Masakadza stars in Mountaineers' win
Mid West Rhinos collapsed in the face of a modest target, losing by 22 runs to Matabeleland Tuskers in Bulawayo. Chasing 165, Rhinos were comfortably placed at 72 for 2, but the loss of Brendan Taylor triggered a collapse, with the offspinner John Nyumbu running through the middle order with a four-wicket haul.
Taylor and Malcolm Waller added an exact 50 for the third wicket after the openers fell early. Taylor was run out for a brisk 47 off 49 balls in the 16th over and in the following over, Nyumbu struck with his first wicket, dismissing Peter Moor for a duck. The Rhinos lost their way and when Waller was trapped lbw by Nyumbu for 40, they were struggling at 125 for 7. The innings was wrapped up in the 35th over and the bottom-placed Tuskers picked up their third win. Earlier, the Tuskers batsmen too struggled to put up big partnerships. At 95 for 7, they were struggling to post a competitive score, but a 52-run stand for the eighth wicket between Nyumbu and Tawanda Mupariwa turned out to be crucial to the final outcome. The left-arm spinner Bradley Wadlan picked up 3 for 24.
It was a one-sided game at Mutare Sports Club, with Mountaineers strolling by nine wickets against Southern Rocks. Chasing a meagre 139, Hamilton Masakadza smashed an unbeaten 83 off 78 balls to power Mountaineers home in just 27 overs. The opener Tino Mawoyo made a more sedate 34 off 65 balls with two boundaries but it was Masakadza who took charge with 11 fours and two sixes in his knock to guide his side to their third win.
The Mountaineers could have been chasing a more paltry target, having flattened the Rocks to 26 for 5 at one stage. The seamers did the damage, with Tendai Chatara removing the openers before Donald Tiripano ran through the middle order to finish with 3 for 39. Stubborn resistance from the lower order kept the Mountaineers in the field for nearly all the 50 overs, but they could only muster 138. Prince Masvaure top scored with 34.