Tuskers – 106 all out in 32.2 overs (Brian Chari 31, Alvin Chiradza 25, Milton Shumba 10; Richard Ngarava 3/14, Tanaka Chivanga 3/39, Wessly Madhevere 2/6)
Alliance Health Eagles – 107-2 in 17.5 overs (Chamu Chibhabha 43*, Regis Chakabva 40*, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe 18; Charlton Tshuma 1/28, Ainsley Ndlovu 1/37)
Alliance Health Eagles won by eight wickets
Alliance Health Eagles got their Pro50 Championship campaign off to a winning start as they made short work of Tuskers at Mutare Sports Club on Thursday.
Regis Chakabva enjoyed a good day as he followed four catches behind the stumps with a dashing innings of 40 not out that took his team to an eight-wicket victory.
For the first six overs of their innings, Tuskers, on being put in to bat, did well, with Brian Chari showing fine form, hitting Richard Ngarava for a six and Tanaka Chivanga for another two sixes off successive balls.
After five overs he had scored 27 of his side’s score of 35 for no wicket, but in the next over disaster struck with such force that the team never recovered.
First, Ngarava took a return catch from Tanu Makoni, who had four, and then three balls later had the new man, Craig Ervine, caught at the wicket by Chakabva without scoring.
Chari hit Chivanga for four, but was then caught by Wessly Madhevere for 31, scored off 28 balls.
Milton Shumba took a single, but then Sean Williams edged a catch to the keeper without scoring, and Tuskers were reeling at 40 for four wickets.
There was a brief respite as Shumba and Alvin Chiradza tried to consolidate, taking the score to 58 before Shumba fell lbw to Tapiwa Mufudza for 10.
Chakabva took his third catch at 70, when Clive Madande edged a ball from Keith Jaure and was out for nine.
Chiradza and Luke Jongwe, as the last two recognised batters, decided to play safely for a while, but at 80 Jongwe became the seventh wicket to fall, caught and bowled by Madhevere for four.
Ernest Masuku (7) and Ainsley Ndlovu (2) did not last long, and nine wickets were down for 95 runs.
With the last man Charlton Tshuma at the crease the batsmen took the score past 100, but then Ngarava returned for another spell and had Chiradza caught by Chakabva for 25.
With Tshuma not out on five, Tuskers were therefore dismissed in 32.2 overs for only 106 runs.
When Eagles went in to chase down their small target, Ndlovu took the second over opposite Tshuma, and with his first ball bowled Kudzai Maunze for one.
Tinashe Kamunhukamwe went on the attack and raced to 18 out of 25, only to be bowled by Tshuma, as Tuskers fought back.
This, however, was as far as they were to get, as Chamu Chibhabha and Chakabva settled into a good positive partnership together, scoring freely and handling all the bowlers well.
They took Eagles to a convincing eight-wicket victory within 18 overs, with Chibhabha scoring 43 off 49 balls and Chakabva 40 off 35.
Southern Rocks – 214 all out in 45.3 overs (Tadiwanashe Marumani 65, Sikandar Raza 49, William Mashinge 29*; Brandon Mavuta 3/24, Kudakwashe Macheka 2/32, Ryan Burl 2/47)
Rhinos – 127-5 in 31.1/31.1 overs (target 138) (Takudzwanashe Kaitano 46, Charles Kunje 34, Johnathan Campbell 20*; Travor Mutsamba 1/19, Blessing Muzarabani 1/20, Sikandar Raza 1/20)
Southern Rocks won by 10 runs (Duckworth-Lewis method)
A partnership of 99 for the fourth wicket between Tadiwanashe Marumani and Sikandar Raza helped Southern Rocks to a 10-run victory by the Duckworth-Lewis calculation over Rhinos in their Pro50 Championship match at Kwekwe Sports Club on Thursday.
Rocks, put in to bat, opened their innings with their great hitter, Cephas Zhuwao, who hammered four fours off 10 balls before Carl Mumba bowled him out for 16; 19 for one.
His replacement Marumani also got after the bowling quickly, but the other opener, Innocent Kaia, was caught at the wicket by Nyasha Mayavo off Neville Madziva for seven with the score at 39.
Richmond Mutumbami was caught and bowled by Ryan Burl for six, but then came the great partnership of the innings, as Raza joined Marumani and they put on 99 for the fourth wicket in 18 overs.
At 157 for three, with both batsmen in full command of the bowling, Rocks were in a fine position for a big total, but the situation suddenly turned right around.
Raza, on 49 off 63 balls, was caught lofting a ball to fine leg off Kuda Macheka in the 28th over, and off the same bowler’s next delivery Roy Kaia edged a catch to the keeper.
Off the first ball of the next over Brandon Mavuta had Marumani caught in the deep at cow corner for 65, and three wickets had fallen in four balls with the score on 157.
At 168 Mavuta removed Tafadzwa Tsiga lbw for eight, and with his next delivery had Tendai Chisoro caught at slip first ball – and Rocks now found themselves reeling at 168 for eight.
William Mashinge was playing a solid game to hold his team’s innings together, and Blessing Muzarabani, in next, curbed his natural attacking instincts as the pair partly repaired the damage with a valuable ninth-wicket partnership of 43 in 12 overs.
At 211, however, Tashinga Musekwa bowled out Muzarabani for 12, while the last man Travor Mutsamba was well caught at slip off Burl to close the innings in the 46th over for 214.
Mashinge was left unbeaten with a good innings of 29.
Mavuta did very well to bowl his 10 overs for 24 runs and three wickets, while there were two each for Macheka and Burl.
As they replied, Rhinos soon lost the wicket of Bright Matsiwe, caught by Mutumbami at the wicket for four off Mutsamba in the fourth over.
Takudzwanashe Kaitano batted solidly to start with, but then opened out with some attacking strokes to take the score to 89 before he hit a ball from Mashinge straight to cover point to be out for 46, scored off 52 balls.
His partner Charles Kunje, knowing there was no need for undue hurry, played a watchful game, but the next man, Burl, soon went, skying a ball from Muzarabani that was caught by the keeper; 97 for three.
In the following over Kunje was bowled by Innocent Kaia for 34, and before they had recovered from this Mayavo (2) became Mutumbami’s third catching victim off Raza’s bowling.
Four wickets had fallen for 12 runs, and Rocks had now forced themselves right on top in this match.
Johnathan Campbell shaped up well in this situation and had scored 18 runs, partnered by Musekwa on one, when lightning forced the players off the field with the score at 119 for five wickets in the 30th over.
They returned after a while, but after two more overs rain interfered, with the score now 127 for five, the batsmen with 20 and three respectively.
No further play was possible, and so the match was decided by the Duckworth-Lewis method.