Rising Stars Determined To Spoil Mountaineers’ Title Party
Manicaland Mountaineers – 420 and 139-6 in 40 overs (Donald Tiripano 54*, Innocent Kaia 26, Kudzai Sauramba 22; Brandon Mavuta 4/35, Honest Ziwira 1/18, Njabulo Ncube 1/59)
Rising Stars – 386 all out in 94.5 overs (Taffy Mupariwa 104, Brandon Mavuta 61*, Tarisai Musakanda 60; Donald Tiripano 4/74, Clive Chitumba 2/64, Natsai M’shangwe 2/86, Victor Nyauchi 2/97)
Day 3 – Stumps: Manicaland Mountaineers lead by 173 runs with four wickets remaining
Rising Stars may have fallen 34 runs behind Manicaland Mountaineers on the first innings, but by the end of the third day they had put themselves in line for a possible victory over the probable Logan Cup champions.
The leg-spinner Brandon Mavuta played a major part in the revival, first hitting an aggressive fifty and then taking four cheap wickets against some rather disappointing Mountaineers batting so that by the close of play the visitors had stumbled to a score of 139 for six.
Overnight, Rising Stars were 236 for three wickets in their first innings, in reply to the Mountaineers total of 420; Taffy Mupariwa was on 84 and Tony Munyonga 22.
Munyonga struggled, adding only a single to his score in 18 minutes before Donald Tiripano broke through his defences and bowled him out, at 242 for four.
Mupariwa had hit the first ball he faced in the morning for four, but he struggled to score as he approached his first career century.
Finally, after 50 minutes’ play, Mupariwa pushed a ball from Victor Nyauchi into the leg side and took two runs to complete his hundred; it took him 191 balls.
Only 24 runs were put on in the first hour, and then Thamsanqa Nunu, who faced 27 balls for four runs, attempted to hit out but hit a catch into the covers; 263 for five.
Natsai M’shangwe came on to bowl at the other end, and with his second ball removed Mupariwa, who unwisely tried to sweep and was dismissed lbw for 104.
He faced 205 balls, hitting 10 fours and a six, a worthy first century, but it was unfortunate that he was unable to take command this morning.
Two new batsmen were now at the crease in Mohammad Faraz Akram and Mavuta, but they made a positive start and the first four overs of their partnership brought 20 runs
Faraz Akram scored 12 before he tried a big hit against M’shangwe and was bowled; 291 for seven.
With Richard Ngarava in, the score reached 300 just before lunch, by which time the total was 316 for seven, Mavuta on 21 and Ngarava 18.
Both batsmen began the afternoon session by attacking the bowlers powerfully, including three fours between them in an over from M’shangwe.
Ngarava flayed the bowling for 35 off 29 balls before he slashed a ball from Tiripano into the slips; 357 for eight, the pair having added 66 in less than 11 overs.
Mavuta reached his fifty by hitting a ball from Nyauchi over extra cover for six, having taken 58 balls, but the bowler struck back by having Njabulo Ncube caught in the covers for eight.
The last man, Honest Ziwira, did not last, being caught at the wicket off Tiripano without scoring, leaving Mavuta unbeaten with 61 off 63 balls, with eight fours and a six.
The total was 384, a deficit of 34 on the first innings.
Tiripano finished with four wickets for 74, and there were two wickets each for Nyauchi, Clive Chitumba and M’shangwe.
Mountaineers opened their second innings with Innocent Kaia and Tino Mawoyo.
Mawoyo played a very defensive game, while Kaia made most of the runs, although he was dropped on 25 (out of 32) at square leg when he miscued a pull off Ncube.
However, in the following over Ziwira bowled Kaia out for 26, with the total now on 37, and at this point tea was taken.
Soon after tea Mawoyo also fell, caught at the wicket off Mavuta, having scored 10 off 33 balls.
Tinashe Chimbambo left soon afterwards, lbw to Mavuta for three, and then Ngoni Mupamba, after his fine first-innings century, was caught at the wicket off Ncube for four.
Four wickets had fallen in four overs for 11 runs.
As in the first innings, it was Tiripano who came to the rescue.
Kudzai Sauramba supported him while scoring 22, until with the total at 99 he was caught at the wicket off Mavuta.
Four runs later Mavuta also removed Chitumba without scoring, caught at slip.
With Kevin Kasuza nursing an injured hand, Wellington Masakadza came in next to join Tiripano with the match in the balance.
Tiripano, who scored a fine century in the first innings, smashed a six off Ziwira to reach his fifty, another brilliant knock that came off 75 deliveries and included eight boundaries.
At stumps, he was 54 not out and Masakadza nine.