Mashonaland Eagles should have had no difficulty in winning the match, but carelessness against superb bowling from Shingi Masakadza cost them three quick wickets before they achieved it. They now go to the top of the Logan Cup table in place of Matabeleland Tuskers, who have a bye and therefore a match in hand over Mashonaland Eagles. Had Mountaineers won this match, they would have been well in contention for the Logan Cup; as it is, with two matches to go, they have thrown away their title chances.
The sorry batting performance continued right from the start of play. Benjy Katsande, who had batted so defiantly the previous evening, drove a simple catch to mid-off in the first over of the day to depart for 10. Shingi Masakadza, who has played some good fighting innings in the past, made 1, driving weakly outside the off stump and edging to the keeper. Prosper Utseya, who had hitherto shown defiance during his innings of 11, played much the same stroke, giving Forster Mutizwa at first slip his fourth catch of the innings. When Natsai Mushangwe fell lbw second ball, the score was a dismal 42 for nine. Another wicket at this stage would have given Mountaineers the third-lowest first-class total ever recorded in Zimbabwean cricket.
At last came a batsman prepared to stand up and fight the bowlers on equal terms – last man Tendai Chatara. Twice he stood up and drove Elton Chigumbura for handsome fours, making 11 runs off 11 balls before losing his partner Donald Tiripano, equal top score, and the innings was over for 55. There were four wickets for Kyle Jarvis and three each to Tatenda Gumunyu-Manatsa and Chigumbura, all very cheaply taken. Mountaineers could set Mashonaland Eagles only 37 runs to win.
The home side soon found there is a very small dividing line between confidence and over-confidence. Again their opening partnership failed, Sikandar Raza falling lbw to Shingi Masakadza for 1. The prolific Mutizwa failed to apply himself as he usually does, and drove a catch to point without scoring, while Regis Chakabva edged his first ball into the slips. Shingi Masakadza was now on a hat-trick, but Stuart Matsikenyeri successfully defended the next ball.
Play continued in a light rain, until the umpires decided to leave the field at 18 for three. It didn’t last long, and then Ryan Bishop (15 not out) and Matsikenyeri (18 not out), after great caution at first, saw the team through to victory without further loss. Shingi Masakadza was less threatening after the break, but he finished with three wickets for 21, Matsikenyeri cutting him for the winning boundary just on the stroke of lunch.