EAGLES MAINTAIN PERFECT START . . . Holders Mountaineers finally win

Lawrence MoyoHead Zimpapers Sports 

EAGLES made it four wins in a row as they beat Tuskers by five wickets with 29 balls remaining in a Pro50 Championship cricket match at Harare Sports Club yesterday.

In the day’s other match, Peter Moor was 96 not out as holders Mountaineers ended a three-match losing run to beat Southern Rocks by seven wickets with 22 balls to spare chasing a huge target of 316 at Masvingo Cricket Club. 

After a nail-biting one-wicket win on Friday at the same venue, Eagles were more comfortable this time around as they chased 199 in 45.1 overs.

In Friday’s match, Tuskers batted first as well and were all out for 178 in 46 overs and Eagles were holding on for dear life when they scrambled to 179/9 in 46.2 overs.

While Eagles enjoy themselves at the top of the five-team standings with four wins out of four, Tuskers are now bottom with two defeats in two matches.

All-rounder Kudzai Maunze was named player-of-the-match for his three wickets in five balls to clean the Tuskers tail and 40 runs off 48 balls at number four with the bat.

At 114/2 in the 22nd over, Tuskers looked set for a decent total, but all-rounder Sean Williams fell for 45 off 48 balls triggering a slump that saw the visitors failing to reach 200 again.

Disappointing for Tuskers will be that they moved from 118/4 in the 23rd over to 181/4 in the 38th over as Milton Shumba and wicketkeeper Adrian Mupembe made 63 for the fifth wicket.

However, from 181/4 Tuskers were all out for 198 with the last four wickets falling for one run.

Tapiwa Mufudza claimed three wickets for 27 in nine overs for Eagles before Maunze came in with three wickets for one run in five balls of the 43rd over to complete the Tuskers collapse.

In reply, Eagles made 52 for the first wicket before Lavert Masunda fell for 31 off 38 balls while fellow opener Mathew Welch made an innings joint top score of 40 from 57 balls before being run out with Eagles on 100/2 in the 22nd over.

Number three Rodney Mupfudza added 31 off 51 balls and Romario Roach was unbeaten on 25 off 37 balls.

In Masvingo, PJ Moor blasted eight fours and five sixes at number four, but was left stranded on 96 from 65 balls as Mountaineers put up a brilliant batting display to register their first win of the campaign.

Set an imposing target of 316, Mountaineers got off to a solid start as the opening stand between wicketkeeper Joylord Gumbie and Kevin Kasuza made 117 in 20.5 overs.

Gumbie made 68 from 77 balls while Kasuza got 60 from 67 balls.

Captain Tony Munyonga added a useful 42 off 40 balls while Brian Bennet was unbeaten on 32 off 31 balls.

Rocks had made 315/5 in their 50 overs with number three Roy Kaia making 97 off 118 balls while Jonathan Campbell was 53 not out from 39 balls.

However, the talking point was an incredible 49 extras by the Mountaineers bowlers who conceded 37 wides.

But PJ Moor spared the bowlers’ blushes with his match-winning knock.

Next for Eagles is a trip to Mutare Sports Club for back-to-back matches against holders, Mountaineers on Friday and Sunday while Tuskers will be at Queens Sports Club for two matches against Rhinos on the same days.

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