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February 2, 2003
Any team containing both Flowers is virtually unbeatable in Zimbabwean cricket, certainly over the long haul. Midlands, if they had ever forgotten it, found out again to their cost at Kwekwe Sports Club, where they lost to Mashonaland, by eight wickets and with almost five overs to spare, after running up a total of over 300.
Craig Wishart, with 121, led the way when Midlands batted first, finally turning useful small innings into something substantial. He received good support from the top order, with Terry Duffin scoring 28, Travis Friend 49 and Doug Marillier 18. After his departure Sean Ervine hit a lightning unbeaten fifty, scoring 54 off just 28 balls, and the final total was an imposing 306 for five.
Grant Flower alone of the regular bowlers conceded less than five an over, but Mashonaland were handicapped by the loss of captain Brian Murphy, able to bowl only one over before injuring his hand.
Midlands began their fielding spell well, dismissing both Mashonaland openers for just 31. But a match is never won until both Flowers had been dismissed, and Midlands were unable to remove either. Both hit unbeaten centuries, at better than a run a ball, and tore the bowling attack to ribbons in an unbroken partnership of 279. So dominant were they that they still had 28 balls to spare when the winning runs were scored.
With Manicaland losing in Bulawayo, Mashonaland were crowned the inaugural Faithwear One-Day Series champions, winning five of their matches, against three each by Matabeleland and Manicaland.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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