Logan Cup champions Mountaineers finish campaign in style

Mountaineers – 277 and 243 all out in 71.2 overs (Innocent Kaia 55, Natsai M’shangwe 33, Kevin Kasuza 33; Ainsley Ndlovu 5/109, Ernest Masuku 4/70, Chris Mpofu 1/24)

Tuskers – 119 and 178 all out in 68 overs (Brian Chari 50, Charles Kunje 50, Tafara Mupariwa 31; Natsai M’shangwe 4/36, Tendai Chatara 3/44, Donald Tiripano 2/37)

Mountaineers won by 223 runs

A fighting innings of 50 by Charles Kunje was not enough to save Tuskers from a heavy defeat by 223 runs at the hands of the Logan Cup champions, Mountaineers, at Harare Sports Club on Saturday.

The final day’s play was always likely to be a formality as far as the result was concerned, as Tuskers, with their fragile batting line-up and long weak tail, were on 147 for five and needed another 255 runs to win.

There was, however, always a chance for some players to produce notable individual performances, especially the overnight pair of Kunje and Bright Phiri, with 35 and 12 respectively, who had already put on 36 runs together very capably.

Phiri was quickly underway with a neat clip for three past midwicket off Tendai Chatara, but they were to be his only runs of the day as 10 minutes later he misjudged a delivery and pushed a simple return catch to the same bowler; 151 for six.

Still, he played a promising innings and could be a man with a good future in cricket.

With the score at 158, Ernest Masuku tried to pull a short ball from Chatara but suffered a nasty blow on the helmet.

He had to retire hurt and was carried off the field; Chris Mpofu came on to replace him.

Chatara tried another bouncer with the next ball he bowled, at Kunje, who pulled it very well for four.

Chris Mpofu did not score or stay long, as he tried to mow to leg a ball from Natsai M’shangwe, but only skyed a catch into the covers; 171 for seven.

Four balls later and without addition, Sheunopa Musekwa also departed, caught at the wicket off M’shangwe.

The last man, Ainsley Ndlovu, came to the wicket with Kunje on 49, but he was facing the next over, bowled by Donald Tiripano, and pushed a single into the covers to take him to his fifty off 124 balls.

Ndlovu decided that, with nothing at stake, he might as well enjoy himself, and scored five runs, but Kunje was the man to go.

He was trapped lbw by M’shangwe for his 50, scored off 127 balls and including only three fours.

It was a fine innings scored in adversity, and he had little support.

Wisely, Masuku did not come back to bat.

Tuskers were thus bowled out for 178, giving Mountaineers victory in their final Logan Cup match of the season, as befits the champion team, by 223 runs, more than they had scored in either of their innings.

Tuskers had played very well in the field on the first day, giving hope of a close match, but their poor batting, with the likes of Sean Williams and Sikandar Raza unavailable, doomed them to defeat.

Final 2018/19 Logan Cup points table