wickets

 

Regis Chakabva marked his return from a three-month injury layoff with a brilliant innings that inspired Takashinga Patriots 1 to a six-wicket victory over Harare Kings in a National Premier League (NPL) match played at Old Hararians Sports Club on Wednesday.

 

The wicketkeeper-batter, who was suffering from hand lesions and limb pain, had last been in action when he played for Zimbabwe in the one-day international series away to Sri Lanka in January.

 

Chasing 268 for victory, Takashinga Patriots 1 got exactly the solid foundation they needed as Chakabva, opening their innings with Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, crafted a magnificent 75 off 70 balls, with one six and two fours.

 

Harare Kings had won the toss and opted to bat first, but they quickly lost Matthew Welch for a duck, bowled by Cuthbert Musoko in the fourth over, with 18 runs on the board.

 

His opening batting partner, Cephas Zhuwao, was however back in form – he smashed five sixes and 11 fours before Tapiwa Mufudza had him caught by Daniel Zvidzai for 98, which was scored off 53 balls in 65 minutes.

 

Zhuwao’s dismissal left the team score at 114 for three in the 16th over, with Muhammad Zaheer having departed for 11 two overs earlier, bowled by Mufudza.

 

Tinashe Chimbambo was also in excellent form, although less aggressive in scoring a 80, including one six and seven fours, off 90 balls, before he was out at 260 for eight in the 43rd over.

 

Harare Kings were all out for 267 in 44.2 overs, with Brandon Timoni (19), Hammad Aqil (17) and Kelvin Chibanda (15) having chipped in to help take their team to a competitive total.

 

Mufudza took five wickets, but he was also quite expensive, conceding 60 runs in his nine overs.

 

Privilege Chesa was the most economical, with one for 29 in his nine overs.

Chakabva and Kamunhukamwe gave Takashinga Patriots 1 a good start by putting on 97 runs in exactly 15 overs before Kamunhukamwe was trapped lbw by Timoni for a fine effort of 44 off 50 balls, with seven boundaries.

 

When Anesu Chinevhu had Daniel Zvidzai out lbw for 23, the score was now 144 for two in the 26th over.

 

With 17 more runs added to the total, Chakabva’s innings finally came to an end in the 30th over for a fine 75.

Then came another magnificent partnership between the captain, Baxton Gopito, and Alvin Chiradza who put on 88 for the fourth wicket in 13.4 overs.

 

After Chinevhu had Chiradza out for a fine 43-ball 46 that contained six fours, with Timoni completing the dismissal with a catch, Masakadza came in with Takashinga Patriots 1 now needing 19 runs from the remaining 13 balls.

 

He blasted 11 not out off six balls, including a four and a six, in a tense finish to help his team to 268 for four as they secured a six-wicket victory with a single delivery to spare .

 

Gopito remained unbeaten with a brilliant 47, scored off 58 balls with one six and two fours.

 

Chinevhu finished with two wickets for 54 runs off his nine overs, while Timoni and Aqil had one apiece for 44 and 50 respectively off as many overs.

 

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Amakhosi – 78 all out in 19.3 overs (John Nyumbu 25, Allan Chigoma 15, Cunningham Ncube 8; Talent Dzikiti 5/21, Nkosilathi Nungu 4/21, Tashinga Musekiwa 1/19)

Lions – 79-9 in 19 overs (Bright Phiri 14, Ryan Kamwemba 12*, Tashinga Musekiwa 10; Allan Chigoma 5/21, John Nyumbu 3/23, Sheunopa Musekwa 1/33)

 

Lions won by one wicket

 

Lions hung on by the skin of their teeth to edge Amakhosi by one wicket in a low-scoring NPL affair at Old Hararians Sports Club on Wednesday.

 

After skittling Amakhosi for a paltry 78 in 19.3 overs, Lions almost bottled up the chase as their wickets also fell like confetti at a wedding.

 

Amakhosi won the toss and opted to bat first, but the best they could offer was 25 from their captain John Nyumbu, while Allan Chigoma, with 15, was the only other batter to get into double figures.

 

Talent Dzikiti, with five wickets for 21 runs off his 5.3 overs, and Nkosilathi Nungu, with four for 21 off six, were largely responsible for the carnage.

 

In their reply, Lions hardly fared any better despite getting a better start as Tanunurwa Makoni and Bright Phiri put on a first-wicket stand of 32 in 6.1 overs.

 

Makoni was the first to go, bowled by Nyumbu for a 24-ball 10 that included a six.

 

After exactly eight overs, they were down to 36 for two following Phiri’s dismissal for 14, out lbw to Chigoma having faced 20 deliveries with three fours.

 

Then the floodgates were open, with wickets tumbling in quick succession.

 

Only Tashinga Musekiwa, with 10, and Ryan Kamwemba, 12 not out, offered resistance of some sort as Chigoma and Nyumbu tore through the batting line-up.

 

There was massive relief for Lions when the last man in, Talent Dzikiti, scored two runs to get his team across the line by one wicket in exactly 19 overs.

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Bulawayo Athletic Club – 143 all out in 42.4 overs (Tanatswa Bechani 30, Chris Mpofu 29, Thamsanqa Nunu 26; Malcolm Chikuwa 5/23, Ashley Mufandauya 2/15, Masimba Marovatsanga 2/29)

Gladiators – 143 all out in 44.3 overs (Saleem Nihute 35*, Malcolm Chikuwa 33, Naison Mare 26; Brighton Zhawi 5/20, Ray Kasimo 2/13, Tanatswa Bechani 1/19)

 

Match tied

 

Kwekwe Sports Club served up a humdinger of a match in the NPL as the clash between Bulawayo Athletic Club (BAC) and Gladiators ended in a tie.

 

After winning the toss and electing to bat first, BAC lost their captain Nkosana Mpofu for six in the third over, with the total at 14.

 

His opening batting partner, Vitalis Bunu, scored 20 off 45 balls before he was out lbw to Malcolm Chikuwa, making it 56 for three in 15 overs after Tafara Mupariwa had earlier been dismissed for three.

 

Ray Kasimo (2) and Gift Mavhaire (1) departed in quick succession before Thamsanqa Nunu followed them having contributed 26 runs, with one six and one four, off 60 deliveries – 72 for six after 24.2 overs.

 

Then came the biggest partnership of the innings, as Tanatswa Bechani and Chris Mpofu put on 53 for the seventh wicket in nearly 14 overs.

 

Mpofu hit 29, including a six, off 49 balls before he was out caught and bowled by Chikuwa at 125 in the 39th over.

 

In his next over, Chikuwa struck again, this time having Bechani caught at the wicket for 30, scored off 62 balls with one six and one four – 135 for eight in the 41st over.

 

Without adding to the total, Brighton Zhawi was stumped off the third ball he faced to depart before he could get off the mark.

 

The innings folded for 143 in the 43rd over after Chartlon Tshuma’s dismissal for three, leaving Peter Nyandoro standing with seven not out.

 

Chikuwa was their tormentor-in-chief as he finished with a five-wicket haul that came at a cost of 23 runs off his nine overs, while there were two scalps apiece for Ashley Mufandauya and Masimba Marovatsanga.

 

When Gladiators came out for the chase, BAC were ready to return the favour.

 

This they did in equally destructive fashion, leaving Gladiators tottering at 44 for five in 14 overs, with Naison Mare having contributed 26 runs, including four fours, off 34 balls.

 

Remarkably, Zhawi took the first five wickets, four of them lbw dismissals, as he spearheaded a spirited fightback by BAC.

 

However, Chikuwa, with 33 runs off 59 balls, and Saleem Nihute, 35 not out off 73, ensured their side stayed in the game.

 

With the scores tied at 143 and Gladiators needing one run to win off the last four balls, what had been a thrilling game unfortunately had a farcical end after the last man in, Phase Mukabeta, was dismissed for obstructing the field.

 

Thus the match ended in a tie.

 

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Takashinga Patriots 2 – 190-9 in 45 overs (Tariro Mukauyo 57, Knowledge Kaia 28, Kenneth Waiswa 27*; Christopher Masike 3/48, Davis Murwendo 2/24, Patrick Nyamapfeni 2/29)

Nortonians – 194-7 in 34.5 overs (Tarisai Musakanda 74, Terrence Makoroma 27, Allen Magombedze 26; Tanyaradzwa Kagumba 3/33, Daichi Nyandoro 2/49, Wishnanzy Chapfombo 1/27)

 

Nortonians won by three wickets

 

Nortonians recorded their first NPL victory as they beat Takashinga Patriots 2 by three wickets at Sunrise Sports Club on Wednesday, thanks to a brilliant half-century by Tarisai Musakanda.

 

After being put in to bat first, Takashinga Patriots 2 posted 190 for nine their allotted 45 overs, with Tariro Mukauyo top-scoring for them with 57, including one six and five fours, off 87 balls.

 

Brian Majoka (23), Charles Kunje (24), Knowledge Kaia (28) and Kenneth Waiswa (27 not out) all made notable contributions with the willow, although they hardly dominated the bowling.

 

Christopher Masike claimed three wickets for 48 runs off his nine overs, while Davis Murwendo, Patrick Nyamapfeni and Victor Chirwa each grabbed two.

 

In response, Nortonians had a perfect start as Musakanda and Terrence Makoroma mustered an opening stand worth 98 runs in 15.2 overs.

 

The duo was only parted when Makoroma was caught by Mukauyo off the bowling of Tanyaradzwa Kagumba for 27, scored off 41 balls with three fours.

 

Musakanda followed in the next over, having made a fantastic 74, with three sixes and 10 fours, off 55 deliveries.

 

Allen Magombedze and Witness Chilimba chipped in with 26 and 23 respectively, while Stanford Phiri (13 not out) and Nyamapfeni (10 not out) took Nortonians to 194 for seven to seal victory by three wickets with more than 10 overs to go.

 

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Westside – 175 all out in 36.4 overs (Tinashe Chiora 58, Definite Mawadzi 35, Vincent Masekesa 14*; Gabriel Jaya 2/19, George Matanga 2/27, Sydney Murombo 2/31)

Great Zimbabwe Patriots – 87 all out in 23.3 overs (Daniel Jakiel 36, John Benadie 9, Clive Imbayago 9; Tinashe Muchawaya 4/47, Prosper Mugeri 3/15, Hendricks Macheke 1/7)

 

Westside won by 88 runs

 

Westside made it two wins out of two and ensured they remained atop the NPL standings with an 88-run victory over Great Zimbabwe Patriots at Mutare Sports Club on Wednesday.

 

After being put in to bat first, Westside were reeling at 52 for three by the 10th over, until Tinashe Chiora and Definite Mawadzi shared a fourth-wicket partnership of 55 runs to stabilise the innings.

 

Chiora was out for a brilliant 58, scored off 33 deliveries with three sixes and six fours, while Mawadzi hit four fours in his 34-ball 35 – both of them were sent packing off the bowling of George Matanga, with Gabriel Jaya completing the two dismissals with some fine catches.

 

Vincent Masekesa remained unbeaten on 14, as Westside could only manage 175 all out in 36.4 overs.

 

Gabriel Jaya, Matanga and Sydney Murombo claimed two wickets apiece.

 

The chase never really got going and, by the 18th over, Great Zimbabwe Patriots were seven wickets down, with only 45 runs on the board.

 

Daniel Jakiel tried his best to salvage the desperate situation as he hit 36, including two sixes and four fours, off 18 balls to become his team’s only player to score more than nine runs.

 

Unfortunately, his effort was too little too late as Great Zimbabwe Patriots were bundled out for 87 in 23.3 overs.

 

Tinashe Muchawaya led the assault with four wickets for 47 runs off his nine overs, while Prosper Mugeri claimed three for 15 off his 5.3 overs.

 

2021/22 NATIONAL PREMIER LEAGUE POINTS TABLE

TEAM

M

W

L

T

N/R

PT

NRR

Westside

2

2

0

0

0

20

2.989

Takashinga Patriots 1

2

2

0

0

0

20

2.169

Lions

2

2

0

0

0

20

1.959

Gladiators

2

1

0

1

0

15

1.356

Takashinga Patriots 2

2

1

1

0

0

10

-0.038

Nortonians

2

1

1

0

0

10

-1.220

Bulawayo Athletic Club

2

0

1

1

0

5

-2.011

Harare Kings

2

0

2

0

0

0

-1.114

Amakhosi

2

0

2

0

0

0

-1.341

Great Zimbabwe

2

0

2

0

0

0

-2.333

NPL start delayed by a week

Zimbabwe Cricket regrets to announce the postponement of the National Premier League (NPL) by a week due to unforeseen logistical challenges.

 

The 10-team tournament, involving the top clubs from across the country, was originally scheduled to start this Sunday.

 

The revised NPL fixtures will be released in due course.

NPL to get underway with 10 sides battling it out for coveted trophy

The second edition of the National Premier League (NPL) is set to get underway this Sunday, with 10 teams at different venues across the country seeking a perfect start to the elite club tournament.

 

In order to take part in the national one-day league, teams qualify on merit through provincial club competitions.

 

The 2021/22 NPL will see Gladiators, Harare Kings, Takashinga Patriots 1 and Takashinga Patriots 2 representing the Harare Metropolitan province, while Bulawayo Metropolitan has Amakhosi and Bulawayo Athletic Club (BAC) participating.

 

The other clubs involved in the league this time round are Westside from Manicaland, Great Zimbabwe Patriots from Masvingo and Nortonians from Midlands-Mashonaland West, while an academy side, Lions, comes in as the 10th team.

 

As action gets underway on Sunday, defending champions Takashinga Patriots 1 will face Nortonians at Sunrise Sports Club in Harare.

 

Across the capital, Old Hararians Sports Club will host two matches, with BAC taking on Westside and Harare Kings entertaining Lions on the other pitch.

 

Amakhosi will clash with Takashinga Patriots 2 at Kwekwe Sports Club, while Gladiators and Great Zimbabwe Patriots will complete matchday one action at Masvingo Sports Club.

 

The next round of matches is scheduled for next Wednesday.

 

A total of 45 matches will be played over a month, with the side that finishes top of the standings winning the NPL trophy and prize money.

 

Zimbabwe Cricket Managing Director Givemore Makoni said he was expecting the 2021/22 edition to be a competitive and exciting tournament.

 

“We are dedicating time and resources in our bid to make the NPL the biggest club competition – across all sporting disciplines – in Zimbabwe,” he said.

 

“As you would know, one of our most important tasks is the sustainable promotion of our players at the appropriate level.

 

“The NPL is a vital part of this and it will help to bridge the all-important gap between amateur club cricket and provincial representative cricket, giving our players the perfect platform to prepare them for a lasting career in the sport.

 

“In the long run, we hope that this initiative, plus many others that are underway or in the pipeline, will give a fresh impetus to our national teams’ on-field fortunes.”

 

Spectators who are fully vaccinated against COVID-19 will be permitted to watch all NPL matches in person free of charge.

 

Selected matches will be live-streamed on Zimbabwe Cricket’s YouTube channel and website, while ball-by-ball coverage will also be available on the Zimbabwe Cricket mobile app.

NPL 2021/22 FIXTURES

It’s free to download and we hope as many fans, club members, players and administrators will enjoy this new digital experience

ZC launches new app to bring cricket right into fans’ palms

Zimbabwe Cricket (ZC) is delighted to announce the launch of its new mobile app that is set to revolutionise fan engagement with domestic cricket across the country.

 

Known simply as Zimbabwe Cricket, the app has been developed in partnership with ZC’s new official scoring partner, the India-based CricHeroes.

 

Through the app, which is free to download and available across both iOS and Android devices, fans will have access to ball-by-ball coverage of ZC’s major domestic competitions and stay up to speed with results and statistics from leagues across the country.

 

The app also includes interactive functionality such as quizzes and polls.

 

For game administrators, the platform provides easier competition management and participant scheduling.

 

“We are delighted to unveil the Zimbabwe Cricket app which brings our domestic game right into your palm, giving you access to live scores, results, fixtures and statistics from all our competitions and leagues,” ZC Managing Director Givemore Makoni said.

 

“This app, which has been developed to bring fans closer to their favourite teams and players, further demonstrates ZC’s commitment to innovation and the growth of the game.

 

“It’s free to download and we hope as many fans, club members, players and administrators will enjoy this new digital experience.”