Eagles hold on for thrilling draw
Matabeleland Tuskers 268 (Williams 69, Shafayat 51, Price 4-62) and 269 for 6 dec (Shafayat 53) drew with Mashonaland Eagles 250 (Chakabva 79, Matsikenyeri 78, Meth 6-41, Querl 4-53) and 261 for 9 (Chibhabha 104, Chakabva 80*)
A fighting century from Chamu Chibhabha and an unbeaten knock of 80 from wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva helped Mashonaland Eagles secure a draw in a thrilling finish against Matabeleland Tuskers in Harare. Chasing 288, Chibhabha's wicket, which fell 14.2 overs before stumps on the final day, sparked a collapse and Eagles slipped from at 192 for 4 to 218 for 7. Tuskers picked two more wickets, the ninth in the last over of the match, but could not take the final one.
The match, over the course of four days, had been evenly contested, with no team scoring more than 269 or less than 250 in any innings. After scoring 268 in the first innings, led by half-centuries from Sean Williams and Bilal Shafayat, Tuskers had reduced Eagles to 55 for 5. Seamer Glen Querl had done most of the damage, taking four of the five wickets. The captain Stuart Matsikenyeri and Chakabva rescued Eagles with a 148-run stand, scoring 78 and 79 respectively. The Eagles were eventually bowled out 18 runs short of their opponents' score, with seamer Keegan Meth taking six wickets.
Tuskers put on a commanding batting performance in their second dig, with another fifty from Shafayat, and decent contributions of 44, 44, 38 and 31 from four of their other top-order batsmen. They declared on 269 for 6 on the final day, before a spirited chase from Eagles looked likely to achieve the target. But left-arm spinner Williams turned the game around with three quick wickets, and the match ended with Tuskers one wicket short of achieving a win.