Burl and bowlers lead Eagles to opening win

Mashonaland Eagles began their Pro50 Championship campaign with an easy win against Mid West Rhinos, built around solid returns from their bowlers and an anchoring innings from opener Ryan Burl.

Rhinos chose to bat and were off to a decent start with openers Bothwell Chapungu and Bradley Wadlan adding 48 in 10 overs. Their problem, though, was that none of their batsmen carried on once they got starts. Five of their top seven got into double digits, but three were out in the 20s, and top-scorer Nyasha Mayavo managed only 43. Eagles' bowlers shared the wickets around, with the legspin of Tinotenda Mutombodzi proving most effective - he took 3 for 32 in his 10, as Rhinos stumbled to 148.

Eagles' openers put on a half-century stand, but while Chephas Zhuwao could not kick on, Burl batted through the innings for his 68. That meant small cameos from the middle-order batsmen at the other end were enough to see the side home, by five wickets in 34.4 overs.

A century from Sean Williams set up Matabeleland Tuskers' 70-run victory against Mountaineers in Bulawayo. Tuskers, having been inserted, powered their way to 261 for 6, thanks to a 166-run stand for the fourth wicket between Williams and the captain Godwill Mamhiyo. Williams' 100, surprisingly only his second List-A ton from 117 matches, included eight fours and a six, while Mamhiyo stroked seven fours during his 73.

Mountaineers never really got going in their chase, as their progress was hampered by wickets at regular intervals from Brian Vitori and Chris Mpofu. Roy Kaia offered a brief resistance by striking 66, but the Tuskers bowlers all went at under six an over, restricting Mountaineers to 191 for 8.

Eagles 2nd innings Partnerships

1st57C ZhuwaoRP Burl
2nd5CJ ChibhabhaRP Burl
3rd48P UtseyaRP Burl
4th24GA LambRP Burl
5th1CT MutombodziRP Burl
6th16SP GupoRP Burl