Rocks ride on Zhuwao’s blistering fifty to build big lead
Southern Rocks – 355 and 251-8 in 66 overs (Cephas Zhuwao 65, Brian Mudzinganyama 62, Sikandar Raza 30; Ainsley Ndlovu 4/45, Ernest Masuku 3/69, Nkosana Mpofu 1/87)
Tuskers – 281 all out in 92.1 overs (Steve Chimhamhiwa 57*, Clive Madande 56, Nkosana Mpofu 50; Sikandar Raza 4/75, Tendai Chisoro 3/54, George Matanga 1/54)
Day 3 – Stumps: Rocks lead by 325 runs
Cephas Zhuwao played one of his vintage attacking innings at Takashinga Sports Club on Saturday as Southern Rocks are aiming to beat Tuskers in their Logan Cup match.
They have a lead of 325 over the Bulawayo-based team going into the final day’s play tomorrow.
Tuskers resumed on their overnight score of 214 for eight wickets, with Clive Madande on 43 and Steve Chimhamhiwa eight.
Both batsmen did an excellent job for their team, scoring maiden first-class fifties, to the dismay of Rocks, who had obviously been hoping to finish off the innings quickly.
Madande quickly took his score to 56, with 10 fours off 89 balls, before he was bowled by Sikandar Raza at 236 for nine.
Chimhamhiwa, who so rarely shows his true batting ability, this time came good for Tuskers, as he attacked the bowling while Charlton Tshuma blocked at the other end.
The last wicket put on 45 together, of which Tshuma scored four off 51 balls before Raza finally broke through his rigid defence to bowl him out.
Chimhamhiwa was left unbeaten with 57, scored off 91 balls with nine fours, a fine effort, taking Tuskers to a total of 281, a deficit of 74 on the first innings.
The spinners had taken most of the wickets, Raza finishing with four for 75 and Chisoro three for 54.
The wagging of the tail presented a problem for Rocks, who found themselves with a smaller lead and less time to force a victory than they expected.
Their answer to this was to restore Zhuwao to his old spot as opening batsman, a wise move, as the veteran left-hander launched into the bowlers, especially Chimhamhiwa and Nkosana Mpofu, hammering 65 off 55 balls with four sixes and six fours before Mpofu finally had him caught.
His opening partnership with Brian Mudzinganyama put on 111 in less than 22 overs, with the latter going on to score 62.
Tadiwanashe Marumani (23) and Raza (30) also pushed for quick runs and the score was 191 for three wickets at one stage.
Then the steady Ernest Masuku returned to set Rhinos back with three quick wickets, having Raza caught, and then removing William Mashinge (5) and Tendai Chisoro (0) with successive balls to make the score 203 for six.
Richmond Mutumbami followed at 223, caught by Brian Chari off Ainsley Ndlovu for 25.
Tafadzwa Tsiga (22) took the score to 250 before he was bowled by Ndlovu, and soon after that stumps were drawn at 251 for eight, with Travor Mutsamba still there with 10 runs and Roy Kaia yet to score.
They finished the day with a lead of 325 runs.
Rhinos – 282 and 283-6 in 100.3 overs (Prince Masvaure 97, Takudzwanashe Kaitano 72, Charles Kunje 41; Wessly Madhevere 2/38, Tanaka Chivanga 2/58, Richard Ngarava 1/72)
Eagles – 315 all out in 75.2 overs (Wessly Madhevere 111, Chamu Chibhabha 45, Keith Jaure 44; Johnathan Campbell 3/64, Brandon Mavuta 3/108, Carl Mumba 2/28)
Day 3 – Stumps: Rhinos lead by 250 runs
Contrasting fifties from Takudzwanashe Kaitano and Prince Masvaure were the highlights of a generally slow day’s batting by Rhinos at Harare Sports Club on Saturday.
Rhinos, 33 runs in arrears on the first innings, began the day on 53 without loss in their second innings, with Kaitano on 25 and Masvaure 22.
Kaitano attacked the bowling in brilliant style from the start, hitting Keith Jaure for two fours in each of his first two overs of the day and running to his fifty off 52 balls.
His bold strokes continued to bring him success, and the team hundred came up after only 20 overs.
His fine innings was sadly ended by a run-out when he had scored 72 off 88 balls, after an opening partnership of 119 with Masvaure.
This totally altered the tempo of the innings, as Charles Kunje joined Masvaure, and the two became so bogged down that in another 17 overs before lunch only another 22 runs were scored, with the spinners Tapiwa Mufudza and Wessly Madhevere tying the batsmen right down, apart from a single moment when Kunje hit Madhevere for six.
The crawl continued after lunch, with Masvaure nudging his way to his fifty off 133 balls.
However, the most important factor for Rhinos was that they did not get out, and they passed the 200 mark and brought up the century partnership, although it took them 53 overs to do so.
The partnership put on 108 runs altogether in almost 60 overs, less than two runs an over, before it was finally broken, with the score at 227.
Kunje, having scored 41 of that partnership, off 184 balls, was caught and bowled by Madhevere, and the next man, Bright Matsiwe, after his long wait, was then bowled first ball by the same bowler.
The captain, Remembrance Nyathi, now came in to join Masvaure, who had reached 92, but was not able to reach his century – he moved to 97 and was then caught at the wicket off Richard Ngarava at 236 for four.
He hit 12 fours in a laborious innings that had lasted for 258 balls, but even he had looked more positive compared to Kunje’s stonewalling 41.
Nyathi was forced to retire hurt at 265 with eight runs in his account, and then Kuda Macheka was lbw first ball to Tanaka Chivanga – five wickets down.
However, Nyasha Mayavo and Johnathan Campbell came together in a useful partnership until the latter was bowled by Chivanga for 10 in the last over of the day, leaving the score at 283 for six wickets.
This is a lead of 250 runs with four wickets in hand.