Tuskers win pushes them to second spot
Matabeleland Tuskers 391 (Duffin 193, Ewing 81, Kulinga 5-114) and 176 for 4 (Wheater 58*) beat Southern Rocks 341 (Raza 146, Chisoro 50, Meth 6-87) and 225 (Raza 60*, Ncube 3-67) by six wickets
Matabeleland Tuskers posted their first win of the season, overcoming Southern Rocks by six wickets in Bulawayo, to move into second spot in the Logan Cup standings. The defeat leaves Rocks at the bottom of the table, with zero points after three matches.
Two of the architects of the victory were 22-year-old medium-pacer Keegan Meth, who took seven wickets in the match, and former international opener Terry Duffin, whose 193 was nearly half of Tuskers' total in the first innings. The finishing touches to the win was provided by an unbroken 98-run stand for the fifth wicket between Steven Trenchard and Adam Wheater.
Rocks were in trouble after choosing to bat, new-ball bowlers Meth and Njabulo Ncube slicing through the batting to leave them at 12 for 3 and later 124 for 6. It was 24-year-old Pakistan-born batsman Sikandar Raza who hauled them to a respectable total, making his maiden first-class century and forging substantial partnerships with Tendai Chisoro (50) and Blessing Mahwire (45) for the seventh and eighth wickets.
Tuskers' innings was a reversal, with the top half contributing and the lower order collapsing. Duffin made 193, his highest first-class score, and Gavin Ewing chipped in with 81 as Tuskers marched to 319 for 3 before offspinner Keith Kulinga and Mahwire rolled over the rest of the side. Kulinga's 5-114 was his first five-wicket haul.
The Rocks' top order didn't impress in the second innings as well, and it was again left to Raza to rescue them again, this time with an unbeaten 60 that lifted them to 225. Faced with the fairly small target of 176, Tuskers nearly made a mess of it, losing their top four for 78 before Trenchard and Wheater secured the victory.
Mid West Rhinos 351 (Nyathi 118, Mire 52) and 294 for 4 dec (Ballance 132, Sibanda 57, Kasteni 56) drew with Mashonaland Eagles 354 for 8 dec (Hall 101*, Gupo 50) and 187 for 5 (Mutizwa 84, Muzarabani 3-33)
Mashonaland Eagles had to fight hard to secure the first-innings lead and with that one point against Mid West Rhinos in Kwekwe. Former South African allrounder Andrew Hall's unbeaten century from No. 6 helped Eagles fight back from 193 for 6 and clamber past Rhinos' competitive first-innings score of 351.
Sent in to bat, Rhinos slid to 98 for 5, before they were also bolstered by a lower middle-order century - from 23-year-old Remembrance Nyati, whose 118 and Solomon Mire's 52 pushed Rhinos beyond 300. Eagles' opener Simbarashe Gupo posted a half-century and captain Forster Mutizwa made 42 at No. 3 but they soon found themselves at 144 for 5, in danger of conceding a big lead before Hall intervened. At 270 for 7, either side could still have grabbed that lead, but No. 10 Trevor Garwe stood firm with a 41 to assist Hall in guiding Eagles past the Rhinos' total.
In the second innings, Rhinos' top order was in top form: Gary Ballance made a century, his opening partner, Friday Kasteni, made 56 and captain Vusi Sibanda contributed a brisk 57. Rhinos declared at 294 for 4, leaving Eagles a target of 292. Mutizwa blasted 84 at nearly a run-a-ball but there weren't enough overs for Eagles to get near the target, finishing on 187 for 5 in 52 overs.