Taylor, Rainsford efforts in vain
Mid West Rhinos 151(Waller 78, Mushangwe 4-11) and 247(Taylor 133, Tiripano 4-76) lost to Mountaineers 299(Pettini 100, H Masakadza 78, Rainsford 8-42) and 100 for 2 (H Masakadza 47*, Rainsford 2-21) by eight wickets
Brendan Taylor scored an aggressive ton in Mid West Rhinos' second innings and Ed Rainsford picked up 10 wickets in the match, but a lack of support from the other batsmen meant the contributions went in vain as Mountaineers completed a comfortable eight-wicket win at Mutare Sports Club. Rhinos, who were 148 runs behind Mountaineers after the first innings, were put into early trouble in the second innings as Calum Price struck in his first, third and fourth overs to remove Rhinos' top three batsmen with 48 runs on the board. Another two wickets went down soon to put the Rhinos in danger of losing the match by an innings, but Taylor combined with Simon Mugava, who scored 28, in a 99-run sixth-wicket stand to briefly resurrect hopes of a turnaround. However, wickets started tumbling soon after Donald Tiripano broke the stand and Rhinos finished on 247, setting up an easy target of 100 for Mountaineers.
In the end, it was Rhinos' first innings below-par total that was the difference between the two teams. Rhinos had chosen to bat first but lost six wickets for less than 50. Only Malcolm Waller, who scored 78, and Neville Madziva, who scored 39, were able to get into double-digit scores and it was their 98-run stand that gave some respectability to Rhinos' total. Natsai Mushangwe was the most successful bowler with 4 for 11. In response, Pettini scored a century and shared a 122-run stand with Masakadza, who scored 78, to set-up Mountaineers' total of 299 despite Ed Rainsford's eight-wicket haul, his best figures in first-class cricket.