Mountaineers won by 6 runs.
Mountaineers held their nerve to win an exciting Zimbabwe Cricket Domestic Twenty20 match and get off to the best possible start to their season.
A 101-run stand between Hamilton Masakadza and Tinotenda Mawayo put Mountaineers in an excellent position. In the early morning start, Keegan Meth won the toss and asked the visitors to bat. The decision paid early dividends as Kevin Kasuza was immediately sent back by the captain himself. This brought Mawoyo to the crease and all hell broke loose as he and Masakadza belted Tuskers’ famed seam attack to all parts of Queens. Mawoyo swept spinner John Nyumbu over deep mid-wicket into the Queens’ car park for a maximum. As if to say anything you can do, Masakadza lifted Sean Williams over the Media Centre and the ball was retrieved somewhere near the City Hall!
Mawoyo eventually fell leg-before-wicket to Meth for a brilliant 54 off 40 balls, including three fours and two sixes, in the 15th over. Kudzai Sauramba joined Masakadza briefly and was run out for two. Masakadza continued on his merry way and went past 50 in 47 balls. Joined by brother Shingirai, Hamiliton firmly put the foot down and raced to 83 not out off 65 balls including five fours and three sixes to set Tuskers a daunting 169 for victory.
Just like the opposition, Tuskers got off to a disastrous start as Sean Williams was run out without scoring. Charles Coventry rolled back the years and reminded all of the “Chopper” – who had become a household name in Bulawayo – with a swashbuckling 31 off 17 balls, which included two sixes and four fours.
However, requiring eight an over from the start, Coventry played one shot too many and Donald Tiripano took a stunning catch, running 20 meters from the long-off boundary before a full-stretch dive. Brian Chari and Craig Ervine formed a steady partnership, but the required rate climbed steady reaching a high of 13. Tiripano then had Chari brilliantly caught by Chatara’s left hand. Meth joined Ervine and the game seemed to be going away from Tuskers, until Ervine took 19 runs off the 17th over bowled by Tapiwa Mufudza.
Wickets tumbled and Tuskers required 20 off the last two overs. Up stepped Shingirai Masakadza and took 3 wickets in the over, including the priced wicket of Ervine for a well played 71 off 57 balls with eight fours and two sixes. The dismissal all but ended Tuskers gallant chase.
A comedy of errors followed and Tuskers eventually were run-out – or bowled out – for 162 in the final over.