Rocks mark return to Logan Cup with strong showing

Tuskers – 148-7 in in 39 overs (Milton Shumba 43, PJ Moor 25, Luke Jongwe 25*; Shane Snater 4/40, Blessing Muzarabani 2/40, Patrick Mambo 1/11). Southern Rocks – still to bat. Day 1 – Stumps

Shaun Snater, who has played first-class cricket for the Netherlands, enjoyed a successful day for Southern Rocks in their first Logan Cup match in six years at Harare Sports Club this Tuesday.

After rain ended play for the day, Tuskers were reeling at 148 for seven wickets, four of those wickets falling to Snater with his fast-medium bowling. The 20-year-old Milton Shumba played the best innings of the day, a good-looking 43 for Tuskers.

The Harare Sports Club ground looked in good condition today despite the heavy overnight rain, and Tuskers decided to bat on winning the toss. For the first time since 2014, Southern Rocks team took the field, and Blessing Muzarabani bowled the first over to Brian Chari.

He was nearly rewarded with a wicket in the first over, as Chari cut a ball chest-high straight to backward point, who failed to hold it. However Muzarabani had another chance in his next over, as he brought a ball back sharply off the pitch, Chari shouldered arms and was trapped lbw, still without a run on the board.

Craig Ervine looked in fine form, timing the ball beautifully as he scored 15 runs off 11 balls, but he flattered only to deceive, edging a ball from Muzarabani into the slips to make the score 16 for two.

Aarsh Jha, who opened the innings, played a remarkable defensive game, keeping his score on one for an age, but Shumba was soon underway with some fine drives in particular. Jha was eventually dismissed for 14 off 52 balls, trying to glance a ball from Patrick Mambo but being caught by the keeper, Richmond Mutumbami; 56 for three.

PJ Moor came in next and played with aggression and purpose through to lunch with Shumba, when the score was 96 for three, with Shumba on 41 and Moor 19. Shumba did not get going again after the interval, as he seemed to become a little impatient, and sliced a ball from Snater into the gully to be caught for 43; he faced 77 balls and hit seven fours.

Moor soon followed him in Snater’s next over, playing defensively forward and surprisingly being bowled by one that moved in slightly; he made 25 and Tuskers were 106 for five.

When Ainsley Ndlovu bats at No 7, the side has an alarmingly long, weak tail, and Ndlovu lasted only two balls, as Snater again struck, bowling him out. Ernest Masuku has a better batting record than Ndlovu, despite batting behind him, while the only recognised batsman left, Luke Jongwe, had yet to get off the mark.

As soon as he had done so, Jongwe smote Snater for a mighty six over midwicket. Perhaps knowing his time might be short with such a long tail, he followed by driving a ball from William Mashinge for another six over long-on.

Masuku made nine before Snater bowled him to make the score 130 for seven wickets. John Nyumbu provided some stern resistance to the bowlers, while Jongwe cooled down a bit, but the wind started to blow, the clouds to gather, and just before two o’clock the players fled the field as the rain started, quite heavily.

The score at this point was 148 for seven wickets, with Jongwe on 25 and Nyumbu seven. When the rain finally stopped, parts of the outfield were sodden, and the umpires finally called off play for the day.

Eagles – 58-2 in 12.5 overs (Gareth Chirawu 34*, Kudzai Maunze 11, Rodney Mupfudza 5; Brandon Mavuta 1/4, Neville Madziva 1/9). Rhinos – still to bat. Day 1 – Stumps

Only 12.5 overs could be bowled on the first day of this Logan Cup match between Eagles and Rhinos at Old Hararians Sports Club. No play was possible before lunch, as the ground was very wet after heavy overnight rain, and it was not long in the afternoon before more rain arrived and no more play was possible during the day.

Eagles won the toss and, unlike their common practice at Harare Sports Club, they chose to bat first. If there could be said to be a performance of the day, it belonged to the Eagles opening batsman Gareth Chirawu, who scored 34 not out off 47 balls out of the team score of 58 for two wickets.

Chirawu took part in an opening partnership of 39 with Kudzai Maunze, who was caught at the wicket off Neville Madziva for 11.

Rodney Mupfudza did not last long, being lbw to Brandon Mavuta for five, with the score at 54 — the first ball Mavuta bowled in the match. The new batsman, Wessly Madhevere, hit the third ball of the over for four, but it could not even be completed, the players being forced off the field after five balls.