Eagles Women lift 2021/22 Fifty50 Challenge trophy
Alliance Health Eagles Women – 258-7 in 50 overs (Christabel Chatonzwa 108*, Kellies Ndlovu 30, Mitchell Mavunga 21; Dana Ndiraya 3/40, Nomatter Mutasa 2/45, Vimbai Kavava 1/35)
Rhinos Women – 91 all out in 36.3 overs (Mary-Anne Musonda 22, Ashley Ndiraya 9, Josephine Nkomo 9; Mitchell Mavunga 4/32, Olinda Chare 3/11, Precious Marange 1/16)
Alliance Health Eagles Women won by 167 runs
Alliance Health Eagles have been crowned the 2021/22 Fifty50 Challenge champions after Christabel Chatonzwa’s scintillating unbeaten century inspired them to a 167-run victory over Rhinos Women in the final played at Old Hararians Sports Club on Saturday.
After Eagles Women won the toss and opted to bat first, Chatonzwa was unperturbed by the loss of her opening partner and captain Modester Mupachikwa for a duck as she went on to carry her willow with aplomb, blasting 14 fours on her way to 108 not out.
From one for one in the first over, they recovered well as Chatonzwa and Kellies Ndlovu shared a 74-run partnership for the second wicket which was only broken in the 17th over when Josephine Nkomo had the latter caught behind for 30, with four fours, off 61 balls.
In the next over, Vimbai Kavava sent Alice Marongwe back to the pavilion before she could get off the mark, the score now being 80 for three.
Precious Marange came in next, faced 30 balls, hit two fours and departed for 13 after two of the four Ndiraya sisters in the Rhinos Women team combined to dismiss her in the 27th over, Dana sending down the delivery and Kelly completing the catch to make the score 123 for four.
The brilliant Chatonzwa soon reached her fifty, which came off 68 balls.
Forty more runs were added before Eagles Women were down to 173 for five in the 37th over after Adelle Zimunhu was given out lbw to Nomatter Mutasa for 15.
Mitchell Mavunga contributed a valuable 21, including one six and one four, off 19 balls before she became Dana Ndiraya’s second victim, another lbw dismissal – 214 for six in the 42nd over.
In the 48th over, Chatonzwa brought up her maiden century in style, hitting Nkomo for four to reach the milestone off 109 balls.
She and Vimbai Mutungwindu, who scored seven not out, then safely saw out the innings as Eagles Women amassed a competitive 258 for seven in 50 overs.
Chatonzwa finished with 108 not out, the only century of the women’s inter-provincial one-day championship this season.
Dana Ndiraya was the most successful bowler, grabbing three wickets for 40 runs off nine overs, while Mutasa took two for 45 in 10 overs.
Rhinos were soon in big trouble after both of their opening batters perished to Mitchell Mavunga with only 25 on the board by the seventh over, Ashley Ndiraya bowled for nine and Nkomo caught also for nine.
Apart from Mary-Anne Musonda who scored a run-a-ball 22, no other batter made it into the double figures as Mavunga and Olinda Chare ran through the Rhinos Women batting order.
After 36.3 overs, their innings folded for 91, giving Eagles Women victory by 167 runs.
Chare was the pick of the bowlers with three wickets for 11 runs off 10 overs, while Mavunga finished with four for 32 off 8.3 overs.
Despite ending up on the losing side in the final, Nkomo got some consolation as she was named the Fifty50 Challenge’s best batter as well as player of the tournament.
Mavunga walked away with the bowler of the tournament accolade.