Tuskers crush Eagles to take top spot
Matabeleland Tuskers 478 (Williams 127, Dabengwa 114, Hondo 4-75) beat Mashonaland Eagles 76 (Hall 33, Meth 4-24, Mupariwa 3-7) and 278 (Lamb 101, Meth 4-39, Dabengwa 3-54) by an innings and 124 runs
Keegan Meth took a career-best eight wickets as Matabeleland Tuskers crushed Mashonaland Eagles by an innings and 124 runs at the Harare Sports Club. Meth picked up four wickets in both innings after centuries from Sean Williams and Keith Dabengwa had boosted Tuskers to 478.
The Tuskers seam bowlers, led by Meth, were all over Eagles in their first innings. The follow-on mark seemed far away when Eagles were reduced to 3 for 1. At 27 for 7, only a miracle could have made them reach the follow-on target. Andrew Hall, the South Africa allrounder, tried to restore some sanity to proceedings but was ninth out for 33, as Eagles were blown away for 76.
In contrast, Williams and Paul Horton hadn't allowed the early fall of opener Terry Duffin to bother them in a 79-run stand. Williams (127) and Dabengwa (114) then added 228 runs for the third wicket to set Tuskers on their way to a substantial score, which Adam Wheaters' unbeaten 79 ensured they reached. Both Williams and Dabengwa hit 19 fours each and fell to medium-pacer Douglas Hondo, who took 4 for 75. Williams had been left out of the Zimbabwe playing XI for the third ODI against South Africa in Benoni after making 10 and 0 in the first two games, and this knock marked a welcome return to runs.
In the follow-on innings, Meth again had Eagles in trouble at 21 for 3, but the middle order, led by Greg Lamb, ensured there would be no repeat of the first-innings collapse. However, Dabengwa struck twice in quick succession with his left-arm spin to end Eagles' hopes of a recovery. After Ryan Butterworth fell to Dabengwa for 49, Lamb added 83 runs with Hall for the seventh wicket. Lamb hit 13 fours and three sixes in his 101 but once he fell to Dabengwa, it was all but over for Eagles. Meth returned to prise out the last two wickets to take Tuskers to the top of the table with 15 points from three games.