Westerns inflicted a 95-run defeat on defending champions Northerns in the first round of the 2007-08 Faithwear Cup at the Zimbabwe Cricket Academy.
Northerns, who were unbeaten in winning the Logan Cup earlier in the month, paid for the absence of their leading players, ostensibly through injury, although there continue to be rumblings about the way that provincial sides are chosen.
Westerns' innings was based on a fifth-wicket stand of 105 between Tawanda Mupariwa and Bonaparte Mujuru. Chasing 213, Northerns were never in the hunt and only Cephas Zhuwao offered any fight as they were bowled out for 117.
Centrals had to work harder in beating Southerns by seven runs at Harare Sports Club. In a low-scoring match, Centrals only managed 136, and when Taurai Muzarabani ripped through Southerns' top order, the game appeared all but over. But Tafadzwa Kamungozi and Hilary Matanga, who came together at 108 for 9, nudged and nurdled their side within sight of victory before Kamungozi was run out with nine balls remaining.
One seasoned reporter at the HSC said that it was "not inspiring cricket at all, and the turnout was very poor". He added that he had been told that senior players were being rested.