Mountaineers finally win as Eagles fly higher in Women’s T20 Cup

Loryn Phiri (l) and Pellagia Mujaji

Rhinos Women – 94-7 in 20 overs (Mary-Anne Musonda 61, Ashley Ndiraya 11, Rebecca Chikomborero 5; Francesca Chipare 3/13, Audrey Mazvishaya 1/14, Rumbidzai Nire 1/16). Mountaineers Women – 95-5 in 18.5 overs (Pellagia Mujaji 34, Loryn Phiri 19, Nyasha Gwanzura 13; Ashley Ndiraya 1/14, Nomatter Mutasa 1/14, Rebecca Chikomborero 1/20). Mountaineers Women won by five wickets

Mountaineers Women registered their maiden victory in this year’s Women’s T20 Cup when they beat Rhinos Women by five wickets Takashinga Sports Club on Friday.

Having been put in to bat, Rhinos found the going tough right from the start and 11 for the loss of one wicket – when Nomatter Mutasa departed for a duck, bowled by Francesca Chipare – soon became 12 for the loss of two in the space of four balls as Ashley Ndiraya was dismissed for 11 by Rumbidzai Nire, with the keeper Pinky Mashonganyika completing the catch.

Mary-Anne Musonda then returned among the runs to score her second half-century of the season. Her 61 was quick-fire, taking just 50 balls and included 11 fours. Musonda’s innings became the bedrock of any respectable score.

It was so critical at points that the fourth-wicket stand of 22 had all the runs off it scored by her. She would fall to Chipare, caught behind by Mashonganyika, with one over to go with the score on 89 for the loss of seven.

Natalia Mbewe and Anita Muguya stuck around for the final over and added another five runs together. From their 20 overs, Rhinos made 94 for the loss of seven wickets. Chipare took three wickets, conceding 13 runs. Audrey Masvishaya had one for 16, Nire one for 14 and Greatness Mutase one for 21.

In response, Mountaineers lost star player Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano for nine with the score on 16, with Nomatter Mutasa accounting for the key wicket. Loryn Phiri and captain Pellagia Mujaji then combined for a partnership of 42 and when the former fell with the score on 58, Mountaineers looked on course for an easy victory.

Even when Mujaji had to depart for a run-a-ball 34, there were enough overs to win comfortably. It must have felt like squeaky-bum-time however when Rumbidzai Nire was run out with nine balls to go.

Seven runs were still needed to win. Nyasha Gwanzura and Audrey Mazviyasha however needed only two legal deliveries to seal the victory.

Tuskers Women – 83-2 in 20 overs (Chiedza Dhururu 37*, Nomvelo Sibanda 17, Regai Matongo 9; Kellies Ndlovu 1/8, Christabel Chatonzwa 1/18). Eagles Women – 85-3 in 17.3 overs (Kellies Ndlovu 22*, Precious Marange 20, Christabel Chatonzwa 18; Saidi Thuba 3/14). Eagles Women won by seven wickets

Eagles Women continued their winning streak in the Women’s T20 Cup when they beat Tuskers Women by seven wickets at Kwekwe Sports Club on Friday. Tuskers were put in to bat and were steely even though runs were not flowing.

Their batters stuck it out for periods with the top three facing no less than 34 balls. Chiedza Dhururu, the most aggressive of them all, scored an unbeaten 37 off 44 balls. Next was captain Nomvelo Sibanda whose 17 came off 34 balls.

Regai Matongo’s nine came off as many balls as Sibanda faced. In as far as not giving away wickets cheaply, Tuskers will have felt they achieved their objective. They made 83 for the loss of two wickets off their allotted 20 overs.

On a hard surface with the ball coming true to the bat, Tuskers will have felt they could have scored more. The wickets that fell were taken by Kellies Ndlovu who had figures of one for eight. Christabel Chatonzwa took the other for 18.

Eagles’ innings was controlled and showed why they top the standings at the moment. They were steady before they lost both openers, Modester Mupachikwa and Chatonzwa, off successive balls in the seventh over with the score on 27.

Saidi Thuba claimed both, Mupachikwa for eight and Chatonzwa 18. The latter departed caught and bowled and the former had Tasmeen Granger collecting the chance. The partnership that followed amassed 47 runs.

Kellies Ndlovu impressed for her unbeaten 22 while on the other end Precious Marange was also good for her 20. The latter left, Thuba’s third victim, caught by Granger.

It took 11 legal deliveries after that to wrap up the victory. Eagles reached 85 for three with two-and-a-half overs to spare.

Tuskers captain Sibanda felt her side batted well but felt they could have put a further 30 or 40 runs on the board. She said: “I feel we could have capitalised more, rotated the strike more to get those 30 to 40.”

Sibanda also bemoaned the dropped catches. “I think we just have to work on our fielding and take those chances that we got earlier as that could have changed the game but we didn’t,” she said.

“But going onto tomorrow’s (Fifty50 Challenge) game, we have to be on top in terms of our fielding and just get the basics right.”