Chigumbura and Price down Southern Rocks
Elton Chigumbura was at the centre of the Mashonaland Eagles' innings victory over the Southern Rocks in Harare, with some stellar work on the fourth day from Ray Price. Chigumbura's four wickets were central to the Eagles dismissing the Southern Rocks for 188 on the first day, and then when his team was in some trouble at 100 for 4 in reply Chigumbura scored a crucial 78 to give them a lead.
Regis Chakabva (37) and Cephas Zhuwawo (40) also turned in handy knocks after Chigumbura's well-paced half-century to get the score up to 275. That threatened to be far more significant when the Eagles were 273 for 6, but Tanyaradzwa Munyaradzi struck thrice to help take the last four wickets for just two runs. In the end it mattered not a jot, for what unfolded was spectacular: Price, opening the attack with Chigumbura, spun a web over the Southern Rocks with mesmeric figures of 20-10-21-4. From 50 for 2, the innings folded for 68 in 56 overs. Chigumbura chipped in with two wickets.
With this win the Eagles remained at No. 1 on the points tally, 25 points clear of the Mountainers, who at the Queens Sports Club batted out a draw against the Matabeleland Tuskers. Fifties from the captain Gregory Strydom and the No. 10 Thabo Mboyi helped Matabeleland to 236 in their first innings, after which Tatenda Taibu's 95 led a decent reply. Timycen Maruma (55) and Prosper Utseya (34) stuck around to help the Mountaineers get a small lead. Tawanda Mupariwa turned in a career-best performance of 6 for 52 to help keep the opposition to 265, and the lead was erased with ease in Matabeleland's second innings. Deon Ebrahim was the main architect of that reply with 114, and series of contributions in the lower middle order got the score to 303 for 8. A declaration left the Mountaineers an improbable 275 to win in less than two sessions and they reached 104 for 4, Hamilton Masakadza scoring an unbeaten 57, as the game ended tamely.