Rising Stars Making Mountaineers Graft Hard For Title

Manicaland Mountaineers’ good batting has probably earned them enough points to retain the Logan Cup, but Rising Stars are certainly making them fight for victory in their final match at Takashinga Sports Club.

After the visitors had totalled 420 in their first innings, the top few Stars batsmen dug in well, and by the close of play had reached a score of 236 for three.

Mountaineers resumed yesterday morning on 344 for five wickets, with Ngoni Mupamba (147) and Donald Tiripano (121) looking to continue with their record sixth-wicket partnership that had already recorded 224 runs.

Unfortunately for them, they were not to add to it, as off the fifth ball of the day Tiripano edged a catch to the wicketkeeper off Richard Ngarava and the long stand was over.

Mupamba took a further two overs to reach his 150, which came off 240 balls.

He took his score to 158, and then his superb innings finally came to an end, as he edged a ball from Honest Ziwira to first slip, who took a sharp catch.

Mupamba faced 260 balls, hitting 23 fours and three sixes, and left with the score at 371 for seven.

Ziwira followed up his success by removing Wellington Masakadza, caught at the wicket without scoring, but Clive Chitumba and Natsai M’shangwe set their minds to reach 400 and earn another batting bonus point.

This came when M’shangwe miscued a hook off a short ball from Ngarava, but there was enough power to carry it over the fine-leg boundary for six, just out of reach of the fielder there.

The batsmen now hit out freely, but at 412 M’shangwe was lbw to Ngarava for 26.

The innings closed at 420 when Chitumba was dismissed lbw to Brandon Mavuta for 37, his highest first-class score, leaving Victor Nyauchi not out with one.

Ngarava was the most successful bowler, working up a good pace at times to take four wickets for 73 runs, while Ziwira took three for 84.

Rising Stars went in for two overs before lunch; Takashinga Sports Club and Tafadzwa Tsiga faced an over apiece from Tiripano and Masakadza and survived without scoring any runs.

Afterwards, the two took the score to 35 and the partnership was looking useful when Kamunhukamwe was caught in the slips off Nyauchi for 16.

Tsiga made his way to 42 off 56 balls in good style before he was beaten and bowled by a good full-length ball from Chitumba; 77 for two.

Taffy Mupariwa, despite a slow start, settled in well, but Tarisai Musakanda was on the attack almost as soon as he went in.

At tea, Stars had reached 128 for two, with Mupariwa on 34 and Musakanda 29 off 18 balls.

Both batsmen launched an assault on the bowling after tea, Mupariwa starting it with a superb straight six off Masakadza.

Both slowed down sharply as they approached their fifties, however; Musakanda reached his first, off 37 deliveries, while Mupariwa, after spending an age on 49, finally reached his landmark off his 98th ball.

This was Musakanda’s tenth first-class fifty, and he is yet to turn one into a hundred.

This one reached 60, off 52 balls, when he was given out lbw to Tiripano, with the score 180 for three wickets; his partnership with Mupariwa had added 103.

Tony Munyonga came in next and started very slowly, but then developed a very steady partnership with Mupariwa.

The pair was still standing by the close of play, with Mupariwa on 84 and Munyonga 22.

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