Madhevere’s maiden first-class century props up Eagles innings
Rhinos – 282 and 53-0 in 11 overs (Takudzwanashe Kaitano 25*, Prince Masvaure 22*)
Eagles – 315 all out in 75.2 overs (Wessly Madhevere 111, Chamu Chibhabha 45, Keith Jaure 44; Johnathan Campbell 3/64, Brandon Mavuta 3/108, Carl Mumba 2/28)
Day 2 – Stumps: Rhinos lead by 20 runs
Wessly Madhevere celebrated his maiden first-class century at a most valuable time for Eagles as he rescued his team from quite a difficult position in the middle order in their Logan Cup match against Rhinos at Harare Sports Club on Friday.
Thanks to his effort, by the close of play the game was very evenly balanced.
Day two opened with the start of the Eagles innings after they dismissed Rhinos for 282 on Thursday.
Carl Mumba, having shown his batting skill, now shone with the ball, and in his second over he trapped Gareth Chirawu lbw for two, with a total of nine runs on the board.
In his next over, he took the vital wicket of Kudzai Maunze, bowling him for 15, and Eagles were in trouble now at 23 for two wickets.
More trouble was to follow, as first Regis Chakabva, who had tried to anchor the innings, was caught off Brandon Mavuta for a cautious six, and in the next over the new man, Tino Mutombodzi, was lbw to Kuda Macheka for two – Eagles were now 57 for four wickets.
Afterwards they began to rebuild their innings, initially through the positive batting of their captain, Chamu Chibhabha, who scored a valuable 45 before being bowled by Tafara Chingwara at 91 for five.
The improvement continued, as Madhevere rose to the occasion, playing his strokes without being daunted by the situation, and he found another good partner in Tinashe Kamunhukamwe.
Together they added 65 runs for the sixth wicket, before Kamunhukamwe was caught at the wicket off Johnathan Campbell for 34 with the score 156.
Madhevere was now the only recognised batsman left, but Keith Jaure caused a surprise by batting in fine form from the start, while Madhevere sailed past what was his first fifty in a first-class match.
Runs now flowed freely, and it was a wonderful moment when soon after tea Madhevere was able to celebrate his century, a fine fluent innings with the landmark reached after facing 130 balls.
He then lost Jaure, caught off Campbell for 44 after a partnership of 115, and was finally caught himself off Mavuta for 111, after facing 151 balls and hitting a six and 13 fours.
The scoreboard now read 281 for eight, just one run behind the Rhinos total.
Tanaka Chivanga scored four as Eagles took the lead, and then the last pair of Tapiwa Mufudza (23 not out) and Richard Ngarava (13) shared a very useful last-wicket stand of 29 before the innings came to an end at 315.
Campbell with three wickets for 64 returned the best bowling figures, while Mavuta also took three wickets that cost 108 runs off 22.2 overs.
Rhinos went in to bat again for the vital third innings of the match, 33 runs in arrears.
They made an excellent start, with Takudzwanashe Kaitano and Prince Masvaure taking the initiative from the start and bringing up the 50 without loss in the ninth over.
They had reached 53 by the close, with Kaitano on 25 and Masvaure 22.
Rhinos were now 20 runs ahead with all their wickets in hand, and the match is in an intriguingly balanced position.
Southern Rocks – 355 all out in 98.5 overs (Richmond Mutumbami 156, Roy Kaia 103*, Sikandar Raza 43; Ernest Masuku 6/91, Steve Chimhamhiwa 2/63, Luke Jongwe 1/45)
Tuskers – 214-8 in 71 overs (Nkosana Mpofu 50, Clive Madande 43*, Craig Ervine 31; Tendai Chisoro 3/33, Sikandar Raza 2/56, Travor Mutsamba 1/50)
Day 2 – Stumps: Tuskers trail by 141 runs
Richmond Mutumbami passed his previous highest first-class score while Roy Kaia also completed a fine century for Southern Rocks on the second day of their Logan Cup match against Tuskers at Takashinga Sports Club on Friday.
Rocks began the day on their overnight score of 310 for six wickets, with Kaia on 76 and Mutumbami 144.
Mutumbami soon passed 150, his previous best first-class score, and went on to make 156, at which mark he was caught at the wicket by Clive Madande, the new Tuskers wicketkeeper, off Steve Chimhamhiwa, having faced altogether 196 balls and hit three sixes and 24 fours.
His partnership with Kaia had put on 204 for the seventh wicket, the second-highest stand for this wicket by any Zimbabwean pair, behind only the 261 by Alistair Campbell and Paul Strang for the Zimbabweans on tour in 1997/98, against the New Zealand provincial side Canterbury.
The innings was then quickly finished off by Chimhamhiwa and Ernest Masuku, with the last three batsmen all falling quickly and the final total was 355.
With the last man at the crease, Kaia was on 97 and in danger of missing out on his century, but he took his courage in his hands to hit Masuku for six to reach his third first-class century before the last wicket fell.
He finished with 103 not out, a wonderful return to form for him, facing 208 balls and hitting the one six and 17 fours.
Tuskers had a large score to chase, and they opened with Nkosana Mpofu and Tanu Makoni.
They took the score to 41 before Makoni was stumped off Travor Mutsamba for eight.
Craig Ervine was in aggressive mood, and from the start of his innings he hit the loose ball powerfully until, with 31 to his account, he edged a catch to Mutumbami behind the wicket off George Matanga to make the score 85 for two wickets.
Mpofu reached a valuable 50, but was then immediately run out after facing 113 balls – 106 for three wickets.
Brian Chari tried to take charge of the bowling, but was lbw to Sikandar Raza for an aggressive 25.
Luke Jongwe also fell lbw to Raza, for 11, while Allan Chigoma batted doggedly for 18 off 57 balls before being caught off Tendai Chisoro.
Tuskers were now in some difficulty at 164 for six with all their specialist batsmen gone, and at 179 Ainsley Ndlovu also went, lbw to Chisoro without scoring.
However, Madande proved the man for the situation as he played a fine innings, finishing with 43 not out at the close.
Chimhamhiwa was in with him, his score on eight, and the total was 214 for eight wickets, with Tuskers still 141 runs behind.