PRO 50: Eagles to play Tuskers in final despite loss

Matabeleland Tuskers and Mashonaland Eagles will contest the final of Zimbabwe’s Pro50 Championship on Saturday after Mid West Rhinos did Eagles a favour in the final round of group games.

Mashonaland Eagles had needed to win against Matabeleland Tuskers to guarantee themselves a place in the final, but the newly-crowned Logan Cup champions proved too good and notched another win in Bulawayo.

Brian Chari hit 115 as they made 279 for five from their 50 overs after being asked to bat. 23 year-old Chari added 137 with Nkosana Mpofu (50) for the second-wicket and reached his maiden List A century off 114 balls. He was dismissed in the 41st over by Tafadzwa Muzarawetu, but Luke Jongwe added some late impetus to the innings by hitting an unbeaten 37 off just 20 deliveries.

Eagles then slipped steadily to 205 all out in their run chase. They lost Cephas Zhuwao third ball to Chris Mpofu and never really recovered. Keith Kondo (33) and Simbarashe Gupo (29) did add 56 for the second-wicket, but the home side’s spin pair of Ainsley Ndlovu (1-36) and John Nyumbu (3-41) proved too hot to handle. Brian Vitori also picked up three wickets.

Fortuantely for Eagles, a little before their defeat was confirmed, Mid West Rhinos had wrapped up a tense three-wicket win over Mountaineers, who finished two points behind Eagles in the final standings.

Innocent Kaia starred for the visitors in Kwekwe with a maiden century as the remainder of their batting failed to fire. His side slipped steadily to 102 for eight in the 30th over as Tendai Chisoro (3-38) and Mkhululi Nyathi (2-23) built on the earlier excellent work from seamers Carl Mumba (1-25) and Mike Chinouya (2-42).

Tapiwa Mufudza and Kaia then rescued the innings during an unbroken ninth-wicket stand of 109. Mufudza was content to bide his time and didn’t hit a boundary during a 50-ball stay that yielded a career-best 27. Kaia upped the tempo during the second half of his innings - the second fifty coming off 45 balls after the first had taken 98.

Brad Wadlan then attempted to finish the season with a flourish by racing to his 50 off just 23 balls and adding 67 in the first seven overs with Vusi Sibanda (18). However, they both fell in quick succession to Tatenda Mupunga and it was left to Prince Masvaure to guide Rhinos home as Natsai M’shangwe threatened to derail things late on with three wickets. Masvaure ended on 68 off 78 balls and the win was sealed in the 36th over.

Photo: Innocent Kaia hits out en route to his century. Credit: @rhinosmidwest

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!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

You may use these HTML tags and attributes: <a href="" title=""> <abbr title=""> <acronym title=""> <b> <blockquote cite=""> <cite> <code> <del datetime=""> <em> <i> <q cite=""> <strike> <strong>