Eagles dehorn Rhinos as Makoni’s maiden ton earns Tuskers a draw
Rhinos – 282 and 308 all out in 107.1 overs (Prince Masvaure 97, Takudzwanashe Kaitano 72, Charles Kunje 41; Tanaka Chivanga 4/69, Richard Ngarava 3/86, Wessly Madhevere 2/38)
Eagles – 315 and 278-5 in 50.3 overs (Regis Chakabva 99, Gareth Chirawu 70, Kudzai Maunze 63; Brandon Mavuta 2/100, Kudakwashe Macheka 1/44, Johnathan Campbell 1/50)
Eagles won by five wickets
A fine opening partnership between Kudzai Maunze and Gareth Chirawu laid the foundation for a brilliant 99 from Regis Chakabva that enabled Eagles to knock off the 276 runs they needed to beat Rhinos with ease and five wickets in hand at Harare Sports Club on Sunday.
The third day’s play had ended with the dismissal of Johnathan Campbell, leaving Rhinos on 283 for six wickets in their second innings.
With Remembrance Nyathi injured and unable to bat, it took Eagles only seven overs to take the last three wickets and finish off the innings for only another 25 runs.
Tanaka Chivanga bowled Trevor Gwandu for one and then Richard Ngarava had the overnight batsman Nyasha Mayavo caught at the wicket for 28.
Tafara Chingwara (8 not out) and Brandon Mavuta (9) hit more freely than most of their predecessors to put on 18 runs in two overs before Ngarava bowled the latter and Rhinos were dismissed for 308, which left Eagles to score 276 to win.
For once the pacemen had enjoyed most success, with Chivanga taking four wickets for 69 and Ngarava three for 86, while two wickets fell to Wessly Madhevere.
Most of the Rhinos innings had been an attempt firstly to guard against defeat, but Eagles from the start of theirs showed their eyes were fixed on victory.
Maunze, full of confidence after his century against Rocks, hit out superbly from the start, and in just 14 overs before lunch had scored 63 runs, his fifty coming up with a six off Mavuta and taking only 30 deliveries.
At lunch Eagles were 88 without loss, with Chirawu on 23.
The break probably disrupted his flow, as immediately after the break he was caught off Chingwara without adding to his 63, and Chamu Chibhabha lasted only three balls before being caught off Mavuta without scoring; 90 for two.
Chakabva came in and, in contrast to his unusually slow first innings, took on the bowlers from the start.
With Chirawu giving good support, Chakabva raced to his fifty off 54 balls.
The partnership lasted almost until tea, but just before the break Chirawu was caught off Kuda Macheka for 70, the pair having put on 127 for the third wicket.
Tino Mutombodzi was dismissed by Campbell without scoring, to make the score 218 for four, but victory was clearly in sight and Chakabva went in to tea on 75 not out.
He and Madhevere continued the free scoring after tea, but unfortunately Chakabva just failed to reach his century, being caught off Mavuta for 99 with the score at 268 – he faced only 101 balls and hit 13 fours and a six.
In the following over Madhevere (33 not out) hit Campbell for two successive fours to end the match, Eagles winning by five wickets with time to spare.
Mavuta was the most successful bowler with two wickets, but they cost him 100 runs off 19 overs.
Southern Rocks – 355 and 277-8 declared in 74 overs (Cephas Zhuwao 65, Brian Mudzinganyama 62, Sikandar Raza 30; Ainsley Ndlovu 4/53, Ernest Masuku 3/69, Nkosana Mpofu 1/87)
Tuskers – 281 and 248-4 in 65 overs (Tanunurwa Makoni 129, Nkosana Mpofu 52, Craig Ervine 33; Sikandar Raza 2/56, Travor Mutsamba 1/60, Tendai Chisoro 1/91)
Tanunurwa Makoni hit a sparkling maiden first-class century that was the highlight of the final day in the drawn Logan Cup match at Takashinga Sports Club between Rocks and Tuskers.
Overnight Rocks had scored 251 for eight wickets in their second innings, with Travor Mutsamba on 10 and Roy Kaia yet to score.
They batted on for eight overs this morning before Richmond Mutumbami declared on 277 without further loss, Mutsamba finishing with 21 and Kaia 15.
This set Tuskers a daunting target of 352 to win.
Ainsley Ndlovu was the most successful bowler, with four wickets for 53 runs, while Ernest Masuku had three for 69.
Tuskers made a good start to their innings, with Makoni showing particular confidence and playing his strokes more freely than usual.
At lunch he had scored 34 out of 54 runs on the board, with Nkosana Mpofu on 19.
This superb opening partnership blossomed remarkably well in the afternoon, with Makoni playing the leading role, and they took the score to 144 before Mutsamba finally broke the stand by having Mpofu caught for 52.
Makoni was now approaching his century which, with Craig Ervine as his partner, he reached off 153 balls, in the course of hitting Sikandar Raza for three fours in an over.
He celebrated by hammering 18 runs off the next over, the last before tea, from Mutsamba, and so had 125 at the interval.
On 189 for one wicket, Tuskers were still in with a good chance of victory.
They could not keep up such excellent batting after tea then, and the tide began to turn against Tuskers.
On 197, Makoni was bowled by Chisoro for his outstanding innings of 129, scored off only 166 balls and containing two sixes and 24 fours.
Brian Chari was lbw for 17 to Raza, who also removed the one remaining key batsman, Ervine, caught for 33.
With four wickets down for 247 and only inexperienced batsmen and an unreliable tail left, Tuskers now had to try to salvage a draw.
Tafara Mupariwa could only chip in with 14 before the captains shook hands, with the two sides sharing the spoils.