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April 30, 2007
Rumblings over the standard of cricket in the Logan Cup continued to grow at the end of the third round of the competition which saw more low scores and underprepared pitches.
Westerns underlined their title ambitions with their third straight win, crushing a dire Northerns side by an innings and 71 runs. Westerns made 244, and then bowled out Northerns for 47, with Keith Dabengwa turning in a remarkable spell of 7 for 1. Following on, Northerns limped to 126. The failure of Northerns, who are largely the once-powerful Masonaland side, is a damning indictment of a hard-line selection policy which has driven away many players.
At Mutare, Kenya Select went down to their second straight defeat, losing by seven wickets to Easterns, who now seem to provide the only challenge to Westerns. Easterns made 382, built around a hundred from F Mutizwa, and then bowled out the Kenyans for 199, with only Maurice Ouma's 116 offering any resistance. Timycen Maruma was the pick of the bowler with 6 for 40. Following on, the visitors made 332, with David Obuya's hundred the anchor innings, while Prosper Utseya grabbed 6 for 91. Set 140 to win, Easterns had few problems, Tino Mawoyo making his second fifty of the match.
At Kwekwe, Centrals scored their second successive win with a 102-run victory over Southerns inside two days. As was the case last week, the pitch was not up to scratch - no batsman made an aggregate of 50 runs in the match - and despite being bowled out for 141, Centrals took a first-innings lead of 90. Set 271 to win, Southerns slid to 86 for 5 before some late resistance enabled them to post a respectable score. Michael Chinouya took 5 for 31 to give him seven wickets overall.
To the shame of Zimbabwe Cricket, it continues to be unwilling, or more likely incapable, of proving scores to the media, thus ensuring that the tournament is played in virtual secrecy.
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