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Rocks, Tuskers seal tense wins

ESPNcricinfo staff

February 22, 2014

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A collection of useful contributions from the Matabeleland Tuskers batsmen outscored the Mountaineers by ten runs in Bulawayo. After losing the toss, six of the Tuskers' top seven batsmen made it to 25, but Sean Williams' 39 was the top score. They also benefitted from 24 runs in extras, of which 22 were wides. Tuskers ended with 227 for 9 in 50 overs, with Tendai Chatara and Donald Tiripano taking three wickets each for Mountaineers.

During the chase, Mountaineers slipped from 42 for 1 to 72 for 4, but recovered through a 108-run stand between Dan Housego and Forster Mutizwa. Williams was at the fore for the Tuskers once again, dismissing Mutizwa (41) and Shingi Masakadza in the 41st over. However, with Housego firm at one end, Mountaineers needed 29 off 34 balls with four wickets in hand.

Williams then had Natsai Mushangwe stumped and Kevin Kasuza caught behind in successive overs, eventually finishing with 4 for 34 in 8.4 overs. When Housego was finally dismissed, for 91 off 96 balls, Mountaineers were 209 for 9 and there was too much to do for the last wicket. Williams claimed the final wicket, dismissing Mountaineers for 217, to cap an impressive all-round performance.

Zimbabwe's domestic season began with Southern Rocks edging Mashonaland Eagles by five runs at the Masvingo Sports Club.

Chasing 246, Elton Chigumbura's 66 helped Eagles recover from a shaky start and the team managed to get close to a win, reaching 235 for 8 in the 48th over. However Tinashe Panyangara dismissed Brighton Mugochi and Admire Manyumwa in the 48th over to leave Eagles stranded at five runs from victory.

Rocks, choosing to bat, were propelled by an 87-run stand for the fourth wicket between Prince Masvaure and Richmond Mutumbami, who top-scored with 69. Nathan Waller was the pick of Eagles' bowlers, finishing with 5 for 63.

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.

Posted by ZCFOutkast on (February 23, 2014, 18:01 GMT)

Great to see the season back on track. Excellent performances from Panyangara&Mutumbami, plus respectable contributions from Williams, Chigumbura & Nathan.

Congratulations to my Tuskers boys for pulling off a shock win. Unlike their fellow aggrieved colleague, Mawoyo&Kasuza must understandably be struggling to deal with shock of being left out of the T20WC squad for Malcolm Waller, who was given a useless extended innings in one of the matches during the trials so he can "steal" a berth.

With Mutizwa keeping for the Mountaineers, it might be wise for the Rocks to secure the services of young Sauramba to bolster their batting, and be the designated keeper. Mutumbami like AB for the proteas, doesn't need to keep at domestic level for us to be convinced of his ability, so he must bat at 3, and Masvaure must open. Sadly Sean Williams continues to shy away from opening or number 3, but well done to Dabengwa for stepping up to the challenge. That's commendable.

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