Sports

Taylor’s big hundred goes in vain as Rhinos fall to Eagles

Brendan Taylor

Rhinos – 194-1 in 20 overs (Brendan Taylor 140*, Takudzwanashe Kaitano 45, Tarisai Musakanda 3*; Daniel Jakiel 1/39)

Eagles – 196-4 in 16.4 overs (Regis Chakabva 59, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe 47, Wessly Madhevere 44; Brandon Mavuta 2/47, Carl Mumba 1/21, Manson Chikowero 1/37)

 

Eagles won by six wickets

 

In a remarkable match, a brilliant innings of 140 not out by Brendan Taylor of Rhinos was capped by an amazing team performance from Eagles, with Regis Chakabva, Tinashe Kamunhukamwe and Wessly Madhevere all playing vital roles that enabled them to seal a stunning victory by six wickets at Old Hararians Sports Club this Tuesday.

 

Eagles won the toss and put Rhinos in to bat in the day’s first Domestic T20 Competition match, but the decision seemed to backfire, as in five overs Taylor and Takudzwa Kaitano put 45 runs on the board without loss.

 

Both attacked the bowling fearlessly, but the bowlers began to pull back some measure of control, so the first 10 overs brought 78 runs, but still without a wicket.

 

Taylor boosted the score by taking a few more risks, reaching his fifty off 33 balls, and the team 100 was reached with another Taylor boundary in the 13th over.

 

This was the first century partnership of the tournament, and it seemed to spur Taylor on to more brilliance than ever, as one boundary after another flowed from his bat, while Kaitano did his bit and did his best to give Taylor most of the bowling.

 

The partnership reached 142 in the 16th over before Kaitano was out for 45 off 38 balls, skying the ball behind the bowler Daniel Jakiel to be caught after a very valuable innings.

 

In the 17th over, after facing 60 balls, Taylor reached his century with a nudge backward of point off Jakiel, his second in T20 cricket.

 

He now went up a further gear, as boundaries flowed faster than ever and the bowlers were reduced to cannon fodder.

 

Taylor however seemed to lose his touch in the final over, bowled by Tanaka Chivanga, scoring only seven runs and failing to take the score past 200, as had looked almost certain.

 

The final total was 194 for one wicket off the 20 overs, with his new partner Tarisai Musakanda allowed to face only five balls, off which he scored three singles.

 

Taylor finished unbeaten with 140, scored off 78 balls with 19 fours and five sixes.

 

This is the second-highest individual score in Zimbabwe T20 cricket, behind Hamilton Masakadza’s 162 not out for Mountaineers against Eagles in 2015/16.

 

Jakiel took the only wicket to fall, one for 39 in his four overs, while the only presentable bowling figures were 21 runs off Brad Evans’ four overs.

 

Eagles’ only hope of gaining an unlikely victory was for them to hit out from the start and hope one or more of their top batsmen could emulate Taylor.

 

Kamunhukamwe did his best, hitting Manson Chikowero for four, six and four off the first three balls of the innings.

 

Chamu Chibhabha, trying the same tactic, sliced a catch to backward point off Carl Mumba when he had scored five; 20 for one.

 

There followed an excellent partnership for the second wicket between Kamunhukamwe and Madhevere, the latter especially playing some brilliant strokes.

 

Madhevere scored 44 off just 20 balls, a rate that even Taylor had been unable to achieve, until he was bowled by Brandon Mavuta off his pad.

 

The score was 82 for two in the seventh over, and Eagles were actually ahead of the required run rate – this dashing partnership had made a victory charge possible.

 

Chakabva was next in, and with Kamunhukamwe they hit three fours off Mavuta’s next over to bring up the hundred in the ninth over.

 

The vital factor for Eagles was for this pair to keep together.

 

Chakabva continued his brilliant run of form, scoring off almost every ball he faced, but at 142, in the 13th over, he lost Kamunhukamwe, trying to hit Chikowero for six, only to be bowled by a beautiful ball.

 

He scored 47 off 35 balls with six fours and a six, a very valuable innings.

 

Eagles drew closer to victory in the next over, from Charles Kunje, with a six from the new man Tinashe Nenhunzi, and in succession four, six and six from Chakabva, who reached his fifty off 24 balls.

 

Eagles now needed only 27 runs to win in six overs and the pressure was all on Rhinos.

 

The batsmen took the score to 174, when Chakabva was caught on the leg boundary aiming for a six off Mavuta – he hit 59 off 29 balls with three fours and four sixes.

 

Elton Chigumbura came in and hit his first ball, from Mavuta, for six, but it was Nenhunzi who saw Eagles home in the 17th over, with two successive fours off Chikowero.

 

It was an amazing team effort by Eagles, especially their three batsmen who all scored more than 40 runs in brilliant style.

 

The eventual score was 196 for four off 16.4 overs.

 

Of the bowlers, Mavuta took two wickets for 47 in his four overs, and the only bowler who conceded below 10 runs an over was Ryan Burl, who took no wicket but gave away 28 runs in his four overs.

 

************************************************

 

Mountaineers – 175-5 in 20 overs (Gary Chirimuuta 64, Dion Myers 45, Kevin Kasuza 20; Blessing Muzarabani 1/15, Patrick Mambo 1/26, Roy Kaia 1/33)

Southern Rocks – 153 all out in 18.1 overs (Cephas Zhuwao 42, Brian Mudzinganyama 37, Richmond Mutumbami 19; Shingi Masakadza 3/17, Donald Tiripano 2/25, Victor Nyauchi 2/30)

 

Mountaineers won by 22 runs

 

Fine bowling at the death by Mountaineers pacemen Victor Nyauchi and Donald Tiripano sent Southern Rocks tumbling to defeat by 22 runs in the afternoon T20 game at Old Hararians today.

 

Rocks, who had until now won all the matches they had played, took too casual an attitude during this match and they paid the price for it.

 

Mountaineers batted on winning the toss and made a cautious start.

 

With only six singles on the board in the third over, Joylord Gumbie (4) aimed a hook at a bouncer from Blessing Muzarabani and skyed a catch.

 

Dion Myers turned his first delivery neatly to long leg for four, while Kasuza began to open out, only to be out for 20 when he slashed uppishly at a ball from Patrick Mambo and was caught at backward point; 37 for two in the seventh over.

 

Myers continued to play some fine strokes, but he was caught near the square-leg boundary off Roy Kaia for 45 off 29 balls, with the score 84 for three in the 11th over.

 

Gary Chirimuuta at the other end was playing an aggressive innings, while Kudzai Sauramba quickly hit a six, but was run out for 10 after a mix-up with Chirimuuta over a quick single; 108 for four after 13 overs.

 

Chirimuuta and Tony Munyonga then enjoyed a good partnership of 50 in less than five overs, with Chirimuuta running to a powerful fifty off 30 balls.

 

It was ended by another run-out, with Munyonga thinking of a risky single off a defensive stroke to Muzarabani, but the bowler reacted in an instant and threw down his wicket for 15 before he could get back, making the score 158 for five in the 18th over.

 

The total was taken to 175 for five after 20 overs, although it did not look a very convincing score to challenge the powerful and confident Rocks team.

 

Chirimuuta finished with 64 off 38 balls, with six fours and three sixes, while Shingi Masakadza did not really have time to get going and ended with six not out.

 

Three bowlers took a wicket each, with Muzarabani the best with one for 15 off his four overs.

 

With no need to take undue risks, the Rocks opening batsmen, Brian Mudzinganyama and Cephas Zhuwao, did not try to force the pace early on.

 

Once he felt set, though, Zhuwao could not restrain himself and, taking most of the bowling, played some powerful strokes, including two successive sixes off Munyonga, the 50 coming up in the sixth over.

 

Zhuwao raced to 42 off 25 balls, but Shingi Masakadza removed him with his first ball as he came on to bowl, caught on the boundary attempting a typical six over midwicket – he hit three fours and three sixes, and the score was 60 for one in the seventh over.

 

This brought in the new sensation, Tadiwanashe Marumani, to join Mudzinganyama, who had taken such a back seat with Zhuwao in that he had faced only 13 balls for six runs.

 

This time Marumani faced only two legitimate balls, however, scoring two off his first and, after two wides, top-edging the second to backward point as he tried to cut.

 

Mudzinganyama now built a steady partnership with Richmond Mutumbami, the pair taking ones or twos off practically every ball.

 

With the total 84 for two, Mudzinganyama had still only scored 13 runs off 24 deliveries, but the arrival of Brighton Chipungu to bowl suddenly inspired him.

 

Off successive balls now he hit Chipungu for three fours and a six over extra cover, taking the score past 100 in the 11th over.

 

He now began to play a more assertive game, but on 37 he slashed a catch to backward point and left in the 13th over at 115 for three.

 

At 121 Mutumbami retired hurt with a leg injury, and then the new man, Chisoro, was out lbw to his first ball, slogging across the line to a straight ball from Wellington Masakadza, so Rocks’ chase was beginning to get rather bogged down.

 

William Mashinge joined Kaia and quickly hit Victor Nyauchi for six, only for Kaia to be run out by Munyonga for eight, hesitating over a quick single into the covers.

 

Rocks were now 132 for five, with one man retired hurt, in the 16th over and needed 44 to win off 27 balls, in danger of throwing the match away.

 

At 150 Mashinge had a big swing at a yorker from Donald Tiripano and was bowled for 15; with three overs left, Rocks needed 25 to win now, and Muzarabani was at the crease with Mambo.

 

Two singles were scored, and off the third ball Mambo was given out caught at the wicket off Nyauchi.

 

Off the fourth Dylan Hondo, swinging cross-bat, was out lbw and eight wickets were down for 152, leaving the hitherto invincible Rocks on the rocks.

 

Indeed they were: off the first ball of the next over Travor Mutsamba hit across a straight ball from Tiripano to be lbw, and with Mutumbami unable to bat the match was over.

 

The last five wickets had fallen in three overs for only 21 runs, and Rocks had thrown away the match and their unbeaten record.

 

Shingi Masakadza had dismissed the top three men for 17 runs, while Tiripano and Nyauchi had finished off the innings at the death, taking two wickets each for 25 and 30 runs respectively.

 

2020/21 DOMESTIC T20 COMPETITION POINTS TABLE

TEAM

M

W

L

T

N/R

PT

NRR

Eagles

3

2

1

0

0

20

0.639

Mountaineers

3

2

1

0

0

20

0.552

Southern Rocks

3

2

1

0

0

20

0.449

Tuskers

2

1

1

0

0

10

-0.538

Rhinos

3

0

0

0

0

0

-1.301

 

ZIMBABWE CRICKET

About the author

Byron Adonis Mutingwende