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Eagles make it three in three, Mountaineers’ winless run continues

Tuskers – 178 all out in 46 overs (Milton Shumba 54*, Tafara Mupariwa 36, Brian Chari 36; Alex Russell 3/15, Romario Roach 3/43, Tanaka Chivanga 2/45)

Eagles – 179-9 in 46.2 overs (Rodney Mupfudza 54, Mathew Welch 36, Chamu Chibhabha 26; Brandon James 3/19, Ernest Masuku 3/48, Isheunopa Musekwa 1/14)

Eagles won by one wicket

A good innings of 54 from opening batter Rodney Mupfudza was the main factor in giving Eagles an exciting one-wicket victory over Tuskers in their closely fought Pro50 Championship match at Harare Sports Club on Friday.

Tuskers chose to bat, but were soon in trouble, as they lost both openers, Nkosana Mpofu (1) and Hamid Ali (7), with 26 runs on the board.

Taffy Mupariwa batted confidently, though, scoring a breezy 36, while his captain Brian Chari made the same number.

However, Sean Williams was caught at the wicket off the second ball he faced and from there the innings went steadily downhill.

Milton Shumba was the one man who stood in the gap, showing a good return to form as he reached his fifty with the last man at the crease and was left on 54 not out, scored off 73 balls with a six and four fours.

Not one of his partners could reach double figures and the innings closed for a disappointing 178 – in fact, only three men in the team scored double figures.

The most successful bowlers were the spinners, Romario Roach and Alex Russell, who took three wickets each.

Russell finished with the remarkable figures for a limited-overs match of three wickets for only 15 runs off his full 10 overs.

Eagles made a poor start to their reply, losing Lavert Masunda, bowled third ball by Ernest Masuku without a run on the board.

However, there followed a good partnership of 80 for the second wicket between Mupfudza and Matthew Welch, which ended with a run-out, as Chari ran out the latter for 36.

After this, wickets fell steadily as Tuskers continued to fight, and Mupfudza after completing his fifty was fourth out at 115 for 54 – he faced 80 deliveries and hit five fours.

Brandon James took three middle-order wickets, and the match was in the balance when the seventh wicket went down at 142.

Now Owen Muzondo joined Roach and the pair batted well to add 35 for the eighth wicket.

They reached 177, two runs short of victory, when Masuku had Roach caught for a valuable innings of 19, and then bowled Tapiwa Mufudza next ball.

Russell as last man joined Muzondo, who took two singles to see Eagles home, finishing not out with 19 – they had 22 balls to spare.

Masuku took three wickets for 48, while James had the best figures of three for 19.


Mountaineers – 121 all out in 24.2 overs (PJ Moor 29, Kevin Kasuza 17, Tinashe Muchawaya 14; William Mashinge 3/25, Trevor Gwandu 3/28, Sydney Murombo 2/29)

Southern Rocks – 122-5 in 22 overs (Tafadzwa Tsiga 30*, William Mashinge 28*, Cephas Zhuwao 27; Tinashe Muchawaya 4/42, Donald Tiripano 1/40)

Southern Rocks won by five wickets

Trevor Gwandu’s opening over of the match for Southern Rocks gave his team a vital advantage in their Pro50 Championship fixture against Mountaineers at Masvingo Sports Club on Friday that they won by five wickets.

Gwandu’s second ball had Joylord Gumbie caught; his fourth had Tony Munyonga caught – and two top wickets were down without a run on the board.

Then came the only time when the Mountaineers batting threatened to take charge, as Kevin Kasuza and PJ Moor attacked the bowling to add 49.

However, just when it appeared that Mountaineers were recovering, Kasuza was run out for 17, and Moor soon followed, caught at the wicket off William Mashinge for 29 off 29 balls, the highest score of the innings.

None of the later batters reached 15 and, with Mashinge taking two more wickets, seven men were out before the 100 was reached.

Mountaineers failed to use half their overs, as they were dismissed for 121 in only 24.2 overs.

Gwandu appropriately took the last wicket to finish with three for 28, while Mashinge had three for 25.

Rocks also had a bad start, as with five runs on the board Ashley Mufandauya and Roy Kaia were both out to the impressive Tinashe Muchawaya for a single apiece.

This did not deter Cephas Zhuwao, who scored 27 off 16 balls, but Muchawaya dismissed both him and Johnathan Campbell (10).

When Richmond Mutumbami was out for 20, Rocks looked vulnerable at 65 for five, but they were under less pressure with only a small target to chase down.

Tafadzwa Tsiga and Mashinge stood firm and knocked off the remaining runs without being separated, scoring 30 and 28 respectively.

The innings lasted only 22 overs before victory was achieved, Muchawaya finishing with honour for Mountaineers after taking his four wickets for 22 runs.