Southern Rocks – 477 all out in 157.1 overs (Cephas Zhuwao 152, Tadiwanashe Marumani 93, William Mashinge 69; Wellington Masakadza 4/92, Tendai Chatara 3/61, Shingi Masakadza 1/22)
Mountaineers – 51-3 in 20 overs (Wellington Masakadza 24*, Joylord Gumbie 23, Tony Munyonga 1*; Cuthbert Musoko 2/3, Tendai Chisoro 1/12)
Day 2 – Stumps: Mountaineers trail by 426 runs
A seventh-wicket partnership of 98 between William Mashinge and Tendai Chisoro virtually batted Mountaineers out of their Logan Cup match at Harare Sports Club on Saturday, giving Southern Rocks a monumental score of 477 in a first innings that lasted for most of two days.
Rocks played the long, hard game today, taking their score to a full total of 477, which was only completed after tea.
They began on 303 for four wickets – Roy Kaia had 24 and Tafadzwa Tsiga six.
Kaia was soon caught off Tendai Chatara for 25, while Tsiga played quite a fluent game to make 37 before Tinashe Muchawaya removed him at 345 for six.
But then came some more weary leather-chasing for the Mountaineers fieldsmen, as Mashinge and Chisoro settled in for a seventh-wicket partnership that eventually realised 98 runs.
Chisoro played a more attacking game, scoring 57 of those runs before he was bowled by Victor Nyauchi at 443.
Mashinge, despite the excellent position of his team, played a careful game, facing 203 balls to score his eventual 69 runs, and he was the last man out.
The last three wickets, all taken by Wellington Masakadza, all fell at 477, giving him innings figures of four for 92, off a marathon 49 overs.
Chatara in contrast was given only 17 overs, but took three for 61.
This big total left Mountaineers no option but to play for a draw – the five points will be enough to win them the Logan Cup if they can hold out for long enough.
They only had 20 overs to face before the close of play, and scored 51 for three wickets.
As if he had not had enough work to do, Masakadza was sent in to open the batting with Joylord Gumbie.
They put on 47 before Cuthbert Musoko had Gumbie lbw for 23, and then for only one more run Clive Chitumba (0) and Timycen Maruma (1) were out just before the close.
Masakadza was still there with 24 out of 51 for three, partnered now by Tony Munyonga with one.
As things stand, Mountaineers, who only have to avoid defeat to lift the Logan Cup, will need a Houdini act if they are to claim the first-class championship.
Alliance Health Eagles – 169 and 171-4 in 56 overs (Will Fraine 85, Tinashe Nenhunzi 39, Kudzai Maunze 29; Mike Chinouya 2/18, Brandon Mavuta 2/61)
Rhinos – 162 all out in 58 overs (Prince Masvaure 48, Nyasha Mayavo 19*, Ryan Burl 18; Wessly Madhevere 3/26, Brad Evans 3/31, Richard Ngarava 3/38)
Day 2 – Stumps: Alliance Health Eagles lead by 178 runs
Will Fraine led Alliance Health Eagles into a superior position against Rhinos on Saturday with a fine innings of 85 not out, as his team finished the day 178 runs ahead in the second innings with six wickets still in hand.
The day began with Rhinos on 81 for three wickets, Prince Masvaure on 36 and Remembrance Nyathi on two, in reply to 169 from Eagles.
Good batting should have taken them to a significant lead over Eagles, but they wasted their opportunity against good bowling, mainly from Richard Ngarava and Brad Evans.
Masvaure took his score to 48, but was then caught off Wessly Madhevere to make the score 102 for four wickets.
This sparked off a middle-order collapse.
Nyathi struggled to keep the score moving and was eventually caught off Ngarava for eight runs, for which he faced 78 balls and batted for 109 minutes.
Nyasha Mayavo stood firm, but Johnathan Campbell was out for six.
Evans then broke through the tail with three wickets in an over: he bowled Brandon Mavuta with his first delivery, had Ronald Masocha caught off his third and then Tafara Chingwara was caught at the wicket off the sixth.
The score was suddenly 131 for nine wickets, but after a long sequence of innings without scoring, Mike Chinouya finally found some runs and played a very useful innings of 11, including two fours.
Mayavo also began to play more positively, and in eight overs the pair added 31 runs for the last wicket.
When Chinouya was out to a return catch, Mayavo had 19 not out, but the total of 162 was still seven runs behind the Eagles score.
When Eagles batted again they quickly lost Kumbirayi Phiri, caught at the wicket off Chinouya for five.
Fraine made an enterprising start, though, and with a very solid Kudzai Maunze took the score to 92 before Maunze was out, lbw to Mavuta, for 29.
Wessly Madhevere made only five, but Tinashe Nenhunzi went after the bowling in exciting style, hitting up 39 off 34 balls, with a six and four fours, before being caught off Chinouya just before the close.
When play ended Eagles were in a potentially strong position at 171 for four – Fraine was still there with 86, while Evans had two.