Mountaineers – 363-9 in 50 overs (Ben Compton 102, PJ Moor 69, Timycen Maruma 65; Tashinga Musekwa 5/68, Davis Murwendo 2/37, Brandon Mavuta 1/54)
Rhinos – 177 all out in 41.1 overs (Prince Masvaure 33, Brandon Mavuta 31, Neville Madziva 21; John Masara 4/41, Donald Tiripano 1/19, Wellington Masakadza 1/23)
Mountaineers won by 186 runs
A fine century by overseas opening batter Ben Compton led the way as Mountaineers compiled a huge total of 363 for nine wickets on their home ground at Mutare Sports Club, before they eventually trounced Rhinos by 186 runs in a Pro50 Championship match on Wednesday.
This was Mountaineers’ first match in the List A competition, as they had a bye in the fixtures played last week.
Kevin Kasuza got them off to a good start by hitting six fours in his innings of 37 off 34 balls, putting on 57 for the first wicket with Compton, of Northamptonshire in England.
Then Mountaineers really took charge, as PJ Moor joined Compton and the pair hammered the bowling for 115 runs together for the second wicket before Moor was caught off Tashinga Musekiwa for 69, scored off 58 balls.
The tempo increased still further as Timycen Maruma flayed the bowling more vigorously than anybody, his 65 coming off only 35 balls as he put on exactly 100 for the third wicket with Compton.
At his dismissal Mountaineers had 272 runs on the board for three wickets in the 39th over.
In such a situation, the middle order all hit out as best they could and lost their wickets in the service of the side.
Compton was sixth out at 319 in the 44th over – he had scored 102 off 122 balls with seven fours.
Of the later batters, Donald Tiripano scored 14 and Wellington Masakadza 18 not out.
Musekiwa, although taking a lot of punishment, kept persevering and finished with five wickets for 68 off the eight overs he bowled.
The final total was 363 for nine wickets off their 50 overs.
Davis Murwendo took two wickets, but all the Rhinos bowlers went for more than six runs an over.
Rhinos had little chance of matching such a huge score, with all the batters forced to attack the bowling at all costs from the start.
Their first four wickets fell for 47 runs in 11 overs, all to different bowlers.
Prince Masvaure and Neville Madziva stemmed the tide for a while by adding 46 together, scoring 33 and 21 respectively.
Carl Mumba played the most attacking innings with 19 off 23 balls, while Brandon Mavuta made 31.
John Masara picked up four wickets for 41 runs from the middle-order and later batters, while six other bowlers took a wicket each, as Rhinos were bowled out for 177 in 41.1 overs.
Southern Rocks – 185 all out in 42 overs (Cephas Zhuwao 42, Richmond Mutumbami 27, Ben Curran 24; Milton Shumba 3/18, Charlton Tshuma 2/28, Luke Jongwe 2/28)
Tuskers – 115 all out in 28.2/31 overs (target: 145) (Taffy Mupariwa 28, Nkosana Mpofu 20, Clive Madande 20; Blessing Muzarabani 3/18, Sikandar Raza 2/20, Tendai Chisoro 2/23)
Southern Rocks won by 29 runs (Duckworth-Lewis method)
In a low-scoring Pro50 Championship match at Masvingo Sports Club, a powerfully-hit 42 by Cephas Zhuwao had the most influence in Southern Rocks’ victory – their third in as many matches – by 29 runs over Tuskers.
Put in to bat, Rocks lost Innocent Kaia, caught off Charlton Tshuma for two, but Zhuwao and Northamptonshire batter Ben Curran attacked the bowling in good style to put on 67 for the second wicket in eight overs.
This proved to be the largest and most decisive partnership of the match, until Curran was also caught off Tshuma for 24 and, with the score still on 73, Zhuwao was caught at the wicket off Luke Jongwe for 42, having faced 35 balls and hit two sixes and five fours.
The middle order made some useful runs, with Richmond Mutumbami (27) and Sikandar Raza (13) taking the score past 100.
Tadiwanashe Marumani and William Mashinge made 21 and 13 respectively, but, with Milton Shumba picking up three cheap wickets from the tail, the final score was a rather unimpressive 185 in 42 overs.
Shumba took three wickets for 18 runs, while there were two wickets each for Tshuma, Jongwe and John Nyumbu, the latter conceding only 29 runs off his 10 overs in the process.
Rain had interrupted play, so that Tuskers had to score 145 runs under the Duckworth-Lewis regulations in 31 overs to win.
They lost Brian Chari, caught at the wicket off Blessing Muzarabani from the first ball he faced, but then Nkosana Mpofu and Taffy Mupariwa got the runs coming.
Raza came on and had Mpofu caught by Kaia for 20, and then followed two vital blows, as Travor Mutsamba had Sean Williams caught at the wicket for seven and Raza bowled Shumba for one to reduce Tuskers to 45 for four in the 11th over.
Mupariwa held the innings together with 28 off 55 balls before being run out by Kaia, but Rocks had taken a grip on the innings which they never relaxed.
Briefly, Clive Madande (20) and Jongwe (10) took the score past 100, but when both were out the tail had nothing to offer and Rocks finished off the innings for 115 all out in only 28.2 overs.
Muzarabani took the last two wickets to finish with three for 18, while Raza and Tendai Chisoro took two each.
2021/22 PRO50 CHAMPIONSHIP POINTS TABLE