Champions Tuskers thumped by Rhinos
It was a bittersweet ending to the Castle Logan Cup for the Matabeleland Tuskers, who won the title despite a three-day 154-run loss to Mid West Rhinos at the Kwekwe Sports Club in the final round of matches. The Tuskers had entered the match having built up a big enough lead in the points table to secure the title, even if they lost.
The Tuskers chose to field and their bowlers did the job required of them, rolling Rhinos for 116. Bradley Staddon, Richard Jones and Njabulo Ncube picked up all of the ten wickets among them. Rhinos' Richard Muzhange, though, led a fine fightback. He took five wickets as the Rhinos bowlers combined to bowl Tuskers out for 115. Neither batsman on either side got to a fifty in the first innings.
The Rhinos batsmen were relatively better in the second innings: most got starts but couldn't go on to make big scores, but the consistent contributions through the line-up meant Rhinos set Tuskers a competitive victory target of 298. Captain Gary Ballance top scored with 62. The Tuskers batsmen continued to struggle, and were demolished the second time around by the offspin of Simon Mugava: he took 6 for 41 in 13 overs, as the Tuskers were bowled out for 143.
At the Masvingo Sports Club the Southern Rocks held on for a draw in a match dominated by the Mountaineers. The Mountaineers chose to bat and piled up 412 for 9 before declaring. Their innings was built around hundreds from captain Timycen Maruma and Donald Tiripano. Opener Daryl Mitchell fell six short of a ton.
The bowlers too put up a team showing, sharing the wickets around as Rocks succumbed for 145 in a little over 50 overs. The Rocks were made to follow-on, and showed solid resolve in their second innings, batting out 62 overs for 114 runs. They went to stumps on the final day with four wickets in hand.