Head Zimpapers Sports
EAGLES and Rhinos completed back-to-back victories over Southern Rocks and Mountaineers respectively in the 2023-24 Pro50 Championship yesterday.
After a nervy finish in the opening round, Eagles were stretched again yesterday as they beat Southern Rocks by three wickets chasing 271 for victory at Takashinga Cricket Club.
Victory came with four balls to spare.
At Mutare Sports Club, Rhinos lost just two wickets as they chased Mountaineers’ seemingly defendable 295.
The teams played at the same venues on Friday with Eagles beating the Southern Rocks by six runs while the Rhinos beat Mountaineers by four wickets.
Tapiwa Mufudza was man-of-the-match at Takashinga for his three wickets for 46 in 10 overs as Southern Rocks were bowled out for 270 in the 49th over.
The visitors had recovered from 165/8 in the 35th over with Tendai Chisoro the topscorer with 71 off 80 balls at number eight while the second highest contribution came from number 10 Dylan Hondo who made a run-a-ball 39.
Eagles’ bowlers were expensive as they gave away 30 extras, 22 of them wides for what was the joint fourth highest contribution to the Southern Rocks’ total.
There were two wickets each for Tanaka Chivanga (2-37 in 7 overs) and Romario Roach (2-54 in 9).
In reply, Eagles got off to a flying start as the opening pair of wicketkeeper Lavert Masunda and Mathew Welch put 113 for the first wicket.
Welch was the first to fall in the 21st over, out for 52 off 59 balls having hit three sixes and three fours while Masunda followed three overs later as he departed for 57 off 77 balls. He hit eight boundaries.
Southern Rocks took regular wickets but failed to stop the flow of runs as captain Chamu Chibhabha topscored with an unbeaten 64 off 66 balls at number five. There was a lot of running in his innings as there were only six boundaries (five fours and a six).
The Rocks bowlers gave away 29 extras, including 15 wides and 11 leg byes.
In Mutare, Rhinos’ all-rounder Antum Naqvi was player-of-the-match for his 3-56 in nine overs and unbeaten 128 off 93 balls batting at number three as they chased down the huge target in 39 overs.
Rhinos chased 295 with 11 overs to spare!
Naqvi and number four Tarisai Musakanda (81 not out in 72 balls) featured in an unbeaten 202-run partnership for the third wicket in 24.2 overs.