Eighteen wickets tumble at Mutare
Manicaland 181 (Utseya 5-32) lead Midlands 161 for 7 (Sibanda 62) by 20 runs
It was a day for bowlers at Mutare Sports Club where Midlands, after losing the toss, bowled out the home side Manicaland for 181, and then finished the day on 161 for 7 themselves. The weather was hot and dry, the ground in good condition and the pitch, usually a featherbed, gave a little help to the seamers, but on the whole there was too much poor batting by both sides.
The offspinner Prosper Utseya took his best first-class figures of 5 for 32 when Manicaland batted, the top-scorer being Dion Ebrahim with a fluent 38. Eight batsmen reached double figures, but none went on to play a major innings, so they had only themselves to blame for their inadequacies.
Midlands began with 69 for the first wicket, Vusi Sibanda scoring 62, and reached 95 for 1. At that point Ryan Bennett and Blessing Mahwire bowled superbly in tandem to break through the middle order and transform the innings, with only Craig Ervine (40) showing much resistance.