MEGA Market Mountaineers’ perfect start to the 2023/24 Logan Cup campaign continued following their 355-run victory over Rhinos at Kwekwe Sports Club on Saturday.
Mountaineers remain the only unbeaten team in the season with three wins and one draw, while the other two matches were no result games. Mountaineers are sitting at the top of the standings with 97 points.
Batting first, Mountaineers were bowled out for a first innings score of 253 runs in 59 overs before restricting Rhinos to 219 runs in 62.1 overs and enjoyed a 34-run advantage going into the second innings.
It was in the second innings where Mountaineers came out guns blazing, scoring 431/6 (declared) with two tons in 113 overs. They then dismissed their opponents for just 110 runs in 41.5 overs.
Two Mountaineers batters scored half centuries in the first innings of the game for their 253 runs. It was youngster Brian Bennett and Peter Moor who fell for 60 and 51 runs respectively while Prince Masvaure took four wickets for 28 runs in 11 overs for Rhinos. Brandon Mavuta, who played the first innings only before he was suspended for four months by Zimbabwe Cricket, finished with figures of 3/90 in 20 overs.
In Rhinos’ response with the bat in the first innings, Ben Curran fell just a run shy of his century after making 99 runs off 184 balls while Antum Naqvi missed out on a half century, scoring 41 runs off 42 balls.
Wellington Masakadza starred with the ball in the first innings for Mountaineers, claiming four scalps for 38 runs in 15.1 overs while Salman Mirza took three wickets for 67 runs in 15 overs.
Going into the second innings with a lead of 34 runs, Mountaineers lost the early wicket of Joylord Gumbie for 10 runs off 16 balls leaving the team on 34/1 in 4.3 overs (lead of 68 runs) before Moor and Tony Munyonga notched up a century stand for the second wicket.
Moor top scored with a brilliant 130 runs off 145 balls, while Munyonga fell for a patient 118 runs from 253 balls. Bennett was not to be left out in the second innings, scoring his second half century of the match, finishing unbeaten on 52 in 100 balls.
Masvaure, once again led from the front with ball for Rhinos, finishing with figures of 3/79 in 29 overs while Victor Chirwa took two scalps for 165 runs in 46 overs. Tafara Chingwara took the other wicket.
Following his splendid performance in the first innings with the ball for Mountaineers, Masakadza would go on to make it a memorable outing with a fifer in the second innings. The left hander finished with match winning figures of 5/20 in 7.5 overs while Victor Nyauchi took two for 23 runs in 10 overs to guide their team to a memorable win. Curran top scored for Rhinos in the second innings with 29 runs off 62 balls.
Rhinos are second from the bottom in the standings with 60 points from one win and two draws. They have played five matches, and lost one while the other one was a no result.
In the other match on Saturday, Southern Rocks beat Eagles by seven wickets.
Eagles declared their first innings on 445/9 and Rocks responded well, scoring 468 runs before going on to bowl out Eagles in the second innings for 162 runs for a target of 140 runs which they chased down in 23.5 overs, finishing on 143/3.
The Logan Cup continues on Thursday with Eagles up against Rhinos in Harare, while Tuskers will be hosting Southern Rocks at Queens Sports Club.