Mountaineers reached the final of the Stanbic Bank 20 Series with a seven-wicket victory over Matabeleland Tuskers at the Harare Sports Club. The captain Hamilton Masakadza struck an unbeaten 80 to see his side home with four balls to spare.
Tuskers became the first team in the tournament to decide to bat and Chris Gayle's 45 from 34 balls gave them an excellent start. However, he was caught at third man and Charles Coventry picked out long-on for the same score two overs later. But Craig Ervine struck two fours and a six in his 23 from 14 balls to ensure Tuskers posted an eight-an-over target.
In reply, Phil Mustard produced a flying start for Mountaineers with 10 from the first over and 12 from the second. The chase had reached 51 without loss from the first five overs, of which Mustard had 33. He was run out in the seventh over but his opening partner Masakadza took up the mantle and hit three fours and five sixes in a match-winning innings.
Tuskers could still qualify for the final if they win a play-off against Eagles on Friday.
Mashonaland Eagles earned a place in the play-off for the final after they comfortably beat Mid West Rhinos by 53 runs. Stuart Matsikenyeri struck seven fours and five sixes in his powerful 89 from 51 balls as his side posted 195 for 5. Ryan ten Doeschate, the Essex allrounder, clubbed 63 from 33 balls as the openers put on 109 to set a formidable platform. Matsikenyeri fell to Richard Muzhange, who limited the damage with 3 for 24.
Despite an opening stand of 35 in four overs Rhinos were never in the run chase. Rikki Wessels made 42 from 28 balls with two sixes but he was bowled by Peter Trego, who claimed 4 for 27 as Rhinos fell a long way shy of their target.
Ryan ten Doeschate
Eagles vs Rhinos
Tuskers vs Mountaineers
Stanbic Bank 20 Series