Rhinos, Mountaineers prevail in Fifty50 Challenge clashes
Eagles Women – 147 all out in 39.4 overs (Christabel Chatonzwa 65, Modester Mupachikwa 34, Kellies Ndlovu 6; Ashley Ndiraya 5/37, Rebecca Chikomborero 2/19, Josephine Nkomo 2/25)
Rhinos Women – 148-9 in 37.4 overs (Josephine Nkomo 81*, Mary-Anne Musonda 31, Nomatter Mutasa 9; Esther Mbofana 4/33, Christabel Chatonzwa 2/24, Precious Marange 1/24)
Rhinos Women won by one wicket
Josephine Nkomo kept her cool to lead Rhinos Women to a one wicket-victory over Eagles Women in a Fifty50 Challenge match played at Kwekwe Sports Club on Saturday.
With wickets falling all round, the captain needed nerves of steel for her unbeaten 81.
Her second-wicket partnership with Mary-Anne Musonda yielded 79 runs and it was key as the pair came to the crease with the score on six for the loss of two wickets.
Both openers had fallen to Esther Mbofana.
It was Mbofana who would return to claim the scalp of the dangerous Musonda for 31, caught by Christabel Chatonzwa.
Musonda had four boundaries in her innings.
The rest of the batters found the going tough.
The only other player to score more than one run was Nomatter Mutasa who made nine before she was run out.
Where Nkomo needed to hold her nerve was when Rhinos suddenly went from 134 for the loss of seven wickets to 136 for the loss of nine, still 12 runs short of the target of 138.
She cracked a few boundaries and her efforts got Rhinos over the line as they made 148 for the loss of nine wickets in 37.4 overs.
Mbofana took four wickets, conceding 33 runs, while Chatonzwa claimed two, giving away 24 runs in the process.
Earlier, Eagles had lost their last three wickets without bothering the scorers as they were bowled out for 147 in 39.4 overs.
They had been put in by Rhinos who won the toss.
The 69-run opening partnership shared by Chatonzwa and Modester Mupachikwa had set Eagles up well.
Nkomo claimed the latter’s wicket with the keeper, Ashley Munatswa, completing the catch.
Chatonzwa then dominated multiple partnerships before she was bowled by Nkomo for 65.
The drama happened at the end of the Eagles innings when Ashley Ndiraya almost grabbed herself a hat trick.
After getting the wickets of Elita Chitumba and Mitchel Mavhunga in consecutive balls, Stella Muchinapo survived the third ball before she was out off the fourth.
Ndiraya took five wickets, conceding 37 runs, while Rebecca Chikomborero and Nkomo each grabbed two.
Tuskers Women – 77 all out in 24.5 overs (Chiedza Dhururu 22, Tasmeen Granger 18, Regai Matongo 7; Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano 3/4, Francesca Chipare 3/20, Loryn Phiri 2/8)
Mountaineers Women – 78-7 in 33.5 overs (Loryn Phiri 20*, Chipo Mugeri-Tiripano 19, Audrey Mazvishaya 12*; Ellen Tshuma 3/21, Nomvelo Sibanda 3/24)
Mountaineers Women won by three wickets
Mountaineers Women overcame a gutsy Tuskers Women side by three wickets in a low-scoring Fifty50 Challenge tie at Queens Sports Club on Saturday.
Chasing a target of 78, Mountaineers had nervous moments and had Loryn Phiri with an unbeaten 20 for their getting to it.
Her eighth-wicket partnership of 27 with Audrey Mazvishaya, who scored an unbeaten 12, was what they needed in the end as they won their second consecutive match in the competition.
Chipo Mugeri-Tirpano’s opening salvo of 19 was the other score to get into double figures.
Ellen Tshuma was impressive in getting three wickets and conceding 21 runs.
So too was captain Nomvelo Sibanda who took as many but conceded 24.
Mountaineers reached 78 for the loss of seven wickets in 33.5 overs.
Earlier, Tuskers won the toss and chose to bat.
Their opening partnership of Chiedza Dhururu and Regai Matongo amassed 32 runs.
Matongo then fell to Francesca Chipare for seven, with Greatness Mutasa completing the catch.
Dhururu lasted two more overs and was gone too for 22, Chipare trapping her leg before.
Tasmeen Granger’s 18 was the only other standout score as batters never really got a start.
They were eventually bowled out for 77 in 24.5 runs.
Mugeri-Tiripano grabbed three wickets, conceding just four runs in 11 balls bowled.
Chipare returned figures of three for 20 while Phiri was two for eight.
The worry for Tuskers is that their score was helped by 24 extras and they are still to get into triple figures in the competition this season, of which Sibanda is aware.
“It’s a matter of concern,” said the Tuskers skipper.
“I think we have to work hard. I think the (batters) need to come to the party and up their game.
“I think we just have to work with the mental aspect of the game. We believe and we know that we can.
“We have the skills that are required. Now it is just a matter for execution.”
Mountaineers captain Pellagia Mujaji is delighted that her side have been able to bowl out teams faced so far but admitted the chase was tense, saying:
“During the game, it was a bit tense, nail-biting, but we won the game, fair and square.”
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