Rocks demolish Eagles to win Logan Cup for the first time

Eagles – 193 and 137 all out in 46.3 overs (Kudzai Maunze 40, Tapiwa Mufudza 23, Tinotenda Mutombodzi 21; Tendai Chisoro 3/15, Andre Odendaal 3/33, William Mashinge 2/35). Southern Rocks – 449 all out in 116 overs (Roy Kaia 96, Andre Odendaal 80, William Mashinge 71; Honest Ziwira 4/98, Tapiwa Mufudza 3/107, Tadiwanashe Nyangani 2/70). Southern Rocks won by an innings and 119 runs

Southern Rocks, returning to first-class for the first time since the 2013/14 season, have won the Logan Cup for the first time. Having gained a first-innings of 256 at Old Hararians Sports Club yesterday, they bowled out their nearest rivals Eagles a second time for 137, to register a fine victory by an innings and 119 runs today.

Eagles never looked capable of putting up a successful fight against their vibrant opponents. Andre Odendaal removed Rodney Mupfudza and Tinashe Kamunhukamwe without scoring and with only 13 runs on the board.

Kudzai Maunze and Tino Mutombodzi took the score to 46 before the latter was out for 21. Maunze fought hard and was again the highest scorer of the innings, making 40 in nearly two hours.

Brad Evans made 19 and Tapiwa Mufudza 23, both in aggressive style, but the innings closed for 137 in mid-afternoon. Odendaal took three wickets for 33 and Tendai Chisoro, who has played for Rocks in every year of their existence, three for 15.

This was Rocks’ third victory in three matches and no other team can catch them now in the four-day competition. It was a particularly impressive triumph considering that they won the title with a round to spare, with the team having not played first-class cricket for so long – and even during their previous time in the Logan Cup they could win only two matches.

Mountaineers – 290 and 366 all out in 89.2 overs (Timycen Maruma 143, Dion Myers 116, Clive Chitumba 29; Tafara Chingwara 4/26, Brandon Mavuta 4/161, Tarisai Musakanda 1/7). Rhinos – 286 all out in 87 overs (Charles Kunje 79, Remembrance Nyathi 55, Takudzwanashe Kaitano 38; Tony Munyonga 4/35, Victor Nyauchi 2/51, Shingi Masakadza 1/19). Day 3 – Stumps: Mountaineers lead by 370 runs

In the other Logan Cup match at Harare Sports Club, with both teams having concluded their first innings, Mountaineers went in to bat a second time with a lead of four runs. Baxon Gopito, who opened the batting with Joylord Gumbie again, was soon caught in the slips by Brendan Taylor off the bowling of Tafara Chingwara for four.

Gumbie played some enterprising strokes to score 25 off 31 balls, but then edged a ball from Carl Mumba to the keeper to leave Mountaineers on 38 for two. Timycen Maruma hit the first two deliveries he faced for four, and continued to attack the bowling while Dion Myers, still very cautious in first-class cricket, played a quiet supporting rôle.

Just before lunch Maruma drove a ball from Charles Kunje through the covers for four to reach his fifty off 63 balls. The players took lunch at 130 for two wickets, with Myers on 36 and Maruma 52. After lunch Maruma went after the bowling in brilliant style, hammering one boundary after another, especially off the spin bowlers.

Within half an hour he had taken his score to 95, but then showed more caution until he swept a short ball from Brandon Mavuta to the square-leg boundary to reach his century off 95 balls. In the meantime Myers had reached his own fifty off 81 balls.

After reaching his century Maruma played a more relaxed game, but was dropped at 120 off a sharp chance to midwicket. Then he seemed to find his second wind and drove Mavuta for two sixes in three balls.

Mavuta finally got his man, though at a heavy price – in his following over Maruma stepped down the pitch to drive, and was easily stumped. He had scored 143 off 139 balls, and hit three sixes and 19 fours; the score was now 255 for three wickets.

It became four wickets down later in the over, as the new man Tony Munyonga was very well caught low down in the covers by Tarisai Musakanda off a firm hit. Then with only a single added the next batsman Kudzai Sauramba was trapped lbw by Chingwara, and the score had suddenly declined to 256 for five.

Myers was still there on 69, and fought back with three boundaries, before tea was taken with Mountaineers on 270 for five wickets, Myers with 81 and Shingi Masakadza one. Masakadza fell immediately after play resumed, slashing at a ball from Chingwara, getting the edge and being brilliantly caught high and to his right one-handed by Taylor.

Clive Chitumba then came in and provided just the steady innings Myers needed as he approached his maiden first-class century. He finally reached three figures, hitting a four off Mpofu, off 178 balls and celebrated joyfully.

Myers went on to make 116 before he was caught at fine leg off Mavuta after facing 209 balls and hitting nine fours in a memorable innings. Later in the same over Chitumba was caught at the wicket for 29, and eight wickets were down for 336.

Victor Nyauchi made 18, and at the close Mountaineers were all out for 366. Mavuta bowled virtually as a stock bowler, 38.2 overs during the day, and finished with figures of four for 161; Chingwara bowled 8.5 overs before he was injured, and took four for 26.

Rhinos will face a hard task tomorrow.