Rhinos' top order sets up big win
A strong first-innings display with the bat set Mid West Rhinos up for a nine-wicket win against Mountaineers at the Mutare Sports Club. Rhinos, after being inserted, rallied around century stands for the first and third wickets, as Bothwell Chapungu (74), Bradley Wadlan (75) and Prince Masvaure (65) all stroked fifties to lift the team to 419.
Mountaineers never really got going in their reply, as Michael Chinouya (4 for 74) and Neville Madziva (3 for 21) wrecked their top order, ensuring that the team folded for 206. Rhinos enforced the follow on, and Mountaineers put up a more stern resistance in their second essay, as Forster Mutizwa hit an unbeaten 127, with 16 fours. However, Kudzai Sauramba, who made 55, no other batsman stayed long enough at the other end to provide Mutizwa enough support, as Mountaineers were bowled out for 310.
It meant that Rhinos needed 99 for victory, and they amassed that target inside 14 overs, thanks to an unbroken, 91-run partnership for the second wicket between Wadlan and Masvaure.
An all-round effort from pacer Taurai Muzarabani, who took a hat-trick and scored a vital 70, paved the way for Mashonaland Eagles' nine-wicket win over Matabeleland Tuskers. The win was Eagles' second in five Logan Cup games this season but wasn't enough to lift them from the last position on the table, although it brought them close to Mountaineers' tally of 16.
Tuskers had reached a promising 280 for 5 on the first day after being put in to bat but Muzarabani bundled them out early on the second morning. He dismissed John Nyumbu, Brian Vitori and Steve Chimhamhiwa off successive deliveries in the 98th over, before returning to dismiss Keith Dabengwa, who top-scored for Tuskers with 141 off 268 deliveries. Muzarabani's 5 for 63 was his maiden five-for in first-class cricket.
Fifties from opener Simbarashe Gupo (89) and Greg Lamb (64) propped up the Eagles innings but lack of support from the other batsmen left them tottering at 242 for 9. Muzarabani then stitched together a valuable 140-run, tenth-wicket partnership with Brighton Mugochi, the only century stand in the match. Both batsmen went on to notch up fifties before Mugochi was dismissed by Chimhamhiwa for 61. Muzarabani remained unbeaten on 70 off 114 deliveries with nine fours and a six.
With a lead of 75, the Eagles attack, led by Trevor Garwe's 4 for 24, bundled Tuskers out for 127. A 49-run, opening partnership between Keith Kondo and Gupo set up the 53-run chase, which they completed in 13 overs for the loss of one wicket.