Mbofana, Musonda dazzle as Fifty50 Challenge takes off in style
Eagles Women – 197 all out in 48.5 overs (Precious Marange 45, Christabel Chatonzwa 37, Modester Mupachikwa 29; Ellen Tshuma 3/33, Nomvelo Sibanda 2/13, Anita Chisirimunhu 1/24). Tuskers Women – 55 all out in 22.5 overs (Regai Matongo 10*, Chiedza Dhururu 5, Audrietta Mathema 2; Esther Mbofana 8/21, Precious Marange 1/2, Kellies Ndlovu 1/15). Eagles Women won by 142 runs
Esther Mbofana made history when she took the first hat-trick of the Women’s Fifty50 Challenge as she propelled Eagles Women to a massive 142-run victory over Tuskers Women at Kwekwe Sports Club on Saturday.
She was imperious in returning figures of eight wickets for 21 runs as Tuskers were skittled out for 55 in 22.5 overs – the innings saw only Regai Matongo getting to double figures with an unbeaten 10.
Mbofana’s crowning moment came as she dismissed Tasmeen Granger, Nomvelo Sibanda, both bowled, and Saidi Thuba, trapped leg before in the 11th over. At that point, Tuskers were reduced to 21-9 and getting to 55 was a combination of a lot of extras and some resilience from the final partnership. Precious Marange finally broke it when Natasha Mtomba was given out leg before on two.
Earlier, Marange top-scored with 45, as Eagles were bowled out for 197 in 48.5 overs. It was an innings that had a rocky start when Alice Marongwe was given out leg before for one to Nomvelo Sibanda in the fifth over with the score on 12. Shortly after, Audrey Matambo was gone for nought to Anita Chisirimunhu. Christabel Chatonzwa then joined skipper Modester Mupachikwa on the crease to rebuild the innings.
Their partnership finally came to an end when Mupachikwa fell on 29, with Ellen Tshuma claiming the prized wicket, the catch being completed by Audrietta Mathema. Peggie Madekubveni did not stick around for long as Tshuma removed her for two, bowled. Marange and Chatonzwa then stuck around for a bit before the former was bowled on 27 by Sibanda. Marange and Mbofana then combined for 60.
Marange then departed, Thuba trapping her leg before, with her innings of 45 runs including four fours and two sixes. Mbofana went out to Granger for 17, leg before.
The other batters around her did not make significant runs.
Rhinos Women – 209 all out in 46.3 overs (Mary-Anne Musonda 87, Josephine Nkomo 42, Nomatter Mutasa 22; Francesca Chipare 5/31, Rumbidzai Nire 2/35, Audrey Mazvishaya 2/51). Mountaineers Women – 210-4 in 40.3 overs (Pellagia Mujaji 59, Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano 51, Loryn Phiri 43*; Rebecca Chikomborero 1/30, Mary-Anne Musonda 1/35, Nomatter Mutasa 1/53). Mountaineers won by six wickets
In the other Fifty50Challenge match played at Harare Sports Club, Mountaineers Women were impressive in their chase as they claimed a six-wicket victory over Rhinos Women. Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano (51) and Pellagia Mujaji (59) both registered half-centuries. Their partnership amassed 88 runs before Mugeri-Tiripano was caught by Mary-Anne Musonda off the bowling of Nomatter Mutasa. Her innings included six fours. Loryn Phiri picked up from there, finding the boundary regularly for an impressive, controlled, unbeaten 43. While Mujaji would fall to Musonda leg before, enough had been done for the win – Mujaji and Phiri had combined for 77. The remaining 30 runs were picked off with Nyasha Gwanzura finishing unbeaten on 16.
Mountaineers reached 210 for nine in 40.3 overs. Earlier, Musonda claimed the first half-century of the competition with an impressive 87. Her partnership of 114 with captain Josephine Nkomo was the highlight of the Rhinos innings. When Musonda finally departed – Audrey Mazvishaya trapping her leg before – she had found the boundary 15 times. Nomatter Mutasa joined Nkomo for a partnership of 31.
The former would go for 22, bowled by Greatness Mutasa before Nkomo departed shortly after for 42, the first of Francesca Chipare’s five victims. Chipare tore through the middle and lower Rhinos batting order, returning figures of five for 21. Rumbidzai Nire and Mazvishaya also bagged wickets, two apiece, as Rhinos were all out for 209 in 46.3 overs.