<
>

Westerns win but Northerns denied

Keith Dabengwa collected five wickets as Westerns completed a 77-run win over Centrals at Queens Sports Club, the foundation of which was laid by Sean Williams' fine match double of 76 and 129. The 129 was Williams' maiden first-class century and acted as the centrepiece of Westerns' second innings 254, leaving Centrals needing 259 for victory. They stumbled to 50 for 4 on the fourth evening and continued to struggle on the final morning. Dabengwa was well supported by offspinner John Nyumbu, who picked up 3 for 53 as Centrals fell for 181 after lunch. Dabengwa's five-wicket haul was completed when he had Taurai Muzarabani caught at first slip by Williams - a fitting way to wrap up the match as the two key figures combined.

In Mutare, Easterns clung on for a draw against Northerns as they ended nine down at the end of the match. The four days were dominated by Graeme Cremer and Tinotenda Mawoyo, whose first-innings 124 built a 119-run lead for Easterns after they'd dismissed Northerns for 178 on the opening day. However, Cremer led the fightback with an unbeaten 171, aided by Elton Chigumbura's 67. From being 28 for 2 Northerns recovered to set a target of 265. Initially, Easterns made promising progress with opener Johnson Marumisa reaching 49 before he was trapped lbw. Cremer then came to the fore again, this time with his legspin, as he removed the dangerous Stuart Matsikenyeri. Wickets continued to fall, including Prosper Utseya for 26, but they couldn't quite force the final scalp before time ran out.