PRO50: All-round Raza helps Eagles hammer Tuskers

Zimbabwe’s Pro50 Championship leaders Matabeleland Tuskers were handed a heavy defeat by Mashonaland Eagles courtesy of a superb all-round performance from Sikandar Raza.

Tuskers won the toss and chose to bat at Harare Sports Club but could muster just 213 as 28 year-old Raza returned career-best figures of four for 33. Craig Ervine was the only man to fire for Tuskers and hit a welcome century to help allay doubts about his inclusion in Zimbabwe’s World Cup squad.

Trevor Garwe picked up two for 29 from 9.2 overs while Elton Chigumbura, Taurai Muzarabani, Prosper Utseya and Greg Lamb collected one scalp apiece.

A second-wicket partnership worth 142 between Raza and Chamu Chibhabha then broke the back of the run chase. Raza ended on 106 off 111 balls, with Chibhabha dismissed just prior to the winning line being breached for 74 off 102 balls to continue his good form from the series against Canada.

Mid West Rhinos got off the mark in the competition after prevailing in a low-scoring fixture at Mutare Sports Club. Defending champions Mountaineers could stutter to only 175 after being asked to bat despite some handy runs from tail-enders Donald Tiripano (28), Tapiwa Mufudza (12) and Tendai Chatara (15 not out). Stuart Matsikenyeri had earlier top-scored with 31.

Mike Chinouya had done the early damage in removing openers Tino Mawoyo and Kevin Kasuza cheaply and ended with three for 50 from eight overs. Tinashe Panyangara was typically frugal and took one for 26 from 10, while Tendai Chisoro and Prince Masvaure each collected a brace of wickets.

If Rhinos thought that the run chase was going to be straightforward then they were soon dealt a rude reminder as Chatara and Shingi Masakadza soon rendered them nine for two. Masvaure (49) and PJ Moor (45) then added 89 for the third-wicket but another clatter of wickets left the scoreboard reading 117 for six; Natsai M’shangwe striking twice.

It was left to Mark Mbofana and Chisoro to finish the job. The duo added an unbroken 62 to see Rhinos home in the 43rd over. Chisoro ended on 36 off 33 balls, with Mbofana more circumspect with 24 off 57.

Main picture: Sikandar Raza raises his bat upon completing his match-winning century. Credit: @tuskerscricketZ

Daniel Grummitt

Cricket Writer at World Cricket Badger
Daniel first began writing about cricket in 2011, having been a fan of the game ever since his Grandad introduced him to it at the age of 10.

He worked for for almost three years, leading their county and domestic cricket coverage and contributing to a book about the 2012 ICC World Twenty20, before joining the hugely ambitious World Cricket Badger early in 2014.

The first Test that he remembers watching was on Channel 4 - back before the ECB marginalised potential future fans by selling the TV rights to Sky Sports - when England beat Pakistan by an innings and nine runs at Lord’s.

Besides a passion for domestic cricket, he also has an unexplainable interest in all things Zimbabwe cricket!

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