Logan Cup 2011-12 September 29, 2011

Mutizwa, Mpofu shine in wins

ESPNcricinfo staff

Matabeleland Tuskers laid down an early marker with a 106-run win over Mountaineers at Mutare Sports Club in their first Logan Cup match of the new season. On a pitch that became harder to bat on as the game wore on, Tuskers' seamers - led by Man of the Match Chris Mpofu - ensured that the hard work of their batsmen in the first innings did not go to waste, bowling Mountaineers out for just 92 on the fourth day.

Tuskers captain Gavin Ewing chose to bat on the first morning and after an early wobble against the new ball it was Ewing himself who helped shore up the innings, sharing partnerships of 133 and 60 for the third and fourth wickets with Craig Ervine (59) and Keith Dabengwa (67 not out). Ewing went on to reach a century - the first of the season - while Mountaineers legspinner Natsai Mushangwe picked up five wickets as Tuskers reached 306.

Hamilton Masakadza's 75 and contributions from former Zimbabwe Under-19 players Kevin Kasuza (46) and Benjamin Katsande (45) propped Mountaineers up but Chris Mpofu's five-for ensured a 12-run lead for Tuskers. The visiting batsmen struggled the second time round and Tuskers were thankful for Keegan Meth's unbeaten 41, which helped set a target of 199 for Mountaineers. Their chase never got close, however, Mpofu picking up a further four wickets and Meth finishing the remarkable figures of 3 for 19 in 14 overs as Mountaineers were bundled out for 92.

At Masvingo, Forster Mutizwa's unbeaten century carried Mashonaland Eagles to a remarkable three-wicket win over Southern Rocks. Mark Mbofana's career-best 5 for 41 in Southern Rocks first innings appeared to have gone to waste when Eagles were bowled out for just 147, conceding a lead of 119.

That was extended to 338 despite a robust second-innings effort from the Eagles attack, and when they were reduced to 3 for 2 by Tinashe Panyangara in their chase, all seemed lost. Mutizwa then sparked a remarkable turnaround, however, sharing in a partnership of 124 with Elton Chigumbura, who hit a patient 53. An 80-run stand for the fifth wicket with Trevor Garwe tilted the balance, before Nathan Waller's swashbuckling 53 - from just 34 deliveries - helped seal the match.

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  • Dummy4 on October 2, 2011, 16:09 GMT

    Mutizwa for national team, and our franchise bowlers must be well coached if we to improve on our batting its that simple

  • Dylan on October 1, 2011, 9:11 GMT

    @Joe Gwatsvaira. Its like comparing apples and oranges when looking at our national players in the domestic league and then in international terms. The level of cricket is just so much higher as well as the pressure that comes with it. The difference can be summed up in our inability to pick up ajmal's doosra vs pakistan...our players have never been exposed to bowling of that quality....they can only learn....

  • Andrew on September 30, 2011, 10:18 GMT

    Great to see Mpofu and Meth doing so well. I agree that Mutizwa needs to be given a try in the test team as he seems well suited for that form of the game, and proved this once again with this knock. Does anybody know why some of the national players were available while others appeared to be missing (apart from the Rhinos players of course)? Eg: where was Vitori, Price, Utseya, Taibu?

  • Dummy4 on September 30, 2011, 7:40 GMT

    so wats wrong wen our players plan n e national teaam

  • Gary on September 30, 2011, 1:28 GMT

    Nice to see Mutizwa carrying his excellent form from last season. I am still puzzled as to why Craig Ervine was selected in the Test squad ahead of Mutizwa who seems to have better 1st class figures and a better Test cricket temperament. Time to give the young man a run in the Test team middle order batting slot.

  • raymond on September 29, 2011, 15:11 GMT

    Mpofu and Meth were absolutely brilliant! Ewing and Mutizwa scoring the seasons first two hundreds. Good stuff.

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