Mountaineers, Tuskers record wins in Fifty50 Challenge action

Mountaineers Women – 159 all out in 48.1 overs (Pellagia Mujaji 52, Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano 37, Nyasha Gwanzura 11; Mitchel Mavhunga 3/28, Precious Marange 2/19, Christabel Chatonzwa 2/22). Eagles Women – 95 all out in 31.4 overs (Christabel Chatonzwa 35, Precious Marange 11, Modester Mupachikwa 7; Loryn Phiri 5/22, Francesca Chipare 1/9, Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano 1/16). Mountaineers Women won by 64 runs

Pellagia Mujaji played a captain’s innings as Mountaineers Women beat Eagles Women by 64 runs to maintain their perfect start to the Fifty50 Challenge on Saturday. Having been put in to bat, Mountaineers enjoyed a good start with an opening partnership that yielded 41 runs.

That was until Evelyn Chisingarambwi was run out by Precious Marange for three. When Mujaji joined Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano at the crease all was going well before Mitchel Mavhunga trapped the latter leg before for 37.

With the exciting Loryn Phiri falling soon after and the score on 65 for the loss of four wickets, a collapse and score south of 100 looked to be on the cards. It would be 92 runs later that Mujaji would fall for 52 having stuck at the crease as small partnerships built the innings.

While Nyasha Gwanzura was the only other batter to get to double figures, there were useful little innings down the order from Francesca Chipare with nine and Greatness Mutasa scoring six. The fact that there were also 33 extras recorded did not help the Eagles cause. Eventually Mountaineers were bowled out for 159 in 48.1 overs.

Mavhunga took three wickets for 28 runs, while Precious Marange and Christabel Chatonzwa grabbed two each conceding 19 and 22 respectively. In response, the Eagles stuttered far too many times, wickets falling at regular intervals. Chatonzwa stood out with the bat, scoring 35 before she became one of Phiri’s five victims in the match.

The other batter to get to double figures was Marange who made 11 before she was caught by Chipare off Phiri. The ninth-wicket partnership of 21 between Chatonzwa and Mavhunga was the biggest of the match. It beat that of Chatonzwa and Marange which yielded 20. In the end, Eagles were bowled out for 95 in 31.4 overs.

Speaking after the match, Mujaji said her knock was not only good but vital. “As a team, we needed that,” she said. “We were struggling a bit when I got in, but we managed to build up partnerships and I stuck at the crease up until all the overs were almost done.

“As a team we have been working hard in the (Fifty50 Challenge) and three wins for us is a bonus and I believe we have to continue winning and put ourselves in a better position to play in the final.” Eagles captain Modester Mupachikwa bemoaned her team’s poor batting on the day but remained positive about her side. “I have learnt from my team that we are one and that we work as a team,” she said.

“We need to do some improvements on the bowling side so that we decrease our extras and on the batting side to put more runs on the board.”

Tuskers Women – 110 all out in 34.5 overs (Chiedza Dhururu 61, Ellen Tshuma 9, Nomvelo Sibanda 8; Josephine Nkomo 6/21, Nomatter Mutasa 3/16, Mary-Anne Musonda 1/22). Rhinos Women – 84 all out in 30.1 overs (Ashley Ndiraya 21, Josephine Nkomo 21, Nomatter Mutasa 10; Nomvelo Sibanda 6/15, Anita Chisirimunhu 3/21). Tuskers Women won by 26 runs

Both captains took six wickets for their side but it was Nomvelo Sibanda for Tuskers Women who won the day as they beat Rhinos Women by 26 runs in the Fifty50 Challenge action at Queens Sports Club on Saturday.

Tuskers, batting first, achieved their first three-figure score of the season when they were bowled out for 110 in 34.5 overs. That they got that many came down to the exploits of opener and wicket-keeper Chiedza Dhururu who scored 61 – she crashed 11 boundaries before she was the seventh wicket to fall with the score on 98 for seven.

Rhinos captain Josephine Nkomo was as dangerous as she was frugal, taking six wickets and conceding only 21 in 7.5 overs. Four of those wickets were given leg before, one bowled and the other caught.

Nomatter Mutasa took three wickets, conceding 16 runs, while Mary-Anne Musonda claimed one for 22. When Rhinos got in to chase, Tuskers got the perfect start as first Bongani Munyanyi and the dangerous Musonda were both removed without troubling the scorers in the first over.

A partnership of 40 between Ashley Ndiraya and Nkomo then followed before Anita Chisirimunhu bowled the former for 21. After that, Sibanda and Chisirimunhu took turns at removing the rest of the order.

Sibanda took the prized wicket of Nkomo for 21, caught by Tasmeen Granger, leaving the score on 74 for six. Ten runs later, the innings was wrapped up as Tuskers defended their score in 30.1 overs.

Sibanda took six wickets, conceding 15 runs in 9.1 overs, while Chisirimunhu had three for 21 in six overs. Winning captain Sibanda was naturally delighted with her team’s performance.

“It was very important for us as a team (to get to three figures for the first time in the competition). It felt like we broke a curse or something like that,” she said. “I think going forward we are more positive.” Nkomo said: “I think today was a bad day for us. After such a performance, (me) taking six wickets, obviously you expect the team to win but it didn’t go our way.

“Today I felt like we were always on the back foot . . . it was not so good. Hopefully, we will bounce back and correct our mistakes.”