Northerns stay put at the top

Northerns held on to the top spot with a 47-run victory against Centrals at the Takashinga Sports Club. Graeme Cremer's all-round show saw Northerns nose just ahead of Easterns on the points table. Put in by Centrals, the Northerns batsmen failed to convert their starts as they went for quick runs with the match reduced to 30 overs per side. They looked in trouble with half the side gone by the 12th over and the run-rate on the dip, but Cremer's unbeaten 45 off 43 balls got them back in the match. Cremer put on 63 for the eighth wicket with Trevor Garwe to take Northerns to 171 for 8. Centrals' reply was disappointing as they capitulated to spin. Ray Price was the most successful Northerns bowler, picking up 3 for 22 while Cremer bagged 2 for 14. Captain Chamu Chibhabha led from the front with a quick 56, but failed to inspire the other batsmen as Centrals were shot out for 124 in the 29th over.

A quick half-century from Stuart Matsikenyeri and a four-wicket haul by Timycen Maruma ensured Easterns stayed unbeaten in the tournament with a 13-run win against Westerns at the Harare Sports Club. With the match reduced to 26 overs a side, Westerns chose to field first and struck immediately with Chris Mpofu getting Bernard Mlambo caught by Keith Dabengwa in the third over. But Matsikneyeri continued undeterred and together with captain Hamilton Masakadza, put on 87 for the second wicket. He departed on 62 in the 18th over, hitting six boundaries in his 59-ball innings that laid the foundation for a late charge. Maskadza scored 40 off 49 balls as the Easterns finished on 160. Mpofu was the most successful bowler for Westerns with 3 for 32. The six-plus asking-rate was always going to be tough and the Westerns batsmen struggled. Wicketkeeper Charles Coventry was their top scorer with a 52-ball 45, which included a four and two sixes. His 55-run partnership with Freedom Takarusenga for the third wicket raised hopes but Maruma managed to dismiss Coventry with the scorecard reading 120. His offspin proved too tough for the opposition as he ended with match figures of 3-0-11-4 and restricted Westerns to 147 for 7.