Masakadza brothers trounce Southern Rocks

It was a family outing for the Masakadzas - Hamilton and Shingirai - at the Mutare Sports Club as the brothers combined to help the Mountaineers sink Southern Rocks by an innings and 114 runs. The elder Hamilton top scored with 183 while his brother Shingirai not only helped himself to an unbeaten 100 but also took seven wickets in the match to seal an all-round performance.

Put into bat, Southern Rocks were off to a steady start but their middle order couldn't construct big partnerships. Craig Ervine top scored with 55 in his team's total of 263 and the chief wicket-taker was Timycen Maruma, who took 5 for 107. Shingirai cleaned up the lower order to finish with 3 for 43. Southern's first-innings effort was barely enough to challenge Mountaineers, who tightened their grip on the game with a massive 562 in reply. It was built on half-century stands by the first four wickets and a century stand for the fifth. Hamilton was in the middle of it all, hitting 24 fours and a six in his knock. The younger Shingirai walked in at No.9 and belted the bowling around, smashing seven fours and three sixes to record his career-best score. Prosper Utseya hit a quick 58 off 49 balls and when he was dismissed, Mountaineers declared with a lead of 299.

Utseya and Shingirai continued to torment the opposition once they got the ball in hand, sharing nine wickets between them to bundle out Southerns for 185. Alester Maregwede scored 79 but received little support from the rest. With this win, Mountaineers moved to second place, behind Eagles.

At the Kwekwe Sports Club, Mashonaland Eagles got ahead on first-innings points in a drawn game against Mid West Rhinos. Hampshire batsman Greg Lamb led the way for Eagles with 171 and he was supported by the captain Elton Chigumbura, who made a brisk 53 off 38 balls and Regis Chakabva, who made a more patient 70. The best partnership of the innings was the 180 between Chakabva and Lamb for the sixth wicket. That helped Eagles post 376. Ed Rainsford and Graeme Cremer were the chief wicket-takers, taking four apiece.

The Rhinos failed to construct any century stands and declared at 286 for 9, conceding a lead of 90. The top order had failed and it was upto the lower order, led by Rikki Wessels' 66 to prop them up. Bothwell Chapungu and Taurai Muzarabani added 74 for the final wicket before the declaration. The Eagles, in their second innings, collectively stumbled to one man in particular, Cremer, who took a career-best haul of 8 for 92. They were struggling at 140 for 7 and were propped to 204 thanks to Trevor Garwe's unbeaten 53.

That left a target of 295 for the Rhinos and in the end they mustered 168 for 5, led by Mluleki Nkala's 57. The Eagles gained 14 points and were at the top of the table.