Tuskers, Mountaineers score comfortable wins
Craig Ervine and Glen Querl played leading roles with bat and ball in Tuskers 132-run bonus-point win over table-toppers Rhinos in Bulawayo. Ervine scored an unbeaten 106 to power Tuskers to 294 before Querl picked up his first List A five-for which was instrumental in wrapping the Rhinos' innings in 38 overs.
Tuskers, after being put into bat, started slowly with 34 runs coming off the first 11 overs, but set up a good platform after a solid 71-run opening stand between Terry Duffin (26) and Brian Chari (64) in 16 overs. Ervine joined Chari after Cremer struck to remove Duffin and shared a 63-run partnership in 12 overs. Although Tuskers only lost two more wickets by the 40th over, Rhinos had their run rate well under five. Tuskers went past 200 in the 44th over, after which Ervine and captain Keegan Meth (58 off 37 balls) launched an unprecedented attack in the last six overs to score 89 runs.
The late assault numbed the Rhinos, who lost early wicket in their chase. Querl struck in his second over to remove Brendan Taylor, and then picked up two more wickets in his fourth off successive balls. He returned later to mop up the tail and finish with figures of 8-2-26-5.
Tino Mawoyo steered the chase with an unbeaten century that helped Mountaineers beat Rocks by seven wickets at Mutare sports club. Chasing 267, Mountaineers' openers - Mawoyo and Kevin Kasuza (85 off 102 balls) - racked up a 182-run opening partnership in 31.4 overs and Mawoyo stayed till the end to see his team through. His 120 came off 128 balls and included 18 boundaries and a six and was his first List A century.
Rocks, in search for their first win, chose to bat first and were boosted by an 82-run second-wicket stand between Alester Maregwede, who scored 62, and Ben Slater, who scored 32. But regular wickets thereafter meant that they were not able to accelerate and were at 170 for 5 with 10 overs to go. The tempo was changed by Prince Masvaure's cameo, an unbeaten 56 off 39 balls, that saw the Rocks score 96 runs off the last ten helping Rhinos to their highest total in this year's tournament, which wasn't enough this time.