Alliance Health Eagles – 314 all out in 48.5 overs (Regis Chakabva 122, Tino Mutombodzi 93, Chamu Chibhabha 39; Ernest Masuku 6/50, Sean Williams 2/41, Charlton Tshuma 1/55)
Tuskers – 315-6 in 47.5 overs (Craig Ervine 118, Brian Chari 88, Luke Jongwe 42*; Wessly Madhevere 2/40, Tanaka Chivanga 2/85, Richard Ngarava 1/51)
Tuskers won by four wickets
Tuskers enjoyed a brilliant second-wicket partnership of 188 between Craig Ervine and Brian Chari as they chased down a large target of 315 to stun Alliance Health Eagles by four wickets in their second Pro50 Championship meeting at Mutare Sports Club on Saturday.
Tuskers won the toss and put Eagles in to bat.
Ernest Masuku struck in the second over when he had Marshal Takodza caught by the veteran John Nyumbu without scoring in the second over, with only a single on the board.
His partner Tinashe Kamunhukamwe was also caught by Nyumbu off Sean Williams for 17, to make Eagles 32 for two in the 11th over.
There followed a good partnership between the captain Chamu Chibhabha and Regis Chakabva for the third wicket, taking the score to 97 in the 23rd over before Nyumbu took his third successive catch to remove Chibhabha for 39, also off Williams.
Wessly Madhevere scored only nine before he was bowled by Masuku.
The Eagles innings was now at a crossroads as Tino Mutombodzi joined Chakabva, the score being 109 for four in the 25th over and the last pair of proven batsmen together.
They rose to the situation superbly, taking complete charge of the bowling and hitting it all over the field as the runs flowed.
So dominant were they that 12 sixes flowed from their bats, while they hit six fours between them.
They added 186 brilliantly together for the fifth wicket in just 21 overs, taking the score to exactly 295 in the 46th over before Chakabva was given out lbw to Charlton Tshuma for 122.
He scored his runs off only 97 balls, hitting seven sixes and two fours.
Mutombodzi unfortunately missed his century, being caught by Milton Shumba off Masuku for 93 – he faced just 69 balls and hit five sixes and four fours.
The last few batsmen went for broke as they hit out in an attempt to keep the runs coming quickly, but had little success.
The last five wickets went down in 14 balls, four of them to Masuku, whose final figures off 9.5 overs were six wickets for 50 runs.
Williams was the most economical of the bowlers, taking two wickets for 41 in 10 overs.
The final score was an impressive 314, bowled out with seven balls to spare, a very difficult target for Tuskers to chase.
They made a bad start, losing Nkosana Mpofu in the third over, caught at the wicket off Richard Ngarava for two with the score at nine.
Then Ervine joined Chari at the crease, and the pair began to turn the match around with some superb batting.
They got right on top of the bowling and scored at better than a run a ball as they added 188 for the second wicket in 27 overs.
At 197 the desperate Eagles bowlers finally broke the partnership, as Madhevere bowled out Chari for 88, scored off 91 balls with five sixes and four fours.
The next man, Sean Williams, soon followed him, caught off Madhevere for four; 209 for three.
This was no doubt awkward for Ervine, who was on 96 at this stage, but he did not let it affect his concentration and a four off Keith Jaure took him to his century off 84 balls.
Milton Shumba played wisely, allowing Ervine to take command, and as long as he was at the crease Tuskers would win if he had reliable partners.
Then at 237 it all changed, as Tanaka Chivanga produced the vital ball that bowled Ervine for 118, an outstanding innings off exactly 100 balls and containing four sixes and eight fours.
It was now anybody’s game, as Tuskers with six wickets left needed 78 to win off 13.4 overs – not too difficult on paper, but Eagles in such a situation are a dangerous team.
And so it proved, as Shumba and Luke Jongwe tried hard to score the necessary runs by safe, sound cricket.
However, Jaure had Shumba caught by Chibhabha for 10, while Chivanga then removed Clive Madande through a catch by Kamunhukamwe.
This made the score 271 for six, with 44 needed with four wickets in hand in 6.4 overs.
Jongwe and his new partner, Alvin Chiradza, went for the runs – 21 were needed off the last four overs.
Showing remarkable determination and confidence, they did the job in two.
Chiradza hit two successive fours off Ngarava, and then Jongwe took on Jaure, hitting a six and a four, besides a single to each batsman, and Tuskers were home with a fine victory.
Jongwe finished with 42 off 39 balls, Chiradza with 19 off 13, and Tuskers had done superbly well to make up for their defeat in their first match, followed by a large total against them this morning.
Southern Rocks – 248-8 in 50 overs (Sikandar Raza 60, Cephas Zhuwao 43, Tendai Chisoro 32; Carl Mumba 4/55, Ryan Burl 2/26, Kudakwashe Macheka 1/38)
Rhinos – 94-3 in 24/24 overs (target: 109)(Takudzwanashe Kaitano 46*, Ryan Burl 17, Prince Masvaure 15; William mashinge 1/22, Blessing Muzarabani 1/24)
Southern Rocks won by 14 runs (Duckworth-Lewis method)
Rain in the afternoon again brought to an end a good Pro50 Championship match at Kwekwe Sports Club, with Southern Rocks and Rhinos evenly balanced and needing Duckworth-Lewis to find a winner for the second time.
Rocks batted on winning the toss, and thus unleashed their key one-day player, Cephas Zhuwao, on their opponents immediately.
Zhuwao scored a single in the first over, from Carl Mumba, and then blazed four fours off Neville Madziva’s first over.
His partners were not so successful, as Innocent Kaia was lbw to Kuda Macheka for eight and Tadiwanashe Marumani brilliantly caught on the square-leg boundary by Tashinga Musekwa off Mumba for five.
Zhuwao himself raced to 43 off 25 balls before he skyed a catch to Takudzwanashe Kaitano at mid-off and left with the score at 63 for three wickets, in only the seventh over of the innings.
Richmond Mutumbami and Sikandar Raza steadied the innings by adding 57 for the fourth wicket in 12 overs before Mutumbami edged a catch to Prince Masvaure at slip off Ryan Burl for 23.
Roy Kaia scored only seven before he was out exactly the same way at 130 for five after 23 overs.
There now followed a period when Raza and William Mashinge became quite bogged down against good spin bowling from Burl, Brandon Mavuta and Johnathan Campbell, and in 15 overs they scored only 39 runs before Campbell had Mashinge lbw for 18.
Tendai Chisoro came in, and with Raza was beginning to improve the scoring rate again, Raza reaching his fifty off 90 balls.
At 194 in the 43rd over, however, misfortune occurred as Raza, suffering from cramps, was forced to retire hurt for 60 off 96 balls, soon after hitting a six.
With the overs running out, Chisoro and Blessing Muzarabani attacked the bowling, but Mumba returned to dismiss them both, Muzarabani well caught by Kaitano near the midwicket boundary and Chisoro bowled for 32.
After 50 overs the score was 248 for eight wickets, with Travor Mutsamba on eight and Nkosi Nungu one.
Mumba took four of the wickets, but was expensive, his seven overs travelling for 55 runs.
Burl bowled his 10 overs to take two wickets for only 26 runs, while Mavuta bowled nine overs for only 29 and Musekwa seven for only 20 – invaluable economical bowling for Rhinos that prevented the Rocks batters from taking charge in the middle order.
Rhinos found Kaitano in good form, and he put on 34 for the first wicket in eight overs with Masvaure, who was run out by Marumani for 15.
This was followed by the lbw dismissal of Charles Kunje by Mashinge for six at 43 for two, and then Ryan Burl made 17 before being bowled by Muzarabani for 17; 79 for three.
Nyasha Mayavo came in, but so did the rain, and the players were forced off the field at 94 for three – Kaitano 46, and Mayavo three – and they were unable to return.
Rocks thus won the match by 14 runs using the Duckworth-Lewis calculation.