Northerns romp to second successive win
All-round efforts from Raymond Price and Graeme Cremer helped Northerns crush Westerns by 269 runs at the Alexandra Sports Club. Half centuries by in-form Cremer (74) and captain Elton Chigumbura (53) saw Northerns score 300 after electing to bat. Cremer was in a valiant mood, hitting 10 boundaries during his 96-ball stay. Admire Manyumwa then tore into the batsmen during Westerns' reply, picking up 5 for 15 as they folded for 158. Despite having Northerns tottering on the brink of collapse at 96 for 7 during the second innings, Westerns failed to capitalize as gritty knocks from Chigumbura (94) and Price (77) lifted Northerns to 267. Chigumbura's 160-ball innings comprised 12 boundaries and three sixes. There was no way back for Westerns, while chasing 410, after losing six wickets in the afternoon session on day three. Ray Price completed the formalities in the 72nd over, ending with 6 for 69 with Cremer providing good support with 4 for 36.
Centrals and Easterns had to be content with split points after their clash at the Old Hararians. Easterns were expected to remain in the runs against a Centrals side that was beaten within three days by Northerns in the previous round. But it was a disappointing effort from Easterns in the first innings, after they chose to bat. It was largely Forster Mutizwa's composed 60 that pushed them to 255. But a five-for from Douglas Hondo ensured the lead stayed with Easterns. Apart from opener Bothwell Chapungu, who scored 85, hitting 13 fours and a six, none of the batsmen looked confident as Centrals ended three runs short. Brighton Muguchi's 5 for 115 during Easterns' second-innings looked to have swung the momentum towards Centrals, but a 111-run stand for the eighth wicket between Mutizwa (52) and Timycen Maruma (66) helped Easterns declare on 331. The target of 335 proved to be too tall an ask for Centrals who finally finished on 176 for 4, anchored by Malcolm Waller's patient 68.