Eagles defend 181 to clinch one-run thriller

– 181 all out in 43 overs (Regis Chakabva 53, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe 35, Elton Chigumbura 22; Natsai M’shangwe 3/32, Roy Kaia 2/14, Donald Tiripano 2/27).

Mountaineers – 180 all out in 36.3 overs (Shingi Masakadza 31, Kevin Kasuza 29, Donald Tiripano 29; Chamu Chibhabha 3/24, Richard Ngarava 2/28, Daniel Jakiel 2/47)

  • Superb batting by Shingi Masakadza and Donald Tiripano just failed to bring Mountaineers what would have been a heroic victory in a Pro50 Championship match against Eagles at Mutare Sports Club on Sunday.

A disastrous middle-order collapse when facing a target of only 182 left the last three Mountaineers wickets needing 85 runs to win — and they gallantly scored 83 of them before the last wicket fell to what was for them a tragic run-out.

Eagles right-arm medium pace bowler Chamu Chibhabha began what was to be the final over to Victor Nyauchi, a genuine tail ender, with one to tie and two to win.

 Nyauchi played well, but could not pierce the field.

 Off the fourth delivery he drove the ball near Chigumbura at deep mid-on and the batsmen dithered over whether to risk the run.

 When they decided against it, it was too late; Tiripano slipped, fell and was run out, and victory went to Eagles.

 Both batsmen had done a fine job to try to rescue their side after the poor showing of the middle order, Tiripano finishing with 29 and Nyauchi a gallant four not out.

Chibhabha with three for 24 was the best of the bowlers, while Ngarava took two for 28, economically, and Jakiel two for 47, expensively.