Harare Kings – 167 all out in 40 overs (Prince Masvaure 42, Johnathan Campbell 30, Cephas Zhuwao 28; Tashinga Musekiwa 2/17, Jabulisa Tshuma 2/24, Neville Madziva 1/17)
MidWest – 168-5 in 35.3 overs (Tarisai Musakanda 60, Nyasha Mayavo 51*, Tashinga Musekiwa 22*; Aarsh Jha 1/12, Brendon Diplock 1/25, Johnathan Campbell 1/27)
MidWest won by five wickets
MidWest wicket-keeper Nyasha Mayavo was the man to take his team home to victory over Harare Kings in a National Premier League (NPL) match at the Old Hararians ground today.
When Tarisai Musakanda left at 106 for four, chasing 168 for victory, the match was really in the balance, but Mayavo made light of the situation and played a fine attacking innings of 51 not out to see the Midlanders home with room to spare.
Ali Hamid began the Kings’ innings in the morning as if he was playing ‘six and out’, hitting both the MidWest opening bowlers for six before slicing a catch to backward point and departing, caught at backward point, for 12 in the second over, Tafara Chingwara being the bowler.
The arrival now at the crease of Cephas Zhuwao was scarcely likely to make life easier for the bowlers, but the ‘Big Bully’ was not at his most brutal on this occasion, taking 34 balls to make 28 before being bowled out by a very good ball from Davis Murwendo.
Four wickets were down for 59, but then Prince Masvaure and Johnathan Campbell put their heads down to graft their way out of trouble, playing themselves in with great care.
They put on 67 together before Masvaure uncharacteristically leapt down the pitch to attack a ball from Manson Chikowero and was easily stumped for 42; 126 for five.
Campbell soon followed for 30, caught on the midwicket boundary trying to hit Tashinga Musekiwa for six; 136 for six.
The tail sagged rather than wagged, none of the later batsmen reaching double figures, and the innings ended at 167 with five overs left unbowled.
MidWest made a cautious start, but lost Takudzwa Kaitano for nine.
Even Musakanda began his innings with unusual restraint.
He was just beginning to open out when he lost two partners in quick succession, so he settled down again while Mayavo gave him better support.
Just as Musakanda seemed to be taking his side to victory again, though, his old nature broke through and he holed out on the leg boundary for 60, leaving his team at 106 for four and the match in the balance.
It was left to Mayavo to steer MidWest towards victory, and this he did in good style, aided by some good hitting from Musekiwa.
Mayavo levelled the scores by hitting a ball from Brendon Diplock over long-on for six to bring up his fifty, and a quick single off the next delivery saw MidWest home.
Mayavo faced 66 balls and hit a six and six fours, while Musekiwa’s quiet but valuable innings brought him 22 not out.
The MidWest team are gaining in confidence, having now recorded their third successive victory.
Great Zimbabwe Patriots – 105 all out in 33 overs (William Mashinge 25, Luke Oldknow 19, Nelson Chimbirimbiri 12; Kevin Kasuza 5/22, Tinashe Muchawaya 4/14, Kudzai Mwazviita 1/23)
Easterns – 68 all out in 21 overs (Spencer Magodo 37, Baxton Gopito 9, Kudzai Sauramba 4; Andre Odendaal 5/25, Sydney Murombo 3/4, Nkosilathi Nungu 2/30)
Great Zimbabwe Patriots won by 37 runs
André Odendaal turned in a fine bowling performance for Great Zimbabwe Patriots to give them an unexpected victory over Easterns at Mutare Sports Club.
Great Zimbabwe, batting first, had failed badly with the bat, the only bright spot of their innings being a fourth-wicket partnership of 44 between Luke Oldknow (19) and William Mashinge (25).
Kevin Kasuza unexpectedly turned demon bowler in this innings as he took five wickets for only 22 runs.
Easterns’ batting proved to be even worse, though, as their opening batsman, Spencer Magodo, fought a fine hand to score 37, while the other 10 batsmen between them could manage only 19 runs.
Odendaal was the chief destroyer, bowling his nine overs for five wickets and only 25 runs.
Gladiators – 137 all out in 37.3 overs (Malcolm Chikuwa 39, Tony Munyonga 31, Simbarashe Murumbi 18; Chris Mpofu 4/22, Tanatswa Bechani 3/20, Jeffrey Mhuriyengwe 2/25)
Queens – 138-3 in 26.4 overs (Tinashe Chimbambo 68*, Tanatswa Bechani 26*, Dalubuhle Mboyi 13; Malcolm Chikuwa 2/35, Masimba Maruvatsanga 1/25)
Queens won by seven wickets
At Kwekwe Sports Club, Tinashe Chimbambo played the deciding innings for Queens in their NPL match against Gladiators, with an unbeaten 68.
Gladiators batted first and made a poor start, losing their first three wickets for 15.
Tony Munyonga (35) and Malcom Chikuwa (39) fought back in the middle order, but they could still leave Queens a target of no more than 138.
The Bulawayo-based side was never in difficulty, thanks to Chimbambo, who dominated the innings throughout and took his team home with time to spare.
Gladiators are now the only team yet to record a victory in this tournament.
Rainbow Sharks – 107 all out in 40 overs (Robertson Chinyengetere 23, Clive Imbayago 20, Tariro Makauyo 15; Roy Kaia 3/16, Trevor Mutsamba 3/25, Keith Jaure 2/27)
Takashinga – 111-3 in 13.2 overs (Innocent Kaia 55, Kudzai Maunze 19*, Joylord Gumbie 16; Daniel Jakiel 2/36)
Takashinga won by seven wickets
Innocent Kaia found his batting form today with a dazzling innings to lead the way in a straightforward victory for Takashinga over Rainbow Sharks.
Rainbow’s batting woes continue as they batted first and made a disastrous start.
Trevor Mutsamba was the man who did the damage, taking two wickets and effecting a run-out as Rainbow lost their first four wickets with only five runs on the board.
The middle order scored consistently — Robson Chinyengetere 23, Tariro Makauyo 15 and Clive Imbayago 20 — to take the score past 100, but Takashinga never lost their grip.
Then Innocent Kaia, scoring more than twice as many runs as anyone else in the match, created a period of mayhem as he went for his strokes in brilliant style.
He was actually the first batsman out, scoring 55 out of 72 for the first wicket, and his runs came off only 27 balls.
He hit eight fours and two sixes, and hammered the bowlers all over the ground; such a fine bowler as Victor Nyauchi went for 36 runs in his three overs.
After such a display, it was easy for Takashinga to cruise home to victory.