Mountaineers face tough battle to save match after follow-on
Southern Rocks – 477 all out in 157.1 overs (Cephas Zhuwao 152, Tadiwanashe Marumani 93, William Mashinge 69; Wellington Masakadza 4/92, Tendai Chatara 3/61, Shingi Masakadza 1/22)
Mountaineers – 265 and (following on) 41-0 in 18.5 overs (Kevin Kasuza 21*, Donald Tiripano 16*)
Day 3 – Stumps: Mountaineers trail by 171 runs
A fine spell of bowling by Cuthbert Musoko on Sunday may well have cost Mountaineers the Logan Cup title.
Forced to follow on 212 runs behind Southern Rocks at Harare Sports Club, Mountaineers are now faced with a great fight for survival on the final day to secure the draw that would win them the first-class championship.
Mountaineers had finished day two in some difficulty at 51 for three wickets – the batters at the crease were Wellington Masakadza, who opened the innings and had 24, and Tony Munyonga with one.
Their first objective was to avoid the follow-on, for which they needed to score at least 328 in their first innings.
With steady batting, the pair set about retrieving the situation, wearing down the bowling and taking the score from 48 to 213 – a fourth-wicket partnership of 165.
At this point, they appeared to be well on their way to saving the follow-on, but then Munyonga, who had reached 95, his highest score in first-class cricket, was bowled by Privilege Chesa.
Four runs later, Masakadza followed him back to the pavilion for 72, caught at the wicket off Innocent Kaia.
Two balls later, Kevin Kasuza was lbw to Kaia without scoring and, when two more wickets fell quickly to Musoko, the score had reached 228 with eight wickets down – five wickets for only 15 runs.
Donald Tiripano had kept his wicket up, and now he was joined by Tendai Chatara, who helped him for a while with a few big hits in scoring 16 before Travor Mutsamba had him caught at 264.
Tiripano then took a single that exposed the last man, Tinashe Muchawaya, to the bowling, and Musoko immediately bowled him to end the innings at 265.
Tiripano was left stranded with 26.
Musoko finished with the excellent figures of five wickets for only 15 runs, in 14.2 overs.
The deficit of 212 runs on the first innings was a disaster for Mountaineers, undoing all the excellent work done by Masakadza and Munyonga.
Rocks enforced the follow-on, and Mountaineers this time opened their innings with Kasuza and Tiripano.
The pair stayed in together for almost 19 overs to score 41 runs without loss – at the close Kasuza had 21 and Tiripano 16.
But after that first-innings collapse, it will probably be all too late for Mountaineers unless they can really save the match in a style truly fitting for champions.
Alliance Health Eagles – 169 and 231 all out in 72.5 overs (Will Fraine 85, Tinotenda Mutombodzi 47, Tinashe Nenhunzi 39; Mike Chinouya 4/48, Brandon Mavuta 3/69, Tafara Chingwara 2/41)
Rhinos – 162 and 81 all out in 26.3 overs (Ryan Burl 19, Remembrance Nyathi 18, Prince Masvaure 16; Brad Evans 3/25, Wessly Madhevere 2/19, Wishnanzy Chapfombo 1/1)
Alliance Health Eagles won by 157 runs
Alliance Health Eagles finished their disappointing Logan Cup campaign with what was ultimately a comfortable win over Rhinos at Old Hararians Sports Club on Sunday.
Mike Chinouya had however given Rhinos hope of pulling off an unexpected victory, as his four wickets bundled out the Eagles batters.
Unfortunately for him, his team’s own batters failed dismally to rise to the challenge, and Rhinos won the Logan Cup wooden spoon as they were tumbled out for just 81 runs, to lose the match by 157 runs.
Eagles began the day quite well-placed in their second innings, with a score of 171 for four wickets – Will Frayne was on 85 and Brad Evans two.
Chinouya removed both overnight batters before they had added to these scores, bowling Evans and dismissing Frayne lbw, to make the score 180 for six.
That they eventually totalled 231 was due almost entirely to a fighting innings of 47 by Tino Mutombodzi, scored off 52 balls.
The last four batters scored only seven runs between them, although Tanaka Chivanga deserves credit for supporting Mutombodzi in a ninth-wicket partnership of 32, to which he contributed six.
Chinouya, whose early wickets turned the innings around, finished with four for 48, while Brandon Mavuta took three wickets and Tafara Chingwara two.
Rhinos found themselves back in the game – apparently – with a target of 239 to chase.
Immediately they batted, though, just before lunch, they lost Takudzwanashe Kaitano, lbw to Richard Ngarava’s fifth delivery without a run on the board.
For a while all seemed to be proceeding well with the Rhinos innings, as Prince Masvaure and Ryan Burl batted steadily together and took the score to 39.
Then Masvaure retired hurt for 16 after suffering a concussion, and the whole pack of cards came crashing down, as Burl immediately followed, lbw to Chivanga for 19.
Remembrance Nyathi played some good strokes for a while to make 18, but the later batting was a shambles, with the last seven batters scarping only 21 runs between them without one reaching double figures.
In only 26.3 overs Rhinos tumbled to 81 all out and a defeat by 157 runs.
Evans took three wickets for 25, but in fact all six bowlers tried took at least one wicket.
Rhinos have finished bottom of the Logan Cup log.