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March 21, 2014
Nkosana Mpofu scored an unbeaten century to guide Matabeleland Tuskers to a thrilling one-wicket win over Southern Rocks in Bulawayo. Chasing 279, Tuskers were 244 for 9 when Mpofu was joined by last man Steve Chimhamhiwa. The pair saw Tuskers through to victory, putting on 35 in 13 overs. Mpofu, the left-handed opener, was not out on 130, having faced 317 balls and struck 13 fours.
Mpofu had shared half-century stands with fellow opener Bornaparte Mujuru and No. 3 Brian Chari, and kept one end going as wickets fell regularly after that, with medium-pacer Luke Jongwe picking up four. Chimhamhiwa scored the winning single , and was unbeaten on 21.
Chimhamhiwa had given Tuskers the early advantage after Rocks won the toss and chose to bat. The right-arm seamer picked up six wickets to help bowl Rocks out for 190. They might not have gotten that far had Richmond Mutumbami not scored a 108-ball 87.
Tuskers did no better in their first innings, being bowled out for 166 with Godwill Mamhiyo top-scoring with 51. Mutumbami, the Rocks skipper, extended their advantage with an unbeaten third-innings 123. Wickets kept falling around him, with offspinner John Nyumbu taking six for 59, but Mutumbami extended Rocks' total to 259. Mutumbami's twin efforts nearly won Rocks the match, but Mpofu and Chimhamhiwa had other ideas.
Mashonaland Eagles moved to the top of the points table with a convincing 187-run win over Midwest Rhinos at Kwekwe Sports Club. Seamer Taurai Muzarabani and left-arm spinner Brighton Mugochi shared 13 wickets between them in the match as the Rhinos were bowled out for 162, chasing 350.
The Eagles were struggling at 117 for 5 after choosing to bat, and were revived by Nathan Waller who hit 76. Tinotenda Mutombodzi chipped in with 43 as the Eagles were bowled out for 227 with Kudakwashe Munyede taking 4 for 49. Early strikes by Muzarabani reduced the Rhinos to 26 for 3 and it required a fifty by Neville Madziva to take them to 170. Waller and Mugochi took three wickets apiece.
The Eagles built on their lead of 57 with a fifty by Mark Vermeulen and a century by the wicketkeeper Regis Chakabva. Vermeulen's 77 came off 130 balls while Chakabva's 111 came off just 120 balls as the Eagles looked to declare and set a target. The script was similar in the Rhinos' second innings as Muzarabani's early strikes reduced them to 35 for 5. Madziva scored another half-century but lacked support as the Rhinos were bowled out within 61 overs.
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