Rhinos topple Tuskers, as Eagles fall despite Chibhabha’s big ton

Tuskers – 167 all out in 47.2 overs (Nkosana Mpofu 51, Ainsley Ndlovu 32, Alvin Chiradza 20; Johnathan Campbell 4/40, Michael Chinouya 1/15, Prince Masvaure 1/20)

Rhinos – 168-6 in 40.5 overs (Eddie Byrom 71*, Takudzwanashe Kaitano 22, Neville Madziva 22*; Shane Getkate 2/33, Ainsley Ndlovu 2/34)

Rhinos won by four wickets

A fine fighting innings by Eddie Byrom saw Rhinos through a difficult run-chase to record a tense four-wicket win over Tuskers at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo on Friday.

This victory has taken Rhinos ahead of Tuskers to top the Pro50 Championship table after seven matches each.

Tuskers were put in to bat and their innings never really looked like prospering as they struggled all the way.

Their Irish professional James McCollum, who opened their batting with Nkosana Mpofu, was caught at the wicket in the second over off the bowling of Neville Madziva without scoring.

Taffy Mupariwa and Brian Chari both struggled for runs, scoring three and eight respectively.

Shane Getkate was more fluent but did not last long, quickly falling lbw to Brandon Mavuta when he came on to bowl for 14, which made them 69 for four in the 21st over.

Mpofu was batting steadily and well, though, and a good partnership looked to be developing between him and Alvin Chiradza.

However, Johnathan Campbell came on to dismiss them both.

Mpofu made a good 51 off 83 balls, while Chiradza, out at 116 for five, scored 20 off 37.

Of the later batters, only Ainsley Ndlovu made much of a contribution, and his was the most aggressive innings of the day, 32 off 40 balls before Campbell removed him too.

The innings steadily declined until Tuskers were all out in the 48th over for a total of 167.

Campbell in his 10 overs took four wickets for 40 runs, while five other bowlers took one wicket each.

Mike Chinouya’s figures were the most economical, one for 15 off six overs.

Tuskers fought hard to preserve their position at the top of the table.

Rhinos began their chase quite well as Takudzwanashe Kaitano and Prince Masvaure put on 34 for the first wicket.

The first two wickets actually fell through run-outs by Mpofu, first Kaitano for 22 and then Kiran Carlson for four.

When Masvaure, who played an anchor role, was bowled by Ndlovu for a cautious 18 off 53 balls, Rhinos were still quite well placed at 86 for three.

But the middle order started to slide, as Getkate removed Campbell for four and Nyasha Mayavo for six, while Ndlovu bowled out Tashinga Musekiwa for 4.

Rhinos were in trouble at 106 for six, but Byrom was still there, playing superbly.

At last he found a man to stay with him in Madziva, and they always had overs in hand, so the scoring rate never put pressure on them.

Runs came steadily and despite all the efforts of the Tuskers players they batted through 17 overs between them to complete a fine victory for Rhinos that took them to the top of the table.

Byrom’s 71 came off 92 balls, and he hit three sixes and six fours, while Madziva finished with 22 off 47 balls, a superb supporting innings.

Only four wickets fell to the bowlers, with Ndlovu taking two for 34 and Getkate two for 33.


Alliance Health Eagles – 322-6 in 50 overs (Chamu Chibhabha 155*, Cunningham Ncube 50, Nick Welch 40; Shingi Masakadza 2/39, Victor Nyauchi 2/78, Vincent Masekesa 1/46)

Mountaineers – 307-8 in 45.1 overs (Spencer Magodo 93, Shingi Masakadza 64*, Donald Tiripano 37; Faraz Akram 5/58, Tawanda Dzikiti 2/30, Kadeem Alleyne 1/86)

Mountaineers won by 15 runs (Duckworth-Lewis method)

An amazing eighth-wicket partnership of 112 between Spencer Magodo and Shingi Masakadza turned a Pro50 Championship match that had until then looked like a dead duck into a magnificent 15-run victory, according to Duckworth-Lewis, for Mountaineers over Alliance Health Eagles at Mutare Sports Club on Friday.

After a brilliant century from Chamu Chibhabha in the morning made Eagles, the loss of their first five wickets for 59 in reply seemed to point to an overwhelming victory for the visitors – until Magodo and Masakadza turned the tables when all seemed lost.

Mountaineers must have soon regretted their decision to put Eagles in to bat.

The visitors were given a brisk start by Nick Welch and Tadiwanashe Marumani, who put on 38 for the first wicket before Marumani in the seventh over was caught at the wicket off Victor Nyauchi, having scored 24 off 19 balls.

Kudzai Maunze was out for 13 with the score at 56 in the 11th over, which brought Chibhabha to the wicket.

Welch kept him company until going out for 40, at 94 for three, while Marshall Takodza made seven before departing.

Then came the partnership that stabilised the innings, as Cunningham Ncube joined Chibhabha at the wicket and the pair proceeded to hammer the bowling, adding 158 together in 23 overs.

Chibhabha played steadily to reach 50 off 73 balls, but then began to open up, at one stage hitting the occasional bowling of Kevin Kasuza for a four and two sixes off successive deliveries to reach 80.

He approached his first century in provincial cricket since April 2018 cautiously, and reached it neatly enough off 100 balls in the 46th over.

He then hit at everything, with Nyauchi in particular bearing the full fury of his assault.

In Nyauchi’s ninth over he hit him for two sixes and a four off successive deliveries, and his final over cost 28 runs, including two no-balls – Chibhabha scored the rest, including three sixes and a four.

In the meantime, Nyauchi had bowled Ncube for an invaluable 50 off 72 balls, Donald Tiripano bowled Kadeem Alleyne for 12 and the final total was a huge 322 for six wickets.

Nyauchi’s final figures were two for 78 off 10 overs, while Shingi Masakadza, who did not have to bowl to Chibhabha after his century, took two for 39 in eight overs.

Mountaineers were soon in trouble when they responded, losing Baxton Gopito for seven.

When Faraz Akram dismissed Joylord Gumbie (7) and PJ Moor first ball they were three wickets down for 24 in the fifth over.

Then Kasuza (21) and Timycen Maruma (11) went in quick succession, making it 59 for five in the ninth over.

Magodo kept up the attack, while Tiripano gave him good support with 37 off 56 balls, before he was out at 137 for six.

Tinashe Muchawaya also hit out to make 29 off 27 balls before he was out at 194 for seven, a scoring rate of almost six an over.

Until now probably nobody had doubted that, despite their attacking spirit, Mountaineers would lose the match, but the eighth wicket changed that idea.

That great fighter, Masakadza, now joined Magodo, and the pair went after the bowling hammer and tongs.

To their alarm the Eagles bowlers found they could not separate them, and runs came at a faster rate than ever.

They soon passed 200 and raced on towards 300, setting Eagles right back on their heels.

The 300 was passed, and then finally Akram, who had been kept back for the death bowling, returned and in his final over had Magodo caught by Alleyne to break the stand at 306 in the 45th over.

They had added 112 for the eighth wicket in just 11 overs and turned the match on its head.

Magodo, who richly deserved a century, was out for 93 off 96 balls, with two sixes and nine fours.

Nyauchi joined Masakadza, but a few balls later the light became so bad that the umpires took the players from the field and the match had to be decided by Duckworth-Lewis – which awarded victory to the gallant Mountaineers team.

Masakadza finished with 64 not out off only 45 balls, with three sixes and six fours.

Akram’s superb bowling brought him five wickets for 58 runs, while his new-ball partner Tawanda Dzikiti, who only bowled four overs, took two for 30.