LOGAN CUP MATCH: MASHONALAND EAGLES v SOUTHERN ROCKS
At Harare Sports Club, 1 November 2012: Day 3
Close of play: Southern Rocks (459/8 dec) v Mashonaland Eagles (85/1).
The weather at Harare Sports Club killed off all realistic hopes Southern Rocks had of recording their first-ever Logan Cup victory.
Only 13.1 overs were possible on the third day, during which Mashonaland Eagles scored 70 runs with ease and without losing a wicket. Had there been spectators, though, they would have enjoyed an aggressive fifty from Chamunorwa Chibhabha – the only memorable feature of the day.
Owing to an annoying morning drizzle, it was not possible to start play until 13h15 hours. Mashonaland Eagles resumed on 15 for one wicket after Southern Rocks declared yesterday afternoon at 459 for eight – their record total. Even now play was possible for just under half an hour, as the drizzle returned and the players left the field. Chibhabha and Sikandar Raza Butt looked fairly comfortable against the bowling of Tinashe Panyangara and Tawanda Mupariwa, keeping the score ticking over with ones and twos and taking it up to 40 for one wicket.
When play resumed at about a quarter to four, the batsmen again refused to be dominated. Chibhabha in particular was in belligerent mood, reeling off a string of boundaries and racing to his fifty off 52 balls. However, the light began to deteriorate, and after half an hour they left the field again, with the score 85 for one. Chibhabha had put up 59 runs off 59 balls, and Raza Butt 19.
To win the match, Southern Rocks now need to enforce the follow-on and take 19 Eagles’ wickets on the final day, which is close to miracle territory on such a pitch even if the weather decides to withdraw its opposition.
The best that Southern Rocks can realistically hope for is a first-innings point, which they richly deserve.