Matabeleland Tuskers won the toss and put Mashonaland Eagles in to bat; this is likely to be the standard procedure in this tournament, as the teams so far have shown little idea of how to build an innings batting first. Both Mashonaland Eagles openers skied catches in the first four overs, with Rory Hamilton-Brown, the Surrey captain, being brilliantly taken by Charles Coventry. Four were down for 32, but Elton Chigumbura began a recovery, and his stand of 35 for the sixth wicket with Forster Mutizwa was much the best of the innings.
Both, however, failed to finish the job, departing for 26 and 21 respectively in quick succession, both to Njabulo Ncube, who was to finish with three for 27. Andrew Hall, last season’s player-coach for the team, kept the innings alive with 22 not out, but the final total of 120 for eight scarcely looked sufficient. Meth was another who bowled particularly well, using the new ball, to take two for 15 in his four overs.
Tom Smith of Lancashire, playing for Matabeleland Tuskers and opening the batting with Chris Gayle, immediately hit Kyle Jarvis’s first two balls for four as his team chased their target. He was then superbly caught by Hall at extra cover, and it was not until the fourth over that the much-vaunted Gayle had a fair taste of the bowling and lashed a skimming four to long-on off Chigumbura. But on the whole he played it quietly for a while, not really looking in touch, until he seemed to lose patience and immediately, on 19, survived a difficult chance in the deep. Then came a couple of rash strokes before he skied a catch to long-on, departing for 27 off 31 balls.
Coventry came in next and survived one or two rash shots before settling down with Paul Horton, Matabeleland Tuskers captain for the series, to move his team inexorably towards victory, despite the deteriorating light. Coventry brought up the 100 with two big sixes in an over from Jarvis, while Horton played a more sedate role, until, on 30, he ran down the pitch to Price and was out to a clumsy stumping. Shortly afterwards another huge six from Coventry finished the match. He finished with 44 off 19 balls, with two fours and four sixes, giving the still rather small crowd their best entertainment of the day.