Eagles forced to dig deep to sink obdurate Rocks

Eagles – 517 and 99-4 declared in 14 overs (Tadiwanashe Marumani 53*, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe 11, Wessly Madhevere 8; Sydney Murombo 3/51, Keith Jaure 1/28)

Southern Rocks – 167 and 348 all out in 122.1 overs (William Mashinge 69, Tafadzwa Tsiga 65, Brian Mudzinganyama 53; Brad Evans 3/70, Wessly Madhevere 3/86, Tapiwa Mufudza 2/43)

Eagles won by 101 runs

A good spell of bowling by Brad Evans made the difference for Eagles as they had to labour hard to dismiss Southern Rocks a second time and eventually win their Logan Cup match by 101 runs at Old Hararians Sports Club on Sunday.

Rocks, set 450 to win the match, began this the final day on 143 for one wicket, with Brian Mudzinganyama on 38 and Ben Curran 43.

Curran added only another four runs before he was out lbw to Wessly Madhevere with the score at 150.

Roy Kaia came in next and began positively, while Mudzinganyama ran laboriously to his fifty.

Then three wickets fell within the space of three overs, with Mudzinganyama the first to go, bowled by Munashe Chipara for 53, which took him all of 213 balls.

He was quickly followed by Richmond Mutumbami, who cracked three fours and was then caught at the wicket off Tapiwa Mufudza.

When Kaia was also caught at the wicket off Chipara the score was 203 for five and it looked as though Rocks might crumble now.

Instead, there followed a long partnership as Tafadzwa Tsiga and William Mashinge dug deep into their resources and threatened to force an unlikely draw with their stubborn batting.

At lunch the score was 225 for five wickets, and by defiant cricket and intense concentration they batted throughout the afternoon session to arrive at tea on 323 without any further loss.

Now a draw was quite a possibility, but the tea interval as so often proved to be a good change bowler.

Tsiga, 47 at tea, began to play some strokes and reached his fifty, but it was Mashinge on 69 who fell first, caught at the wicket off Evans for 69, which took him 139 balls and included 12 fours.

The score was now 336 for six wickets, the partnership having added 133 runs in more than 43 overs.

The batting now collapsed, the last five wickets falling in less than six overs.

Evans followed up Mashinge’s wicket by having Keith Jaure caught at the wicket for one.

The key figure was now Tsiga, for a draw was still possible if he stayed and found a stubborn partner or two from the tail.

But Evans put all that beyond question when he bowled out Tsiga to take his third wicket in three overs.

Tsiga’s fine defensive innings realised 65 runs off 137 balls and included three sixes and seven fours.

The last two wickets fell to Madhevere and Mufudza without a whimper as, after a good fight for so long, Rocks collapsed to 348 all out.

There were three wickets each for Evans and Madhevere, while Mufudza and Chipara both took a couple.