Snater’s late double strike leaves Tuskers staring down the barrel

Tuskers – 159 and 30-3 in 16.4 overs (Brian Chari, Craig Ervine 8*, Arash Jha 6; Shane Snater 2/13, Tendai Chisoro 1/8). Southern Rocks – 321 all out in 90.2 overs (Richmond Mutumbami 74, Innocent Kaia 55, Ben Curran 35; Charlton Tshuma 3/68, John Nyumbu 2/67, Ernest Masuku 2/74). Day 3 – Stumps: Tuskers trail by 132 runs

Shane Snater struck two decisive blows just before close of play on the third day of this Logan Cup match at Harare Sports Club, when he dismissed Brian Chari and Milton Shumba with successive deliveries, and left Tuskers reeling at 30 for three wickets at stumps, facing likely defeat tomorrow.

Much overnight and morning rain had made it look at one stage as if there would be no play today, but around noon the weather began to clear up in remarkable fashion, and play was able to start at 2.30 pm. Rocks resumed on 271 for six wickets in their first innings, with William Mashinge on 16 and Tendai Chisoro 18.

Ernest Masuku opened the bowling to Chisoro, who promptly scooped his first delivery for four to fine leg. Mashinge did not add to his overnight score, as he slashed at a ball from Charlton Tshuma well outside his off stump and edged a catch to the keeper; 277 for seven.

At 289, Chisoro tried one scoop too many and was bowled behind his legs by Cuthbert Musoko for 29, scored off 29 balls. Patrick Mambo scored 11 before being caught at the wicket off Tshuma, making the score 297 for nine.

The last pair of Snater and Blessing Muzarabani enjoyed some gentle batting practice without really trying to score quickly, and it seemed rather surprising, since Rocks are well ahead and there is plenty of rain around. Tea was taken at 317 for nine wickets, with Snater on 12 and Muzarabani eight.

Afterwards Muzarabani took his score to 10, which means that every batsman on the team reached double figures in this innings, a rare occurrence. He was then caught at the wicket off Luke Jongwe for 11, leaving Snater on 13 not out and the total 321 – they had just scored more than double the Tuskers total and led by 162.

Tshuma was the most successful bowler, with three wickets for 68, while Masuku and Nyumbu both took two wickets. Chari and Aarsh Jha began the Tuskers second innings, against the bowling of Muzarabani and Snater.

They started off batting steadily, though Chari caused some interest by making some rather reckless attempts to hook short balls from Muzarabani. Jha never looked really comfortable at the crease, and he was dismissed lbw by Chisoro for six, with the score on 20. Chari and Craig Ervine obviously must have hoped to stay at the crease till the close of play, but it was not to be.

Snater struck deeply with the score at 25, trapping Chari lbw for 15 and with his next delivery having Shumba caught. PJ Moor came in and stayed there with Ervine (8 not out) until stumps were drawn after half-past five with the score 30 for three wickets, still 132 runs behind.

Tuskers face probable defeat tomorrow, unless they are rescued either by some very determined batting — and they have a long weak tail — or by the rain.

Eagles – 161 all out in 49.2 overs (Regis Chakabva 44, Gareth Chirawu 40, Wessly Madhevere 19; Brandon Mavuta 4/14, Tafara Chingwara 3/49, Neville Madziva 2/33). Rhinos – 134-4 in 51 overs (Takudzwanashe Kaitano 63*, Ryan Burl 18, Bright Matsiwe 16*; Tanaka Chivanga 1/14, Richard Ngarava 1/16, Oskar Kolk 1/45). Day 3 – Stumps: Rhinos trail by 27 runs

There was no play possible today at Old Hararians Sports Club, where Rhinos are 134 for four wickets in reply to the Eagles total of 161. The outfield was too wet after so much rain for any play to happen.