Kaitano leads charge as Southerns canter to victory
Northerns – 244-6 in 50 overs (Timycen Maruma 72*, Regis Chakabva 35, Sean Williams 26; Wellington Masakadza 2/49, Richard Ngarava 2/54, Wessly Madhevere 1/24)
Southerns – 191-1 in 28.3/36 overs (target: 189) (Takudzwanashe Kaitano 78, Craig Ervine 49*, Innocent Kaia 35; Tony Munyonga 1/40)
Southerns won by nine wickets (Duckworth-Lewis method)
Takudzwanashe Kaitano, with a fine innings of 78, followed up good bowling from his Southerns team-mates as they recorded a fine victory in the second one-day match against Northerns at Harare Sports Club on Wednesday, an excellent fightback after their heavy defeat in the first regional clash.
Northerns, put in to bat, made a consistent batting display, with all the eight batters who went to the crease reaching double figures, but only one passing 35.
Kevin Kasuza and Regis Chakabva, opening the innings, put on 39 runs in nine overs before Richard Ngarava had Kasuza caught for 18.
A useful partnership followed as Tadiwanashe Marumani joined Chakabva, who went on to reach 35 before he was bowled by Wellington Masakadza with the score at 82 in the 18th over.
Marumani’s contribution was 23, lbw to Wessly Madhevere, while Sean Williams made 26 before Ngarava returned to have him caught at the wicket at 132 for four in the 31st over.
Milton Shumba stayed only briefly, making 11 and then being stumped by Clive Madande off Masakadza; 150 for five after 37 overs.
Timycen Maruma was settling in well and, as the innings neared its end, he shared a 74-run partnership for the sixth wicket with Ryan Burl, who was caught off Tanaka Chivanga for 20 just when he was about to launch his assault on the bowling.
Only four overs remained, and Tony Munyonga did well to score 18, with a six and two fours, off 11 balls in that time.
Maruma was still there with him at the close, Northerns’ top scorer with 72 not out, scored off 83 balls with two sixes and four fours.
The final total was 244 for six wickets.
There was no weak link in the bowling, and the most expensive of them were the ones who took the most wickets: Ngarava with two for 54 off nine overs and Masakadza with two for 49 off 10 overs.
The two other spinners, Sikandar Raza (none for 28 off eight overs) and Madhevere (one for 24 off seven), both did an excellent restraining job and went for below four runs an over.
Southerns replied with a brilliant start to their innings, thanks to their opening batters Kaitano and Innocent Kaia.
Right from the start they looked to take charge of the bowling, scoring runs fluently off Northerns pacemen Tendai Chatara and Blessing Muzarabani, later backed by Donald Tiripano.
In 15 overs they had put 92 runs on the board without being separated, only for a shower of rain to interrupt the match.
Off the last ball before the rain Kaitano hit Tiripano for four – 13 runs came off the over – to reach a fine fifty after facing 49 balls, while Kaia had 35 off 41.
The best part of an hour’s play was lost and the target was adjusted: Southerns now needed to score 189 to win off 36 overs.
Craig Ervine came out to continue the innings with Kaitano, as Kaia had retired hurt with his 35, and so the chance of a century opening partnership was lost.
Kaitano picked up where he had left off, continuing to attack the bowling until, with his score on 78, he was caught off Tony Munyonga, the first wicket down with the score at 156.
Craig Ervine was cruising along at a good pace, and with Madhevere as his new partner led Southerns to victory with 7.3 overs and nine wickets to spare.
Madhevere hit Chatara for four in the 29th over to score 19 not out, while Ervine was unbeaten with 49 off only 36 balls.
So dominant were the batters that all of the Northerns bowlers went for more than a run a ball, with only Munyonga taking a wicket that cost him 40 runs.