Eagles – 173-8 in 20 overs (Tadiwanashe Marumani 52, Nick Welch 37, Wessly Madhevere 29; Prince Masvaure 3/25, Johnathan Campbell 1/20, Mike Chinouya 1/22)
Rhinos – 111 all out in 14.4 overs (Tashinga Musekiwa 38*, Ryan Burl 18, Brandon Mavuta 11; Wessly Madhevere 3/15, Tawanda Dzikiti 3/27, Matt Parkinson 2/4)
Eagles won by 62 runs
A brilliant innings of 52 by Tadiwanashe Marumani was the highlight of a one-sided final as Eagles defeated a nervy Rhinos team by 62 runs to lift the Domestic Twenty20 Competition trophy at Harare Sports Club on Sunday.
Rhinos won the toss and followed the usual course by putting their opponents in, but as has been the case quite often during this tournament, it proved to be a regrettable decision.
Mike Chinouya struck in his first over, having Kudzai Maunze caught for five.
Then Nick Welch and Wessly Madhevere attacked the bowling in fine style, adding 52 for the second wicket in six overs before Brandon Mavuta broke the stand by bowling Madhevere for 29 off 25 balls.
Chamu Chibhabha scored 15, and then Marumani announced his arrival by hitting the first two deliveries he faced, from Johnathan Campbell, for four and six.
Soon afterwards Welch was out for a well-played 37 off 33 balls, and it was fortunate for Eagles that Marumani was in good form, for the later batters did little.
Marumani thrashed the bowling brilliantly to score 52 off only 22 balls, finally going out in the 19th over to Prince Masvaure with the score at 162 for six.
A few more runs were scored to take the total to 173 for eight, Tanaka Chivanga being out for “obstructing the field” off the final delivery.
Rhinos’ target of 174 was not easy, but it was certainly possible.
However, their innings was a disaster virtually from beginning to end, and after such an impressive tournament until now, it would appear that they were unnerved by the big occasion.
In the third over, with the score on 11, Masvaure was given out lbw to Madhevere for four, and two balls later Eddie Byrom perished the same way for two.
Tarisai Musakanda was then lbw to Richard Ngarava, which meant three batters were out lbw in four balls.
Madhevere himself took three wickets in four balls when with the first ball of his next over he bowled out Campbell for one.
The score was 15 for four, and after this the batters appeared to hit out recklessly and hopelessly.
Mavuta hit 11 runs off four balls before hitting his wicket down off the fifth, while Ryan Burl was out for 18 off seven balls.
When Madziva went out for four, eight wickets were down for 61 in 9.1 overs, and not one of them had survived more than 10 balls.
Tashinga Musekiwa however became the first Rhinos batter to break this barrier, as he showed more fight than some of the bigger names and reached 24 off 12 balls.
He shared the largest stand of the innings with Carl Mumba, 32 for the ninth wicket, before the latter was out for 11 off nine balls.
Chinouya came in last and hit a four, so remarkably in such a poor innings each batter had scored at least one run.
Musekiwa continued to bat with admirable fighting spirit until Chinouya was out for four, ending the innings at 111 in the 15th over.
He scored 38 not out off 20 balls, and was the one Rhinos batter able to go home with his head held high.
Madhevere took three top-order wickets for 15 runs in three overs, while Tawanda Dzikiti had three later wickets for 27.
Southern Rocks – 139-8 in 20 overs (Ben Curran 50, Richmond Mutumbami 23*, Dylan Hondo 22; Chris Mpofu 2/17, Luke Jongwe 2/21, Tawanda Maposa 1/10)
Tuskers – 128 all out in 19.4 overs (Tanu Makoni 37, Clive Madande 34, Tawanda Maposa 14; Sydney Murombo 4/21, Keith Jaure 2/9, Roy Kaia 2/29)
Southern Rocks won by 11 runs
Ben Curran with the bat and Sydney Murombo with the ball were the main heroes for Southern Rocks as they fought back to beat Tuskers for third place in this tournament by 11 runs in an exciting finish.
Tuskers had appeared to have the upper hand for most of the match.
They followed the usual but not always successful policy of putting their opponents in to bat on winning the toss.
They were jubilant when in the second over Luke Jongwe caught their most feared adversary, Cephas Zhuwao, off the bowling of Ernest Masuku for two.
This brought to an end Zhuwao’s run of four successive destructive fifties.
Curran stepped into the breach, though, with a fine attacking innings of 50 off only 36 balls, with eight fours to his credit.
He had good support from Roy Kaia and Gary Ballance with 13 apiece, but when he was out at 83 for four the middle order failed and seven were out for 95 in the 14th over.
Richmond Mutumbami (23 not out) and Dylan Hondo (22) put on 31, but a total of 139 for eight wickets was not one Rocks would have been happy with.
Chris Mpofu was the most successful of the bowlers, with two wickets for 17 in his four overs.
As he did in their final round-robin match on Saturday, Tanu Makoni played a sound anchor innings for Tuskers when they replied.
When Clive Madande scored a fine 34 off 27 balls, they seemed well set for victory at 82 for two in the 13th over.
But then none of the middle-order batters could get going for long, and wickets began to fall to the mixed attack.
Danger signals were evident for Tuskers when Jongwe was out for eight at 94 for four and 46 runs were needed off the last five overs.
Only Tawanda Maposa with 14 off six balls reached double figures, before he was bowled by Murombo at 120 for six – 20 needed off the last 16 balls.
Only three runs were scored off the next eight balls by Makoni and Masuku, and this failure spelled Tuskers’ doom.
Then Keith Jaure took two wickets with successive balls, while two balls later Murombo had Mpofu caught, leaving Tuskers reeling at 125 for nine with five balls left.
Makoni, almost left stranded, hit out, but was caught off Murombo for 37 (44 balls) to end the match, Tuskers finishing 12 runs short with only two balls left.
Murombo took four vital wickets for 21 in 3.4 overs, while Jaure, with two wickets for nine in his three overs, also struck at just the right time for Rocks.
2022/23 DOMESTIC T20 COMPETITION AWARDS:
• Centurion Master Blaster – Tadiwanashe Marumani (Eagles)
• Player of the Match (Final) – Wessly Madhevere (Eagles)
• Bowler of the Tournament – Tanaka Chivanga (Eagles)
• Batter of the Tournament – Cephas Zhuwao (Southern Rocks)
• Player of the Tournament – Cephas Zhuwao (Southern Rocks)
• Champions – Eagles
• Runners-Up – Rhinos