Mountaineers continued their innings in the morning from their overnight score of 389 for five, with Timycen Maruma on 112 and Prosper Utseya on 63. They batted on for over an hour, perhaps with the batsmen’s individual landmarks in view. They pushed the score on briskly without looking to take the bowling to pieces, but both failed to reach their next landmarks, due to some good bowling from Tanyaradzwa Munyaradzi. He bowled Utseya for 94, the batsman petulantly swatting his stumps down as he left the crease, and then a faster ball bowled out the Mountaineers captain. Maruma had made 149 off 223 balls, with 17 fours and three huge leg-side sixes.
At this point he declared, with a total of 467 for seven wickets and a lead on 321 on the first innings. Overall the best bowler was Prince Masvaure, with two for 44 off 16 overs, the best figures and the most economical, but he was not used on the third morning.
With more than five sessions to go and negligible chance of significant rain, Southern Rocks were in a seemingly hopeless position. In the second over they lost Sam Mwakayeni (2), shouldering arms and having his stumps shattered by a ball from Donald Tiripano. This was followed, though, by Southern Rocks’ best batting of the match – in fact, their ONLY good batting period of the match. Roy Kaia and Robertson Chinyengetere batted soundly until lunch, when the score was 54 for one.
After lunch Kaia began to open up and play some fine attacking shots, while his partner contented himself with blocking up the other end. In no time Kaia had reached his fifty, a landmark he achieved with a superb six over long-off. The pair took the score to 108, the first time this season Southern Rocks had reached 100 with only one wicket down in the Logan Cup. But then, after such fine batting by Kaia in particular, they fell in successive overs. First Chinyengetere played a weak stroke outside the off stump and was caught at the wicket off Shingi Masakadza for 30; then Kaia, with 69, drove a low catch straight to long-on off Utseya.
The middle order showed little fight, and soon the score was 129 for six. At this stage Stanley Marisa and Tendai Chisoro showed some fight, staying together to make the score 160 at tea. Shortly afterwards, though, Chisoro fell for 19, the next two batsmen came and went, and the closing stages were only enlivened by some defiant blows from the last man Taurai Muzarabani, who hit three sixes in scoring 19 not out off eight balls. Then Marisa’s defiant innings ended at 29, lbw to Natsai Mushangwe, and the team total had at least passed 200.
After their disastrous start to the season, Mountaineers are now on their way up and it is to be hoped they have regained the confidence to take on the stronger teams again. For Southern Rocks, virtually the only way is up, but to do that their top players need to start off by staying fit.