Zhuwao Leads Eagles Fightback With Aggressive Half-Century
After two hard-fought days at Harare Sports Club, Tuskers have a slight advantage over Eagles in this Logan Cup match, having reduced them to 222 for seven wickets in their first innings in reply to their own score of 313, of which Craig Ervine scored 141.
Cephas Zhuwao led the Eagles reply with a dynamic 60, but to date none of his colleagues has managed to score 30.
Tuskers began the day with a first-innings score of 244 for five wickets, with Ervine still there on 101, but with only the tail to support him, and Chris Mpofu on 3.
Not a run had been scored when, with the third ball of the day, Honest Ziwira beat Mpofu’s back defensive stroke and knocked back his off stump.
Ervine nearly followed him in the next over, as he edged a ball from Faraz Akram low to second slip, who could not hold it.
Not long afterwards, Akram did successfully remove John Nyumbu, trapped lbw for two at 257 for seven.
Thabo Mboyi decided to attack, and hit Akram for six. He had an occasional wild swish, but on the whole played a very sound and valuable innings until Tino Mutombodzi dismissed him lbw for 27, after a partnership of 56 with Ervine that took the score to 313.
Mboyi’s proved to be the third-highest score of the innings.
Without addition Ervine’s fine innings came to an end as, with Ernest Masuku as his new partner, he drove at a ball from Tapiwa Mufudza outside his off stump and was caught at slip for 141.
He faced 214 balls altogether, and hit 16 fours and three sixes.
The last three wickets were all to fall at 313, as Masuku in the next over was bowled by Mutombodzi, leaving Stephen Chimhamhiwa not out without scoring.
Mutombodzi, in his 10th over, had the best bowling figures for his side, with three for 19; Akram had two for 60, while five other bowlers took one wicket apiece.
There was time for Eagles to bat for just one over before lunch, and Chamu Chibhabha and Zhuwao scored a single each off the bowling of Mboyi.
Zhuwao was immediately underway in typical style after the interval, cracking Masuku for two successive fours in his first over.
Chibhabha will not be happy with himself for his dismissal for seven.
He came forward to play a ball from Masuku, and there was a great appeal for lbw; as he remained out of his crease to check the decision of the umpire, Brian Chari picked up the ball and threw down the stumps to run him out.
Zhuwao scored 28 off his first 12 balls, but finally the bowlers wised up and began pitching the ball so short as to eliminate his powerful drives.
Despite the restrictions, Zhuwao adjusted enough to reach his fifty out of 72 in 36 balls.
But when he had made 60 out of 82, he went for another big hit, Mpofu being the bowler, and skyed a catch on the leg side, to the great relief of all the Tuskers team.
He faced 45 balls and hit eight fours and a six.
The two wicket-keepers, Regis Chakabva and Richmond Mutumbami, batted quietly yorking until tea, when the score was 119 for two; the batsmen had 25 and 15 respectively.
Just after the break, however, Chakabva, looking for a second run from a hit to long leg, was brilliantly run out by a direct hit from Masuku; he had made 29, with the score 129 for three.
Mutumbami followed at 151 for four, as a ball from Chimhamhiwa knocked out his middle stump, and when, without addition, Mutombodzi was out lbw to Masuku for five, Tuskers believed they were taking a grip on the game.
Elton Chigumbura responded aggressively, scoring 21 off 18 balls, but then had his off stump knocked out by Chimhamhiwa; 174 for six.
Tony Munyonga and Akram dug in, defending doggedly, but the runs began to come and the 200 was reached.
At 210 Akram (17) nibbled at a ball from Mpofu outside the off stump to be caught at the wicket.
Trevor Garwe came in and saw out the day with five not-out, Munyonga having 19 off 67 balls at the close.
But at 222 for seven Eagles still have a way to go, 91 more runs, before they can match Tuskers on the first innings.