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March 21, 2008
Easterns maintained their increasing stranglehold on Zimbabwe domestic cricket with a seven-run win over Westerns in the final of the Twenty20 cup at Harare Sports Club.
Easterns total of 142 for 9 was almost entirely down to Hamilton Masakadza's 57-ball 82 not out, and his eighth-wicket stand of 43 with his brother, Shingirai, was the only partnership of note.
Westerns were on course while Keith Dabengwa (42) and Gregory Strydom (38) were adding 62 for the third wicket but Prosper Utseya put the brakes on the innings and the last five wickets fell for 27 runs.
Unsurprisingly, Masakadza was named Man of the Match and Player of the Tournament. He hammered 101 in the opening game of the competition and followed with 50 in the second match.
Easterns won the Faithwear Cup and the Logan Cup in 2006-07, and so are now holders of all three major titles. Cricitics, however, have pointed out that the side is not representative as few, if any, of the players are local and are Harare-based cricketers imported for the competition. There were also concerns of the standard of the cricket on offer.
Sadly, yet again, despite being rebuked by the ICC in 2006-07, Zimbabwe Cricket proved unable to provide the media with scorecards for many of the games, with the result that the competition's profile was tarnished and reports of games minimal. That was reflected in dire turnouts for matches.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
Plays of the Day from the second ODI between England and India, in Cardiff
Plays of the day from the third ODI between England and India at Trent Bridge
Plays of the day from the tri-series match between Zimbabwe and South Africa
Would he have fared better than the incumbent middle-order batsmen, Root and Ballance?