Mountaineers Women lift Fifty50 Challenge trophy

Rhinos Women – 210 all out in 46.3 overs (Josephine Nkomo 85, Mary-Anne Musonda 40, Ashley Ndiraya 22; Francesca Chipare 5/29, Loryn Phiri 2/37, Audrey Mazvishaya 1/25) Mountaineers Women – 198-4 in 37.3 overs (Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano 85, Loryn Phiri 43, Nyasha Gwanzura 15*; Mary-Anne Musonda 1/35; Rebecca Chikomborero, 1/40, Josephine Nkomo 1/41). Mountaineers Women won by 59 runs (DLS method)

Mountaineers Women clinched the inaugural Fifty50 Challenge after beating Rhinos Women by 59 runs (DLS method) in the final played at Takashinga Sports Club on Sunday. Francesca Chipare starred with the ball as she claimed a five-wicket haul that helped the Mutare-based side, who won the toss and elected to field, to restrict Rhinos to 210 all out in 46.3 overs.

Bongani Munyanyi was the first of her victims, out for one with the Rhinos score on 16. Ashley Ndiraya was next to go, caught and bowled by Loryn Phiri for 22. Rhinos captain Josephine Nkomo, who was on six at the time, was then joined by Mary-Anne Musonda and the two combined for an 86-run partnership.

Musonda then departed, caught and bowled by Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano for 40 – her score came off 43 balls and included seven fours. Nkomo picked up the pace in the fourth-wicket partnership with Nomatter Mutasa, blasting 44 off 37 balls.

Nkomo would eventually depart for 85, off 104 balls including 12 fours, trapped leg before by Audrey Mazvishaya. At 182 for the loss of four wickets, Rhinos still looked like they had a big score in them. However, much like at the round-robin stage, their middle and lower order failed to kick in with six wickets falling for just 22 runs. Phiri picked up two wickets for 37 runs, while Mazvishaya and Mugeri-Tiripano had one apiece.

In response, Mountaineers’ opening partnership of Mugeri-Tiripano and Phiri was imperious. They faced 25.1 overs and amassed 126 runs. The breakthrough for Rhinos only came when Phiri was caught by Thabiso Sibangani off the bowling of Ashley Ndiraya for 43 which had seven boundaries. Captain Pellagia Mujaji then joined Mugeri-Tiripano in the middle and the pair pushed on.

When Mujaji on 15 and Mugeri-Tiripano 85 fell in successive overs, there may have been a faint hope of a collapse. That was not to be and when rain stopped play with Mountaineers on 198 for the loss of four wickets at 37.3 overs, they were far ahead of the DLS par score and they were declared winners.

For her five for 29 runs in 10 overs, Chipare was named the player of the match and ultimately the bowler of the tournament. Nkomo scooped the batter and player of the tournament accolades.