Mountaineers rout Eagles, Rhinos gore Tuskers in men’s T20 edition
Alliance Health Eagles – 93 all out in 14.4 overs (Chamu Chibhabha 35, Aishah Chibanda 34, Tapiwa Mufudza 9; John Masara 3/22, Shingi Masakadza 2/16, Wellington Masakadza 2/22)
Mountaineers – 94-4 in 15 overs (PJ Moor 30, Tony Munyonga 28, Timycen Maruma 14; Richard Ngarava 2/22, Tapiwa Mufudza 1/16, Wessly Madhevere 1/26)
Mountaineers won by six wickets
Mountaineers handed Alliance Health Eagles a six-wicket defeat in their Domestic T20 Competition match played at Harare Sports Club on Thursday afternoon.
Eagles took the unusual step for them of batting first at this ground and soon wished they hadn’t.
With the fifth ball of the opening over, Wellington Masakadza had Wessly Madhevere caught for one, and wickets fell thick and fast after that.
Six of their first seven baters scored just 10 runs between them, the exception being Chamu Chibhabha, who hit boldly for 35 off 21 balls, with two sixes and four fours.
Failures continued down the order, and in the 10th over the eighth wicket went down with only 50 runs on the board.
At this point Aishah Chibanda, playing in his first official T20 match, decided his only option was in big hitting, and he launched a fierce attack on the bowling.
Off only 16 balls he hit up 34, including four sixes and a four, before being last out, caught off Tendai Chatara.
The total was 93, and the whole innings was over in only 14 overs and four balls.
All the bowlers picked up good figures, with three for 22 by John Masara being the best.
There were two cheap wickets each for Wellington Masakadza, Victor Nyauchi and Shingi Masakadza.
Mountaineers had a simple target to chase, so they could afford to take their time.
They lost Kevin Kasuza for nine, but PJ Moor hit up 30 off 26 balls, including five fours.
Richard Ngarava dismissed them both with catches at the wicket, but Timycen Maruma scored 14 and Tony Munyonga scored 28 not out to take Mountaineers home to a simple victory with five overs to spare.
Ngarava bowled well to finish with two wickets for 22 runs.
Tuskers –158-3 in 20 overs (Milton Shumba 67*, Clive Madande 55, Bright Phiri 10; Ryan Burl 1/19, Chris Mpofu 1/23)
Rhinos – 161-4 in 17.3 overs (Ryan Burl 57*, Prince Masvaure 48, Tarisai Musakanda 26; Steve Chimhamhiwa 1/18, Sheunopa Musekwa 1/18, John Nyumbu 1/31)
Rhinos won by six wickets
A blazing fifty from Ryan Burl enabled Rhinos to beat Tuskers at full gallop by six wickets in their Domestic T20 Competition match at Old Hararians Sports Club on Thursday afternoon.
One six followed another, six of them off nine balls, and at the end of them Rhinos had won what had appeared likely to be a close match with 15 balls in hand.
Tuskers chose to bat first, but suffered a bad start, when they lost Karabo Motlhanka for four and Bright Phiri for 14 with the score 19 after three overs.
Then followed a superb partnership of 114 for the third wicket between Milton Shumba and Clive Madande that turned the innings around.
Both scored at a rate of well over a run a ball, and they were only separated with the score on 133, when Madande was run out for 55, scored off 48 balls with a six and three fours.
Shumba had more of a liking for sixes, and when the innings closed at 158 for three he was still there on 67, with four sixes and one four.
Luke Jongwe was his partner at the end, with 10 not out off six balls, including one six.
Only two wickets fell to bowlers, those being Burl and Chris Mpofu.
Rhinos had a difficult target to chase down, but Takudzwanashe Kaitano and Prince Masvaure gave them a brisk start with 25 in less than three overs, before Kaitano was bowled by Steve Chimhamhiwa for 18.
Nyasha Mayavo went for only four, but Tarisai Musakanda scored 26 off 16 balls to keep Rhinos in the hunt.
Masvaure kept the score ticking over rapidly, but much depended on Burl, who can hit brilliantly at times, but needs a steady start.
With five overs left, 51 runs were still needed with seven wickets in hand, and the match appeared to be well balanced.
Masvaure hit a six off John Nyumbu, but three balls later was caught off him for 48; 117 for four.
Burl now felt ready to open the floodgates, and he laid into the spin of Ainsley Ndlovu, smashing him for four sixes (with a two) in five balls – 27 runs came off the over and suddenly Rhinos were within touching distance of victory at 148 for four after 17 overs.
The pace of Jongwe came no differently to Burl, who finished the match in the next over with two successive sixes to take his score to 57 off 32 balls.
The last nine balls of the match had produced 40 runs, and Rhinos finished in triumph with 161 on the board for four wickets, and still had 15 balls in hand.
Four Tuskers bowlers took a wicket each, with one for 31 off his four overs from Nyumbu being the most economical.