Maruma, Marumani shine before bad light ruins regional thriller
Southerns – 242-8 in 41 overs (Clive Madande 45, Tino Mutombodzi 43, Takudzwanashe Kaitano 43; Donald Tiripano 3/49, Tendai Chatara 3/58, Blessing Muzarabani 1/25)
Northerns – 131-2 in 18.3 overs (Timycen Maruma 60, Tadiwanashe Marumani 55, Sean Williams 4*; Carl Mumba 1/20, Richard Ngarava 1/34)
An outstanding partnership of 121 for the second wicket by Tadiwanashe Marumani and Timycen Maruma put Northerns in a good position to win the third and final regional one-day match against Southerns at Harare Sports Club on Friday.
Unfortunately, rain and bad light twice interrupted the play and, in the end, a ‘no-result’ match was declared.
Northerns won the toss and put Southerns in to bat, the usual pattern of this tournament.
Takudzwanashe Kaitano and Innocent Kaia opened the batting against the bowling of Tendai Chatara and Blessing Muzarabani, and the former struck with the last ball of his first over, having Kaia caught by the wicket-keeper, Nyasha Mayavo, without scoring.
In his third over, Chatara had another success, as he bowled out the prolific Craig Ervine for 10, to make the score 13 for two.
Wessly Madhevere joined Kaitano, and the pair put the matter to rights with a fine partnership of 89 in 14 overs, with Madhevere in fine form to score 39 off only 37 balls.
When the score had reached 88 after 16 overs a shower of rain drove the players from the field, and time was lost, which meant the match had to be adjusted to one of 41 overs per side, with Duckworth-Lewis calculations to come into effect.
Madhevere’s fine innings came to an end soon after the resumption, when Donald Tiripano had him caught by Ryan Burl at 102 for three, and this sparked off a mini-collapse.
Muzarabani returned, and at 108 he had Kaitano caught at the wicket for 43, scored off 68 balls, and then he ran out Sikandar Raza for two as the batters attempted a quick single, which made it five wickets down for 109 in the 23rd over.
Again, Southerns found the men to rescue the side, as Tino Mutombodzi and Clive Madande not only shared a valuable partnership but attacked the bowling in good style, pushing the score along rapidly.
They put on 87 together, only for Tiripano again to break the stand when at 196 he had Mutombodzi caught for 43 (44 balls) and two deliveries later Madande edged to the keeper for 45 (51 balls), both in the 38th over.
Luke Jongwe, with no time to get his eye in, didn’t need to, as he hit out furiously to score 32 runs off only 13 balls, with two sixes and three fours, before Chatara bowled him with the final ball of the innings at 242 for eight wickets.
His partner Wellington Masakadza was not out with 10 off nine balls.
Chatara (three for 58) and Tiripano (three for 49) were obviously the pick of the bowlers as far as analyses were concerned, but Muzarabani’s one wicket for only 25 runs off nine overs was in its way just as valuable.
The total was 242 for eight wickets, and by Duckworth-Lewis calculations Northerners were set 245 to win in their 41 overs.
Northerns sent in Milton Shumba to open their innings with Marumani, but it did not work out well, as he was caught by Ervine off Richard Ngarava in the first over for one.
Maruma came in next, and this move did prove more successful, as he played a fine attacking innings and put the Southerns bowling to the sword in excellent style.
After 10 overs the score was 74 for one, and with Marumani joining in the fun, their partnership reached 121 before, after 18 overs, Maruma was caught by Kaitano off Raza for 60, which came off only 52 balls and included two sixes and four fours.
Sean Williams, playing for and captaining Northerners in this match, came in next and hit his first delivery for four.
By this stage, however, the light had deteriorated and the umpires took the players off the field with the score 131 for two.
They never returned, and since the Northerns innings had not lasted for the necessary 20 overs, no result was declared.
This was most unfortunate for Northerns, as their fine second-wicket partnership had put them in a good position to win the match.