PRO50 MATCH: MOUNTAINEERS v SOUTHERN ROCKS
At Mutare Sports Club; Saturday 20 October 2012.
Result: Southern Rocks (266/8) lost to Mountaineers (267/3) by seven wickets.
Victory in their T20 match against Matabeleland Tuskers last weekend probably gave Southern Rocks’ confidence a boost as they ran up a good total of 266 for eight against Mountaineers, but then they were brought down to earth again in the afternoon. An opening partnership of 182 by the superb Tino Mawoyo, who scored a maiden one-day century, and Kevin Kasuza put paid to their hopes and Mountaineers again belied their fragile batting reputation with an handsome victory by seven wickets.
Southern Rocks won the toss and decided to bat under a warm sun on a good batting pitch that also gave a bit of life and movement to the bowlers. Roy Kaia was soon run out for 10, but Alister Maregwede opened the batting and was immediately looking to dominate, the type of game he plays best. Ben Slater stayed in with him for a rather awkward innings of 32 off 64 balls, but Maregwede continued to 62 off 86 balls, finally departing to a catch on the wkt boundary. He hit four fours and three sixes, giving his side just the start they needed.
The middle order continued the good work, with the best innings there coming from Prince Masvaure, brought into the side for the first time this season. He scored 56 not out off 39 balls, taking advantage of some rather loose bowling at the end. Tendai Chisoro made some good hits in his 26 (18 balls), and Rocks could be pleased with their total of 266 for eight wickets. Shingi Masakadza and Donald Tiripano took two wickets each, the former starting very well but fading at the end. Natsai Mushangwe also bowled his leg-breaks well.
With a target of this magnitude, it was natural to expect that the performance of Hamilton Masakadza would be a major factor. But no – Tino Mawoyo, eager to earn a place in Zimbabwe’s limited-overs teams, and the 19-year-old Kevin Kasuza opened the innings and seemed to be intent on making sure that the great Hamilton never arrived at the crease at all. They played soundly against the pace of Brian Vitori and Tinashe Panyangara, Rocks’ greatest strength, and then began to open out against the lesser batsmen.
Mawoyo was the more aggressive to start with, reaching his fifty first, but Kasuza then drove a big six over long-on to reach his own fifty and then grew in aggression until he caught his senior partner. He had 85 when he finally miscued a hook (Mawoyo then had 87), having hit nine fours and a six, and the total was 182 in the 32nd over. The scoring rate slowed now, until Mawoyo reached his century off 108 balls, his first in official limited-overs (List A) cricket.
Hamilton Masakadza made 27 with ease, and it was a surprise when Roy Kaia, a regular though unexpected minor success in one-day cricket with his innocuous-looking off-spin, held on to a hard return catch. Greg Lamb soon went, but Timycen Maruma stayed until the end with Mawoyo, the match finishing with steady batting rather than a flurry of strokes. Mawoyo was unbeaten with 120 off 128 balls (18 fours and a six). None of the bowlers could make much impression on the excellent batting, though Kaia took two wickets and Panyangara alone conceded less than five an over.