Shafayat ton rescues Tuskers
Mountaineers 475 for 7 (Lamb 157, Maruma 105*) and 13 for 0 drew with Tuskers 298 (Shafayat 67, Nyumbu 65) and f/o 312 (Shafayat 152, Williams 83)
Tuskers, helped by a defiant century by Bilal Shafayat, held Mountaineers for a draw after following on at Mutare Sports Club. Trailing by 134 runs at the start of the fourth day, Tuskers faced a tough task of saving the match with seven wickets in hand. They lost overnight batsman off the fifth over of the morning, but Shafayat and Sean Williams forged a 143-run partnership that helped the Tuskers clear the deficit. Shafayat carried on after the fall of William's wicket and completed his second century in as many matches. By the time he was out, he had helped Tuskers use almost the entire quota of the day.
Mountaineers had chosen to bat in a bid to get close to Tuskers in the points table and declared their innings after scoring 475 on the second day at a healthy rate of 3.50. Greg Lamb and Timcyen Maruma scored centuries while Kevin Kasuza and Kudzai Sauramba chipped in with half-centuries.
It was Shafayat who held together Tuskers in the first innings too with a half-century, but Mountaineers bowlers struck regularly and had reduced Tuskers to 223 for 9. Some late resistance by No. 11 Jason Nyumbu, who scored 65, helped Tuskers to get close to 300. Shingi Masakadza and Maruma shared four wickets each.
Tuskers maintained their unbeaten record in the competition and are placed at the top with 35 points, six ahead of Mountaineers.
Mashonaland Eagles 352 (Kondo 98, Mupariwa 4-61) and 384 for 8 (Matsikenyeri 77, Munyaradzi 5-45) drew with Southern Rocks 427 (Masvaure 94, Pardoe 90)
Mashonaland Eagles scored over 300 runs on the last day of their match against Southern Rocks, but it was the Rocks who took one point form the drawn match because of their first-innings lead.
Once the Eagles chose to bat, opener Keith Kondo anchored the innings, after they lost two quick wickets, with 98. He was accompanied by Stuart Matsikenyeri who made 76. Scores in forties from Sikandar Raza and Forster Mutizwa from the middle order took them past 350 after Tawanda Mupariwa took four wickets.
Rocks had a similar innings when they were struggling at 26 for 3 and were steered to safety by opener Matthew Pardoe. After he also got out in the nineties, Richmond Mumtumbami (76), Prince Masvaure (94) and Trevor Garwe (75) made sure they got a first innings lead of 75 runs.
With more than a day to spare, Rocks would have fancied a chance of dismissing the Eagles again but six out of their top seven batsmen contributed with useful scores which ended the match in a draw. The Rocks are second from the bottom with 15 points while the Eagles are at the bottom with only one point.