Mountaineers edge Rhinos to retain Pro50 Championship title
Mountaineers – 277-7 in 50 overs (Definate Mawadzi 70, Timycen Maruma 51, Peter Moor 44; Brandon Mavuta 3/34, Carl Mumba 3/50, Michael Chinouya 1/44)
Rhinos – 276-8 in 50 overs (Johnathan Campbell 57, Carl Mumba 44*, Prince Masvaure 43; Tinashe Muchawaya 2/33, Clive Chitumba 1/25, Victor Nyauchi 1/39)
Mountaineers won by one run
Mountaineers have retained the Pro50 Championship trophy after defeating Rhinos by a single run in a thrilling final that went down to the last delivery at Kwekwe Sports Club on Saturday.
Rhinos won the toss and put Mountaineers in to bat.
Kevin Kasuza, opening the batting, struggled for runs before he was finally caught off the bowling of Mike Chinouya for four, which took him 34 balls and came out of a total of 26.
His partner, Clive Chitumba, made 26 before he was bowled by Carl Mumba to make the score 44 for two.
Then came the partnership that put the team on course for a good total, as PJ Moor joined the Definate Mawadzi at the crease.
They wisely played themselves in and began to dominate the bowling, adding 82 together before Brandon Mavuta, as so often in this tournament, broke the stand by having Moor caught for 44, which came off 42 deliveries.
The captain, Timycen Maruma, came in next and he continued the good work, adding 91 with his young partner before Mawadzi was caught by Mavuta off Mumba for a very praiseworthy innings of 70 – he faced 90 balls and hit three sixes and four fours.
The score was now 217 for four after 41 overs, but Maruma himself went in the next over, bowled by Mavuta, having scored 51 off 45 balls (four sixes, three fours).
Tinashe Muchawaya fell first ball to Mavuta, and Mumba removed Spencer Magodo for one, so from 217 for three the score eight balls later was 219 for seven.
Fortunately for Mountaineers, Donald Tiripano joined Shingi Masakadza and the pair made a fine recovery, batting out the 50 overs together undefeated.
They added 58, both finishing not out with 27, and the final score was 277 for seven, no easy task for Rhinos.
Their best bowlers had been Mumba, with three for 50 in nine overs, and once again Mavuta, three for 34 in 10.
Madziva also did a very economical job, taking no wickets but bowling his nine overs for only 33 runs.
Rhinos made a bad start when Victor Nyauchi had their opening batter, Takudzwanashe Kaitano, caught at the wicket in the first over with only a wide to their score.
Then came a good partnership between Prince Masvaure and Tarisai Musakanda, who put on 71 together in 12 overs, until Musakanda holed out off Muchawaya for 37.
Eddie Byrom quickly fell for four, but Masvaure batted on well until Chitumba had him caught for 43 when the total was 126 for four in the 25th over.
Johnathan Campbell batted well and shared useful stands with Nyasha Mayavo (9) and Tashinga Musekiwa (31), but Rhinos were in trouble when the seventh wicket fell at 209 after 42 overs.
Sixty-nine runs were needed off the last eight overs, with just three wickets left, but Madziva with his skilful batting and Mumba with his big hitting went for the runs and kept within sight of victory.
Twelve runs were needed off the final over, with Tiripano to bowl.
Madziva hit the second ball for six, and off the final delivery two runs were needed to tie and three to win.
Mumba’s big hit again failed, but he got bat to the ball – the batters ran one and came back for the second that would have given them a tie, but the return from Nyauchi was too good and Madziva was run out for a heroic 25.
Mumba was not out with 44 off only 26 deliveries, including three sixes and three fours.
Mountaineers thus won the trophy and did well to keep their heads in that dramatic final over.
Muchawaya was the most successful bowler with two wickets for 33, but Nyauchi was the most economical with one for 39 in nine overs.
Alliance Health Eagles – 286 all out in 49.4 overs (Tinashe Kamunhukamwe 85, Tadiwanashe Marumani 51, Faraz Akram 34; Nkosana Mpofu 3/40, Panashe Maphosa 2/43, Charlton Tshuma 2/53)
Tuskers – 256 all out in 47.2 overs (Taffy Mupariwa 85, Ainsley Ndlovu 37, Nkosana Mpofu 34; Kadeem Alleyne 4/50, Cunningham Ncube 3/43, Tanaka Chivanga 1/20)
Alliance Health Eagles won by 30 runs
A good all-round performance by Cunningham Ncube was a leading factor in Alliance Health Eagles’ 30-run victory over Tuskers in the Pro50 Championship third-place playoff match at Queens Sports Club on Saturday.
He scored an invaluable 34 with the bat when his team was in difficulty, and was equally well-timed in his bowling with three vital wickets as Tuskers seemed to be on course for victory.
Tuskers put Eagles in to bat on winning the toss, and the prolific opening pair of Nick Welch and Tadiwanashe Marumani went into action.
They made a good stand of 85 in less than 17 overs before they were separated by a run-out, Marumani going just after reaching his fifty – he made 51 off 60 balls, with six fours.
Two overs later Welch was caught and bowled by Nkosana Mpofu for 34, scored off 47 balls, and a small collapse began, as Kudzai Maunze went without scoring, followed by Chamu Chibhabha for two and Kadeem Alleyne for seven.
The Eagles score was now suddenly 100 for five and Tuskers were on top.
They were saved by a superb sixth-wicket partnership between Ncube and Tinashe Kamunhukamwe, who put on 127 runs in 21 overs to swing the balance again.
Ncube made a steady 34, while Kamunhukamwe, batting surprisingly low at number seven, hit out powerfully with five sixes and eight fours, before both were out in quick succession to make the score 230 for seven after 42 overs.
There was life in the Eagles innings still, with Faraz Akram scoring 34 off 26 balls, helped by Tanaka Chivanga with 14, and the innings closed at 286 all out in the 50th over.
Mpofu with three for 40 was the most successful bowler, while there were two wickets each for Charlton Tshuma and Ainsley Ndlovu.
Tuskers for the first 40 overs of their innings looked likely winners.
Tanu Makoni (28) and Mpofu (34) made a good brisk opening partnership of 53 in less than nine overs, and then Taffy Mupariwa batted brilliantly.
He attacked all the bowlers in fine style, and after 40 overs the score was 191 for only two wickets, with Tuskers apparently poised for victory.
Then came a disastrous collapse against the part-time bowling of Ncube and the medium-pace of Alleyne.
Four wickets went down in the space of 13 balls, the last of them being that of Mupariwa, perhaps allowing his concentration to be disturbed.
He was beaten by the spin of Ncube and stumped for 85 as he went down the pitch to him, having faced 100 balls and hit nine fours.
Tuskers were now 204 for six in the 43rd over and the match was transformed.
The only remaining batter to make a stand was Ndlovu, who hit out admirably to score 37 off 23 balls, and was eventually last man out as his partners withered at the other end.
The total was only 256, and there were still 16 balls left when the innings was completed.
Alleyne had taken quite a beating before his burst of wickets, and so had the unusual figures of four for 50 off only 5.2 overs, while Ncube took three wickets for 43 in seven overs.
These were the men who changed the match, although Tuskers have themselves to blame for their collapse after setting themselves up for victory.
Eagles therefore claim third place over Tuskers, who had begun the tournament so well.