Southern Rocks – 203 all out in 65.2 overs (Tafadzwa Tsiga 67, Richmond Mutumbami 20, William Mashinge 17; Brad Evans 4/45, Tinotenda Mutombodzi 2/31, Richard Ngarava 1/33)
Alliance Health Eagles – 60-1 in 16 overs (Kudzai Maunze 43*, Regis Chakabva 9*, Gareth Chirawu 1; Cuthbert Musoko 1/12)
Day 1 – Stumps: Alliance Health Eagles trail by 143 runs
Tafadzwa Tsiga played a sturdy innings of 67 to bolster Logan Cup champions Southern Rocks after they made a poor start to their first innings against Alliance Health Eagles at Takashinga Sports Club in Harare on Friday.
Richard Ngarava and Brad Evans opened the bowling for Alliance Health Eagles after Rocks decided to bat first, and soon had the champions in trouble.
Brian Mudzinganyama was the first man to go, bowled by Ngarava for 11 with the score at 21.
Then Evans quickly removed Tadiwanashe Marumani and Roy Kaia, both lbw to him for five runs each, to leave Rocks reeling at 32 for three.
Worse was to happen as the opening batsman Innocent Kaia suffered a left-knee injury with the score at 51 and had to retire.
Sikandar Raza and Richmond Mutumbami applied their experience in a useful partnership, taking the score to 69 for three at lunch.
Afterwards, though, in quick succession Tapiwa Mufudza removed Mutumbami lbw for 20 and Evans picked up a return catch to dismiss Raza for an uncharacteristically slow 11.
This was when Tsiga stepped in, ably supported for a while by William Mashinge – they added 68 together before Mashinge was bowled by Tino Mutombodzi for 17.
Tsiga continued to bat well with Tendai Chisoro, who made an aggressive 14 with three fours, and at tea they had reached 160 for six wickets.
Tanaka Chivanga had Chisoro caught at the wicket for 14 and then Mutombodzi trapped Tsiga lbw for a fine 67, but the score was now 179 for eight.
Innocent Kaia returned and Cuthbert Musoko gave him good support to see the score past 200 before Evans had the latter caught for 12.
The innings closed for 203, after Innocent Kaia retired hurt again as his knee continued to give him problems, having made 21.
Evans took the main bowling honours with four wickets for 45 runs, while Mutombodzi took two for 31 and the other three bowlers used had a wicket each.
Alliance Health Eagles went in to bat and soon lost Gareth Chirawu, caught off Musoko for one.
However, Kudzai Maunze was in fine batting form and went for his strokes in good style, scoring 43 not out off 44 balls, with eight fours, before the close.
His partner was Regis Chakabva, nine not out, and Alliance Health Eagles finished the day on 60 for one wicket.
Rhinos – 290 all out in 83 overs (Takudzwanashe Kaitano 68, Ryan Burl 57, Carl Mumba 55; Wellington Masakadza 4/73, Donald Tiripano 3/50, Tony Munyonga 1/14)
Mountaineers – 24-0 in 5 overs (Joylord Gumbie 15*, Kevin Kasuza 4*)
Day 1 – Stumps: Mountaineers trail by 266 runs
At Harare Sports Club, Takudzwanashe Kaitano gave Rhinos a fine start with an attacking innings of 68 as they scored 290 against Mountaineers.
Mountaineers, who had put Rhinos in to bat, opened with their international pace pair of Tendai Chatara and Victor Nyauchi.
They held no terrors for Kaitano, who took the initiative with a series of boundaries, and was given good support by Prince Masvaure at the other end.
Masvaure made 22 of the opening partnership of 78 in 20.4 overs before he was caught by Nyauchi off the bowling of Donald Tiripano for 22.
Tarisai Musakanda came in and at lunch Rhinos were going well at 110 for one, with Kaitano on 68 and Musakanda 17.
Mountaineers fought back well in the afternoon, though, and with the very first delivery bowled after lunch Chatara removed Kaitano lbw.
In quick succession Nyauchi had Charles Kunje caught at the wicket for four, while Musakanda was caught and bowled for 31 by Wellington Masakadza, who then had Remembrance Nyathi lbw for four and bowled Nyasha Mayavo second ball without scoring.
The position was now reversed as Rhinos were reduced to 156 for six wickets, but then Ryan Burl and Carl Mumba made a gallant fightback.
Mumba, continuing his batting improvement of last season, hit out boldly to score 55 off 47 balls, with three sixes and five fours, before being caught off Tony Munyonga with the score at 222.
Burl had batted quietly while Mumba attacked, but now he began to bat with more aggression, reaching his own fifty before Tiripano bowled him for 57.
The innings came to a lively end as Kudakwashe Macheka, the last man, hammered 20 runs off 12 balls with a six and three fours before Tiripano had him lbw to end the innings for 290.
Wellington Masakadza returned the best bowling figures with four wickets for 73, while Tiripano took three for 50.
Mountaineers had five overs to bat before the close, when they scored 24 runs without loss – Joylord Gumbie hit three fours to finish on 14 while the captain Kevin Kasuza had four.