At Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo, 01 November 2012: Day 3
Close of play: Mountaineeers (264 & 310/5) v Tuskers (317/8 dec).
Catches win matches, or least they help you to. Tuskers leant the hard way when they twice grassed Hamilton Masakadza on the third day of the Logan Cup game at Queens Sports Club in Bulawayo.
Put in this position of strength, Masakadza turned the game on its head and put Mountaineers firmly in the driving seat. He showed why he is one of the most feared batsmen in the land with a magnificent 160 not out, which included a 100-run stand with Gregory Lamb (55).
Resuming on 18 without loss, Tuskers seemed to grab the initiative when both openers were removed first thing in the morning. Tinotenda Mawoyo (10) was first out, trapped leg-before-wicket by Christopher Mpofu with the second ball of the morning. Kevin Kasuza (14) followed soon after and Tuskers appeared to be on the ascendency. Had they held their catches this would have been the case.
Masakadza put down twice, on six and 32 before his innings had any momentum, then took advantage of the opposition’s charity to end the day unbeaten on 160. He was ably supported by Lamb, Mark Pettini (27) and Timycen Maruma (23).
The plan was always how much and how long Tuskers would have to chase, but Masakadza has added a Mountaineers win firmly into the equation. With a day to play on a wicket increasingly keeping low, Mountaineers lead the home side by 257 and the pressure is back on the Tuskers.
Njabulo Ncube with two was the only Tuskers bowlers with more than one wicket on the day. Play will resume at 1000 hours tomorrow, with all three results still a distinct possibility.