Great Zimbabwe crowned inaugural Domestic T10 champions
Great Zimbabwe Patriots – 128-1 in 10 overs (Tadiwanashe Marumani 54, Richmond Mutumbami 35*, Tony Munyonga 29*; Dylan Hondo 1/22)
Harare Kings – 111-6 in 10 overs (Cephas Zhuwao 73, Tarisai Musakanda 9, Faraz Akram 7*; Tony Munyonga 2/20, Luke Jongwe 1/20, Tawananyasha Kasondo 1/36)
Great Zimbabwe Patriots won by 17 runs
A magnificent lone fighting innings of 73 from Cephas Zhuwao of Harare Kings could not quite match the double act of Tadiwanashe Marumani and Richmond Mutumbami of Great Zimbabwe Patriots in the Zim Cyber-City Domestic T10 final at Harare Sports Club on Sunday.
Victory deservedly went to the Masvingo-based side, and came by a margin of 17 runs in an entertaining contest.
Great Zimbabwe’s luck with the toss continued, and once again they chose to bat first with their brilliant opening partnership of Marumani and Mutumbami.
The first over, from Brad Evans, could be said to be a quiet one for this pair, with 11 runs coming from it, followed by 13 off Alex Falao.
After five overs they had taken the score to 48, which may appear a little tame for this pair, but in the next over Marumani hit Falao for a two, two fours and three sixes to speed up the scoring a little – 30 runs came off the over.
The partnership lasted seven overs for 91 runs before Dylan Hondo finally had Marumani caught on the long-on boundary by Zhuwao, having scored 54 runs off 26 balls with four sixes and five fours.
This brought in Tony Munyonga, who faced Sikandar Raza and slogged his first ball for six, followed by another off Hondo.
Seventeen runs came off the final over, which took the score to 128 for one wicket.
Mutumbami scored 35 off 23 balls, with two sixes and two fours, while Munyonga made 29 off 12 balls, with three sixes and a four.
Evans, who bowled two overs for 19 runs, was the only bowler to concede fewer than 20 runs in two overs, while the unfortunate Falao went for 43.
This left a very challenging target for Harare Kings, but with Raza and Zhuwao in the opposition, it could not be regarded as a safe score.
Kings sent in Raza first this time with Zhuwao to open the innings, but the move failed.
Raza hit his first ball, from Luke Jongwe, for four, only to be caught near the square-leg boundary by Marumani off the next, a great blow to Kings.
Tarisai Musakanda joined Zhuwao, but a tight over from Sydney Murombo brought only two runs – seven runs after two overs made a Kings victory more unlikely than ever now.
In the fourth over Musakanda was caught for nine, followed by Evans, third ball after hitting a boundary, and the score was now 43 for three in the fifth over.
As long as Zhuwao was there, there was hope for Kings, however, and the big man was doing his best to rise to the occasion, boundaries flowing from his bat even as the required run rate crept up to three runs per ball.
Mohammad Zaheer went out to Munyonga after scoring one of a 23-run partnership with Zhuwao – 66 for four in the seventh over.
Zhuwao reached his fifty with a six off 23 balls, but 35 runs were needed off the last two overs, a tall order even for Zhuwao.
His gallant effort ended in the ninth over, as in trying to farm the bowling he was run out by a throw from Mutumbami at short fine leg.
His magnificent innings of 73 came off only 33 balls, and contained six sixes and five fours.
Great Zimbabwe now knew that the match and the trophy were theirs.
Zhuwao, the only man to reach double figures, left with the score 103 for six wickets, and the final score for Kings was 111 for six wickets.
Munyonga had the best figures with ball of two wickets for 20 runs, but Murombo did an invaluable job by bowling two overs without a wicket, conceding only 11 runs.
Most of all in this tournament, though, Great Zimbabwe have been indebted to their marvellous opening partnership of Marumani and Mutumbami, and this pair did the job for them again on the big day.
Lions – 101-4 in 10 overs (Marshall Takodza 26*, Bright Phiri 26, Christopher Masike 18; Cuthbert Musoko 2/14, Tapiwa Mufudza 1/18, Shingi Masakadza 1/19)
Takashinga Patriots 1 – 94-5 in 10 overs (Shingi Masakadza 35, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe 28, Joylord Gumbie 13*; Kudakwashe Macheka 2/10, Nkosilathi Nungu 1/11, Arnold Shara 1/15)
Lions won by seven runs
The day began with the third-place play-off between Takashinga Patriots 1 and Lions, which proved to be a thrilling match won narrowly by Lions with a margin of only seven runs.
Despite some brilliant hitting from both teams, it was the superb pace bowling of Kudakwashe Macheka at the death of the Takashinga innings that turned the game in Lions’ favour.
Takashinga won the toss and sent Lions in to bat.
Bright Phiri gave Lions an excellent start by blazing 26 runs off 12 balls, including five fours, before being the first man out at 35 in the third over.
Christopher Masike was also in good form, hitting two sixes as he scored 18 off 11 balls, and on his dismissal Lions were 67 for three in the seventh over, with Spencer Magodo also out for nine.
Lions looked set for an easy 100 total, but then Cuthbert Musoko bowled a fine over that ended with the dismissal of Tashinga Musekiwa for two, the fourth wicket down at 70.
Marshall Takodza, the captain, blasted his second ball for six and then raced to 26 off 12 balls in the last three overs, with Clive Madande at the other end scoring 10 off 11 balls.
Takodza’s final burst just achieved a 100 total – 101 to be exact, with four wickets down.
Musoko had been the best of the bowlers, taking two wickets for 15 runs in his two overs.
Takodza struck with his second ball when Takashinga batted, holding a return catch from Takudzwanashe Kaitano without a run on the board.
However, his joy ended there, as Tinashe Kamunhukamwe came in and smote a six and two fours off the remaining four balls.
Kamunhukamwe then set his sights on Arnold Shara at the other end and did exactly the same to him – except that off the final delivery Madande held a catch at leg slip to send him on his way after blasting 28 off nine balls.
Nkosilathi Nungu bowled the next over and immediately Madande took his second catch in two balls to remove Chamu Chibhabha for one, reducing Takashinga to 30 for three.
Shingi Masakadza, now joined by Baxton Gopito, is never a player to be daunted by the situation and he now launched his assault on the bowlers.
He emulated Kamunhukamwe by racing to 31 not out off his first 10 balls, making the score 66 for three off five overs.
Masakadza reached 35 off 19 balls, but was then caught on the midwicket boundary by Phiri off Macheka – 71 for four in the sixth over, and the match was in the balance again, with all the big hitters gone.
Twenty runs were needed off the last two overs, and Gopito was out to Macheka for nine, leaving Joylord Gumbie and Richard Ngarava at the crease.
Macheka bowled so well that only five runs came from his over, leaving 15 to be made from the final over, bowled by Trevor Gwandu.
Fine bowling by Gwandu was too much for the batters, who could manage only seven, including a leg-bye, and so after five straight victories Takashinga suffered defeat and were demoted to fourth place in the competition.
Their final total was 94 for five, with Gumbie not out with 13 and Ngarava five.
Macheka’s two vital overs cost only 10 runs and accounted for two invaluable wickets, while Gwandu took no wickets but conceded just 11 runs when under great pressure.