Tuskers – 147-5 in 20 overs (Milton Shumba 37*, Simbarashe Haukozi 33, Luke Jongwe 23; Tapiwa Mufudza 2/25, Faraz Akram 1/14, Brad Evans 1/23)
Eagles – 142-8 in 20 overs (Regis Chakabva 65, Chamu Chibhabha 36, Tinashe Nenhunzi 14; Milton Shumba 5/18, Charlton Tshuma 2/16, Luke Jongwe 1/18)
Tuskers won by five runs
Despite a brilliant fifty from Regis Chakabva, a superb all-round performance from Milton Shumba, top-scorer and match-winning bowler, gave Tuskers a thrilling last-over victory over Eagles in a Domestic T20 Competition match played at Harare Sports Club on Sunday morning.
In a match that swung in turn from one side to the other and back again, Shumba began the last over with Eagles needing 10 runs to win – they got only four of them, and Shumba took a wicket with the final ball to give his team victory by five runs.
Tuskers batted on winning the toss, but lost their captain, Brian Chari, for a single when he was caught at midwicket off Faraz Akram.
Craig Ervine quickly asserted himself with a four and a six, while the other opening batsman, the debutant Simbarashe Haukozi, hit Daniel Jakiel’s first two deliveries for four.
The bowlers tightened up very well, forcing the batsmen to fight for runs, and at 40 they were rewarded with the valuable wicket of Ervine, who sliced a ball on the off side to be caught by Elton Chigumbura off Tapiwa Mufudza for 13.
Mufudza followed up in his next over by bowling out Sean Williams for eight; 58 for three in the 10th over.
Haukozi was still there, but at 70 he was run out by Chigumbura for 33, a very valuable début innings that held together the Tuskers’ top order.
This was a tricky situation for Tuskers now, but Luke Jongwe and Shumba fought back with a brisk partnership of 41 for the fifth wicket.
Just as they were really dominating the bowling, however, Brad Evans bowled Jongwe for 23, the next ball after being hit for six; 111 for five in the 17th over.
The next man, Clive Madande, swung a powerful bat and scored 17 not out off nine balls, while Shumba finished as top scorer with an unbeaten 37 off 27 balls.
The final Tuskers score was 147 for five after 20 overs.
Mufudza had the best bowling figures of two for 25 for Eagles.
Eagles made a poor start in response, as in the second over, bowled by Charlton Tshuma, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe was bowled for four, slogging across the line, and then Wessly Madhevere was caught off a leg-side skyer, the first ball he faced, reducing Eagles to six for two wickets.
This did not faze Chakabva, however, as he fought back with a blaze of strokes, and after hitting the new bowler Tanatswa Bechani for six and two fours off successive balls, he had raced to 36 off only 13 deliveries.
Chamu Chibhabha was by no means a sleeping partner, and he had 32 off 32 balls by the time Chakabva reached his fifty off only 24 balls.
The score after 10 overs was 85 for two wickets and Williams was the only bowler able to keep the batsmen in reasonable check.
Shumba came on to bowl his left-arm spin and had Chibhabha caught for 36, scored off 37 balls, and with the score now 96 for three in the 12th over.
At 115 Chakabva’s great innings came to an end, as Shumba in his second over had him caught deep on the leg side by Luke Jongwe for 65, scored off 36 balls, and including three fours and five sixes.
Two balls later Shumba caught and bowled Elton Chigumbura without scoring, and suddenly the match was in the balance again with Eagles now 115 for five after 15 overs.
Shumba struck again at 127, as he had Brad Evans stumped for four.
Twenty runs were needed off the final three overs and only the inexperienced Tinashe Nenhunzi remained of the specialist batsmen.
Fifteen were needed off the last two – then Jongwe took another catch off Shumba to remove Nenhunzi for 14 to make the score 134 for seven.
Faraz Akram joined Mufudza, and four singles off the rest of the over left Eagles needing 10 runs off the final over, to be bowled by Jongwe, whose one previous overs had cost 14 runs.
Akram twice took two, and then Jongwe bowled the next three balls cleverly moving away outside the off stump and swung and missed at them all.
He needed to hit the final delivery for six to win the match for Eagles – this time he hit the ball, a low full toss, but only managed to sky it into the covers, where he was caught.
It was a very intelligent final over by Jongwe, the final seal on a match that Tuskers looked doomed to lose, but managed to turn around in thrilling fashion.
Shumba’s remarkable four-over spell had brought him five wickets for 18 runs; Akram was out for six, leaving Mufudza not out with eight, with the final Eagles score 142 for eight wickets.
Rhinos – 158-5 in 20 overs (Ryan Burl 53, Tarisai Musakanda 38, Charles Kunje 24; Roy Kaia 2/19, Cephas Zhuwao 1/14, Patrick Mambo 1/16)
Southern Rocks – 159-6 in 17.4 overs (Tadiwanashe Marumani 60, Tendai Chisoro 35*, Cephas Zhuwao 15; Johnathan Campbell 3/19, Charles Kunje 2/28, Ryan Burl 1/23)
Rocks won by four wickets
In another fluctuating match that contained brilliant fifties from Ryan Burl and Tadiwanashe Marumani, it was a fine 35 not out from Tendai Chisoro that eventually gave Southern Rocks victory over Rhinos by four wickets.
Rocks put Rhinos in to bat and were rewarded in the first over when Prince Masvaure (1) played a rather hesitant shot to a ball from Blessing Muzarabani and was caught low down in the gully.
Brendan Taylor joined Tarisai Musakanda, who was in brilliant form, hitting Andre Odendaal and Patrick Mambo for sixes.
Taylor did not last long, however, as he played a shot on the off-side against Mambo and was easily caught.
Burl came in and made a dazzling start – facing the normally very economical Tendai Chisoro, he hammered him for four, six, and two more fours off successive deliveries, scoring 18 off the first five balls he faced with a rare variety of strokes.
An on-drive for six off Odendaal took him to 31 off 11 balls.
Musakanda drove a catch to long-on off Roy Kaia and was out for 38 off 26 balls just when the pair seemed to have the Rocks bowlers at their mercy; 87 for three in the tenth over.
Chisoro tried again, but Burl hit him for another six and four, bringing up the 100 in the 11th over.
Burl slowed down a little in the forties and took all of 27 balls to bring up his fifty.
Perhaps he ran out of adrenaline, because he settled for singles now, until on 53 he aimed for another six off Roy Kaia, only to hole out on the leg boundary.
He faced 31 balls altogether and hit five fours and three sixes.
Johnathan Campbell now joined Charles Kunje, who hit Kaia for a big leg-side six.
The batsmen got bogged down, however, and only four runs came off the 15th and 16th overs.
Finally, when Cephas Zhuwao came on to bowl, Campbell hit his second ball for six with a slog-sweep, and then Kunje drove a full toss for another six over long-on — before holing out in the covers attempting a slog off the last ball.
He made 24 and the score was 137 for five after 17 overs.
Unfortunately for Rhinos, after looking at one stage like scoring a total approaching 200, they had to settle for 158 for five wickets, the not-out batsmen at the close of the innings being Campbell with 18 and Neville Madziva 12.
The last nine overs had brought them only 57 runs for two wickets.
Rocks began their innings with their feared master-blaster, Zhuwao, partnered by Brian Mudzinganyama.
Zhuwao lived up to his reputation in the first over, hitting Chris Mpofu for four and then pulling him for six.
Kunje was a surprise choice to bowl at the other end, but he did his job – Mudzinganyama (1) sliced his first delivery for a catch to backward point.
Marumani welcomed Madziva to the bowling crease with a four and six, both to square leg, off his first two balls, and then Kunje also suffered similar treatment, taking the new batsman to 24 off 11 balls.
Zhuwao, unused to falling behind, tried to catch up, only to loft a catch to long-off off Kunje – he scored 15 off 9 balls and the score was 42 for two in the fourth over.
Marumani and Richmond Mutumbami hammered Carl Mumba for 19 runs in an over, and after five overs they had 61 on the board for two wickets.
Marumani slaughtered the bowling of Mpofu, hitting three fours and a six in succession to reach his fifty off only 19 balls, the fastest in a day of brilliant fifties.
Rhinos switched to spin, and the batsmen were able to take only three singles from the leg-breaks of Brandon Mavuta in his first over.
Burl went on opposite Mavuta, and the batsmen were certainly more restrained against the two spinners.
Marumani was out for 60, somehow popping up a return catch to Burl, at 92 for three in the 10th over.
Campbell came on with slow off-breaks, and in his first over had Mutumbami caught near the leg boundary for 12 as he attempted a six; 98 for four after 11 overs.
Campbell took the wicket of William Mashinge (7) in his next over, slicing a big hit to backward point.
At 113 for five in the 14th over, Rocks were sliding into danger.
Campbell made it three wickets in three overs when Roy Kaia (14) reached out for a wide ball and lashed it straight to cover; 116 for six in the 15th over.
With two danger men in Chisoro and Odendaal at the crease, another thrilling finish was possible, and Chisoro immediately hit Campbell for two fours, followed by sixes off Kunje over midwicket that took the score to 140.
These blows left 19 to win in the last four overs, and the batsmen knew now that they had no need to take risks.
Odendaal did not get much of a look-in, managing just one four to score seven not out, while Chisoro hit another mighty slog off Burl for six over midwicket to finish the match with 14 balls to spare.
This pair, mostly Chisoro, had put on 43 together for the seventh wicket in less than four overs to win the match, Chisoro finishing with 35 not out off 19 balls, with two fours and three sixes.
Campbell finished with three wickets for 19 in his four overs, while Kunje took two for 28.
The three international pacemen between them bowled four overs and conceded 65 runs from them without taking a wicket.
SOURCE: ZIMBABWE CRICKET