Mountaineers bask in double Zimbabwean trophy glory

The Manicaland Mountaineers ended the Zimbabwean domestic cricket season as the top franchise after claiming two trophies - the Logan Cup and the Pro50 Championship.

P1010783The Mutare-based franchise outpaced perennial rivals Mashonaland Eagles to Logan Cup supremacy two weeks ago before getting the better of Southern Rocks by seven wickets to lift the Pro 50 Championship last Wednesday.

Mountaineers keep on tapping the championship records as they have managed to win silverware in almost each season since the introduction of the franchise system in 2009/10.

Affectionally known as the Mountain Goats, the Mountaineers became the second franchise after Eagles to win all the domestic competitions namely the four-day, One Day and T20.

It all started with the Metbank/Pro40 Championship in 2009/10 with a three-wicket win over Mid West Rhinos before winning the Stanbic T20 Series the same year under the guidance of former South African fast bowler Alan Donald.

The departure of Donald saw the arrival of former Zimbabwean seamer Gary Brent who sustained the culture of winning trophies.

Mountaineers reclaimed the T20 title in 2011/12 season which was Brent’s first title as coach. The following year, 2012/13 season, the franchise once again scooped the T20 championship. All Mountaineers’ T20 achievements were done at the expense of their rivals; Eagles.

Despite the rocky start to the 2013/14 season owing to standoff between Zimbabwe Cricket and the players, Mountaineers managed to come from behind and steal the limelight.

It turned out to be one of their best seasons especially by winning the Logan Cup, which had eluded them by a whisker after a miscalculation in one of their rain affected games in the previous year, and the Pro50 Championship.

Gary Brent talks to the local media

Gary Brent talks to the local media

“It’s a great way to end the season,” a jubilant Brent said. “I feel very satisfied because at the beginning of we set up our plan and we lived by it.

“I have been successful with the Mountaineers. I have won a trophy for the past three seasons. I don’t know if you say I am a good coach but this is all because I have got a great bunch of players and a chief executive officer in my uncle Jon Brent.

“Jon has done a good job of heading the franchise and he understands and values players. That’s why we don’t have a massive turnout of players each season. We have a good retention system.”

Brent greatly valued the role played by his entire squad during their campaign. He missed five seasoned players in batters Hamilton Masakadza, Timycen Maruma, fast bowlers Shingi Masakadza, Tendai Chatara and leg spinner Natsai Mushangwe who were on national duty at the ICC World T20 in Bangladesh.

Still Mountaineers were not deterred as they marched on with captain Tino Mawoyo, English overseas player Mark Pettini and emerging fast bowlers Donald Tiripano and Tatenda Mupunga coming through.

Tiripano ended as the leading wicket-taker in both the Logan Cup and Pro50 Championship with 34 and 13 wickets respectively. Mupunga has 24 in the Logan Cup and eight in the One Day competition.

“It’s a great team; we have got a fantastic squad. If you remember when the national (team) guys were away for the World Cup the group of youngsters that stayed did a fantastic job.

“Tino (Mawoyo) was a fantastic captain throughout the season and when the senior guys came back we really saw why they are in the national team,” he said.

For batters, Hamilton Masakadza scored 433 runs in four Logan Cup games and was the top run scorer in the Pro50 Championship with 260 runs in six games.

The Mountaineers success this season has been popular in World Cricket Badger HQ as they were our first Team of the Week before the Zimbabwe season eventually got underway.

Our congratulations to Gary, Tino and the Mountaineers squad.

WHAT THEY SAID BEFORE THE SEASON STARTED

MOUNTAINEERS Team of the Week: Brent and Mawoyo cast an eye over their ones to watch this season (1 Nov 2013)

MOUNTAINEERS Team of the Week: Brent says Zimbabwe cricket stronger but a long way to go (31 Oct 2013)

MOUNTAINEERS Team of the Week: Tino Mawoyo - two out of three trophies would be great (29 Oct 2013)

MOUNTAINEERS Team of the Week: Brent ready to move fast as Zimbabwe seasons waits for green light (28 Oct 2013)

 

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