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February 17, 2011
Mountaineers 354 (Mlambo 141, Mutombodzi 3/110) & 248/5d (Masakadza 120 not out, Keegan 3/30) beat Mashonaland Eagles 229 (Hall 56, Chatara 3/51) & 89 (Mutizwa 22, Mushangwe 5/21)
Mashonaland Eagles suffered a dramatic second-innings collapse to go down by 284 runs against Mountaineers at Mutare Sports Club on Thursday. Chasing a stiff 373 for victory, Mashonland was shot out for 89 by legspinner Natsai Mushangwe who took career-best figures of 5 for 21 in nine overs.
Winning the toss and choosing to bat, Mountaineers put up a first innings score of 354. Bernard Mlambo with 141 and Timycen Maruma with 56 were the main contributors with the bat, while fast bowler Chad Keegan and legspinner Tinotenda Mutombodzi picked up three wickets apiece for Mashonaland. In response, Mashonaland scored 229 with half-centuries from Cephas Zhuwawo and South African Andrew Hall. Medium-pacer Donald Tiripano was the pick of the Mountaineers bowlers, picking up 3 for 23 at a miserly economy rate of 1.64.
With a 125-run lead, Mountaineers declared on 248 for 5 in their second innings. After a shaky start - Mountaineers were 23 for 4 at one stage - the total was built mainly around two big partnerships crafted by unbeaten centurion Hamilton Masakadza, with Gary Chirimuta and Benjamin Katsande.
That left Mashonaland to play out four sessions to ensure a draw, but they did not get off to an ideal start, losing opener Prince Masvaure with the score reading 11. They never recovered, succumbing to the wiles of Mushangwe and Tiripano who picked up another three-for. The win extends Mountaineers lead at the top of the points table.
© ESPN Sports Media Ltd.
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Would he have fared better than the incumbent middle-order batsmen, Root and Ballance?