October 11, 2002

Rennie gives Matabeleland a flying start at Queen's

Zimbabwe Test player Gavin Rennie gave Matabeleland a flying start on the first day of their Logan Cup match against Midlands at Queens Sports Club on Friday.

Rennie, in poor league form so far this season, scored a century in his first match for his new province as Matabeleland closed on 373 for seven from 100 overs on the first day. He found support from Andre Hoffman who fell seven runs short of a century.

Matabeleland captain Mpumelelo ('Pommie') Mbangwa won the toss and opted to go for the runs first. The opening partnership of Rennie and Mark Vermeulen produced only 40 runs. The hard-hitting Vermeulen hit a quickfire 29 from just 15 balls, which included five fours, before he was dismissed by pace bowler Campbell Macmillan, caught at mid-off by Raymond Price.

Rennie was joined by another hard-hitter, Charles Coventry, and the two put on 106 for the second wicket. Coventry was the second Matabeleland batsman to be dismissed when he fell to left-arm spinner Raymond Price, caught by Dirk Viljoen for 45 off 63 balls. The 19-year-old CFX Academy graduate had his moment of reckoning when he smashed a six off Price.

Matabeleland went to lunch in the driving seat with 178 for two from 34 overs, with Rennie unbeaten on 83 while Barney Rogers was on 18. Rogers was to depart for 30 runs four overs after lunch when he nicked a Macmillan delivery to be caught behind by wicketkeeper Alester Maregwede.

Hoffman joined Rennie in the hunt for the runs and the two put on 89 runs for the fourth wicket. Rennie in the process reached his century off 156 balls with 19 fours.

Rennie was to be the fourth wicket to fall when he was given out leg-before wicket to right-arm spinner Douglas Marillier. This brought to an end a fine innings by the left-handed batsman which saw him smash 120 off 177 balls, which included 24 fours.

Hoffman was continued with his heroics and together with Mluleki Nkala put 87 for the fifth wicket. Hoffman appeared on course for a century before he was given out leg-before wicket to pace bowler Travis Friend for 93 runs which came off 174 balls.

Sean Ervine claimed his first wicket when he had Mluleki Nkala adjudged leg-before wicket, sending him back for 37 runs. Friend was to strike again when he had Gavin Ewing caught behind by Maregwede for four runs.

Wisdom Siziba, usually a top order batsman, is surprisingly batting down the order. He was unbeaten on one at the close, while Mbangwa was on two. Friend and Macmillan were the pick for the Midlands bowlers with two wickets each.