MidWest – 306-8 in 45 overs (Tarisai Musakanda 142, Takudzwa Kaitano 63, Nyasha Mayavo 42; Masimba Maruvatsanga 4/59, Owen Muzondo 1/47)
Gladiators – 158 all out in 33.1 overs (Wesley Madhevere 59, Tony Munyonga 27, Ashley Mufandauya 26; Trevor Chibvongodze 3/21, Manson Chikowero 2/13, Jabulisa Tshuma 2/23)
MidWest won by 148 runs
A magnificent innings of 142 by Tarisai Musakanda led the way for MidWest as they overcame the handicap of defeat in their first match in this National Premier League (NPL) campaign to beat Gladiators by a convincing margin of 148 runs at Harare Sports Club on Wednesday.
Takudzwa Kaitano and Trevor Chibvongodze briefly impressed with an opening partnership of 23 before the latter went for nine, and then Kaitano and Musakanda took toll of a rather inaccurate bowling attack.
They were not afraid to hit the ball over the field – there were a couple of lucky escapes when the ball fell close to a fielder, but no catches were dropped, although Kaitano survived a stumping chance.
The 100 went up in the 17th over, and they took the score to 161 before Kaitano (63) drove a catch to mid-off, partnership worth 138 runs.
Nyasha Mayavo proved another good partner for Musakanda with a dashing 42 off only 28 balls, and their fourth-wicket partnership added 72 runs.
Musakanda was ninth out in the final over after an outstanding innings, daring yet not reckless, as he has sometimes tended to be in the past.
The MidWest captain hit 10 fours and four sixes, and faced 117 balls.
This left Gladiators with a virtually impossible target to chase down.
In their first match, last Sunday, they had started their innings with some reckless strokes, but this time round they showed they had learned a lesson, and the top order tried to knuckle down and build an innings.
Unfortunately, with the need to score overall at almost seven runs an over to win, they were never able to challenge, and lost wickets steadily to a good bowling attack.
Five wickets were down for 62 before Wesley Madhevere (59) and Tony Munyonga (27) got together to effect a recovery.
Later Ashley Mufandauya contributed 26, while Madhevere went on to reach his most impressive 59, scored off 56 balls with six fours.
But MidWest always had the situation under control, and won the match handsomely with almost 12 overs to spare.
Amakhosi – 30-1 in 5.2 overs (Nkosana Mpofu 16*, Bright Phiri 12; Faraz Akram 1/9)
Harare Kings –
Unfortunately rain soon put an end to this NPL match between Amakhosi and Harare Kings at Kwekwe Sports Club, with Amakhosi having scored 30 for one wicket.
They lost the wicket of Bright Phiri, who made 12 before being bowled by Faraz Akram, and Nkosana Mpofu was not out with 16 when play ended prematurely.
Easterns – 168 all out in 43.3 overs (Donald Tiripano 40, Clive Chitumba 37, Wellington Masakadza 29; Blessing Muzarabani 5/28, Richard Ngarava 3/24, Roy Kaia 1/46)
Takashinga – 163 all out in 32.5 overs (Roy Kaia 61, Tinotenda Mutombodzi 24, Elton Chigumbura 19; Tendai Chatara 5/27, Donald Tiripano 2/22, John Masara 1/2)
Easterns won by five runs
In a match of excellent pace bowling, a spell from Tendai Chatara proved the key, as Easterns pipped Takashinga by just five runs in an exciting finish on their opponents’ home ground.
The match began with a shattering opening spell from Blessing Muzarabani and Richard Ngarava, who had Easterns four wickets down for just 18 runs in eight overs, including Kevin Kasuza for seven.
Then they were matched by the determination of Donald Tiripano and Clive Chitumba, who saw them off and put on 63 together for the fifth wicket.
Later Wellington Masakadza scored 29, and with the first two bowlers returning to polish off the tail, Easterns could only total 168 — though this was much better than had seemed likely earlier.
But Takashinga also had their top-order problems, losing their top four men for 46, before Roy Kaia (61) stood firm with Tino Mutombodzi (24), to add 51 in partnership.
Then Chatara returned for a second spell and shattered the middle order, reducing Takashinga from 97 for four to 107 for eight, taking all those four wickets in just nine balls.
Takashinga now appeared doomed, except that Kaia was still there, and he had unexpected support from Muzarabani, whose shaky defence proved sufficient for this occasion.
They took the score to 144 before Tiripano finally had Kaia caught at the wicket, leaving Muzarabani and Ngarava needing to score 25 for the last wicket for victory.
These two heroes of the bowling crease fought nobly with the bat too, Muzarabani continuing to defend, while Ngarava was more aggressive.
However on 163, Chatara as captain gave John Masara his first over, and it proved to be a masterstroke, as off the fifth delivery Chatara himself caught Ngarava out for 15 (Muzarabani had six not out off 26 balls), and Easterns had completed a thrilling victory.
Queens – 126-9 in 24 overs (Luke Jongwe 31, Chamu Chibhabha 29, Saxon Pettican 13; Nkosilathi Nungu 4/34, William Mashinge 2/25, Tendai Chisoro 1/17)
Great Zimbabwe Patriots – 82 in 19.3 overs (Richmond Mutumbami 19, Gabriel Jaya 19, Tendai Chisoro 16; Sean Williams 4/22, Tanatswa Bechani 3/2, Chris Mpofu 1/1)
Queens Sports Club won by 44 runs
In a match reduced by rain 24 overs per side, runs were hard to come by, as seems usual at Queens Sports Club these days, but the home side won comfortably by 44 runs over Great Zimbabwe Patriots.
Queens lost their first three wickets for 37 runs, including that of Sean Williams, remarkably bowled first ball by Nkosilathi Nungu, but Chamu Chibhabha was still there, and Luke Jongwe was in aggressive form, so these two bolstered the middle order and took their team to a reasonable score on this ground.
Patriots put up a good fight for a while, with Richmond Mutumbami, always there when needed, scoring 19 and the captain Tendai Chisoro 16, so at 73 for four in the 17th over they were still well in the game, as long as they could speed up their scoring a little.
However, first Tanatswa Bechani and then Williams broke through suddenly with the ball, the last six wickets crashing for only nine runs, and the last five batsmen on the list failed to score a single run between them.