T20 MATCH: MASHONALAND EAGLES v MATABELELAND TUSKERS
At Harare Sports Club; Thursday 18 October 2012.
Result: Mashonaland Eagles (176/5) beat Matabeleland Tuskers (105) by 71 runs.
A missed run-out in the first over of the match had disastrous consequences for Matabeleland Tuskers. This allowed a devastating opening partnership of 110 to take place between Cephas Zhuwao and Sikandar Raza, and after this Tuskers never had a hope of making up for their narrow defeat of the previous day.
The joke about how Eagles always manage to win the toss on their helpful home ground came to an end today as Tuskers finally broke the spell and were able to put the home side in to bat. But they never looked like winning anything else. The critical moment of the match came in the very first over. There was a serious mix-up between the two aggressive openers, Raza and Zhuwao, found both batsmen at the same end, but there was an equally serious mix-up in the field, and this enabled Zhuwao to get back home by the skin of his bat.
This golden opportunity wasted for the visitors virtually put them out of the match, as the batsmen proceeded to massacre the bowling. 50 hit the board at 6.1 overs, while a six from Zhuwao brought up the 100 in 11.1 overs. Later that over, however, the same batsman sliced a ball to backward point and departed for 43 off 33 balls, with 4 fours and 2 sixes. The opening stand had put on 110 runs off just 72 balls.
Raza was even more devastating, having already reached his 50 off 35 balls, but on 63 he drove a catch straight at long-off right on the boundary edge; he had faced 44 balls and hit nine fours. The total was 123 for two in the 14th over. Elton Chigumbura made 35 off 19 balls, including three sixes, and the final total after 20 overs was a daunting 176 for five. Goodwill Mamhiyo took two wickets and also ran out Stuart Matsikenyeri.
Tuskers needed a devastating major innings by somebody to win this match, the main candidate being Charles Coventry, who opened the innings. He hit the first ball to the boundary, but was then bowled by a ball from Kyle Jarvis that kept low and shot through. Thereafter they never looked like making a challenge and fell steady further behind the required run rate. After ten overs they were 55 for four and needed more than 12 an over. The remaining batsmen showed little fight and the team was bowled out for 105 for a heavy defeat.