Twenty20 MATCH: SOUTHERN ROCKS v MID-WEST RHINOS
At Masvingo Sports Club, Thursday 11 October 2012
Result: Southern Rocks (146/5) lost to Mid-West Rhinos (147/7) by three wickets.
It was a fourth successive defeat for the struggling Southern Rocks team, but at least this time they were able to take their opponents right down to the wire. Mid-West Rhinos were forced to fight hard before they won with just one delivery to spare, but Rocks were left to rue crucial dropped catches, including two that reprieved their match-winner Brendan Taylor.
On another hot sunny morning Southern Rocks again won the toss, but this time decided to bat. They quickly lost Roy Kaia and Richmond Mutumbami, both holing out on the midwicket boundary, for 14 runs. Then came the major partnership of the innings, between the two young Derbyshire professionals Ben Slater and Peter Burgoyne, who put on 74 together in nine overs before the latter was out for 38.
Slater, who had opened the innings, went on to make 57 off 51 balls, a fine performance for a batsman of limited experience, and the innings closed at 147 for five. Mike Chinouya, with two for 25, was the must successful bowler, and at this point the match was wide open.
The Mid-West Rhinos innings began with two maiden overs, but the score had reached 28 in the sixth over when Mark Vermeulen was bowled by a faster ball from Kaia for 11. Four runs later came the vital wicket of Vusi Sibanda (13), who miscued a hook and was very well caught by the wicketkeeper Mutumbami running towards long leg. After eight overs the score was only 36 for two, so Rhinos were under some pressure now. In the next over Taylor and Malcolm Waller were dropped off difficult chances off successive balls, and this was to prove crucial.
Waller was soon caught on the boundary and in the 13th over the required rate rose above ten. But then Taylor (including another dropped catch) and Steve Trenchard took 20 off an over from Kaia, and Rhinos were back in business. Taylor reached 50 off 30 balls, but was then caught at the wicket for 54. This left 40 to win off 26 balls. Extras were given away, Graeme Cremer was brilliantly run out by Brian Vitori, and then Trenchard was caught at mid-off after hitting a vital six.
Nine runs were needed off the last nine balls with four wickets left, and then seven off the final over, bowled by Vitori. Simon Mugava hit a four, but was then run out with scores level and two balls to go. The batsmen then scrambled a bye and the match was over.