Taylor and Mire shine in Rhinos win
A blazing century from wicketkeeper Brendan Taylor and an all-round effort from Solomon Mire handed Mid West Rhinos a hard-fought 61-run win over Matabeleland Tuskers at the Kwekewe Sports Club. Asked to bat, opener Innocent Chikunya (41 in 58) and Friday Kasteni (36) had steered the Rhinos to a comfortable 86 for 1 before Sean Williams (2 for 42) and John Nyumbu (3 for 27) hit back, reducing them to 150 for 6. It was then that Taylor and Mire stepped up to the task, scoring at a brisk pace to add 152 in just 93 balls. Taylor smacked four fours and six sixes in his knock of an unbeaten 112, while Mire was equally aggressive, racing to 53 in 41 balls. The match-winning stand took the Rhinos to 306, but they were in for a challenge.
The Tuskers top order led by Mark Vermeulen (73 in 51) showed some mettle and laid a solid foundation for a successful chase. Vermeulen was involved in an opening stand of 74 in under ten overs with captain Terry Duffin and added a further 35 with ODI record-holder Charles Coventry, who chipped in with 46. However, once Vermeulen fell with the score on 109, the Tuskers kept losing wickets at frequent intervals. Mire, who bowls medium-pace, stepped in to remove Coventry and Williams to help the Rhinos prevent any threatening partnership from taking root. Though wicketkeeper Tafadzwa Ngulube (33) and Tawanda Mupariwa (26) put up some resistance down the order, the target, in the end, proved to daunting to scale down.
Half-centuries from Stuart Matsikenyeri and Timycen Maruma led Mountaineers to a four-wicket victory in their opening game of the Faithwear Clothing Inter-Provincial One-Day Competition against Mashonaland Eagles at the Harare Sports Club. Chasing a target of 242, Mountaineers had slipped to 90 for 4 before Matsikenyeri and Maruma stabilised the innings with a 94-run partnership. Maruma hit three sixes in his 44-ball 53 but fell with the score on 184. Matsikenyeri played a slower innings, taking 113 balls for his 74, and was dismissed with his team only three runs away from victory, which they achieved with 23 balls to spare. Earlier, legspinner Natsai Mushangwe had taken 3 for 26, and Maruma 2 for 55, to limit Mashonaland to 241 for 9 in 50 overs. Mashonaland's innings suffered from a lack of partnerships: nine players got into double figures but the highest score was the opener Samuel Mwakayeni's 40. They slipped from 58 for no loss to 193 for 9 before a last-wicket stand worth 48 between Ray Price and Trevor Garwe took the total past 200.