LOGAN CUP MATCH: MASHONALAND EAGLES v SOUTHERN ROCKS
Day 2: 14 November 2012, at Harare Sports Club
Close of play: Mid-West Rhinos (265 and 39/1) v Mashonaland Eagles (245)
Given dry weather, there should be a result in this match at Harare Sports Club between Mashonaland Eagles and Mid-West Rhinos – but it could go either way.
In a day of fluctuating fortunes, the visitors took a narrow lead of 20 runs on the first innings: Prosper Utseya with 77 being the batting hero of the day, while Mike Chinouya took the bowling honours with five wickets.
The pitch on the second day was better for batting than on the first, but unfortunately for Mid-West Rhinos they were unable to take advantage of it at all. Beginning the day on 265 for nine, they lost Edward Rainsford (9), hitting across the line and leg-before-wicket to Kyle Jarvis, without a run being added. Jarvis finished with four for 37, which did flatter him somewhat as he was not at his best on the first day.
Mashonaland Eagles had a superb start to their innings. Sikandar Raza Butt played an uncharacteristically restrained innings, but Chamunorwa Chibhabha was in fine form, hitting Rainsford for three fours in his third over and driving handsomely. The fifty came up in the eleventh over, and they took the score to 61 before Raza (21), trying to sweep a ball from Simon Mugava, played it on to his wicket via his glove.
This began a dramatic turn of events.
Chibhabha quickly followed, lbw to Neville Madziva for 42 off 36 balls with eight fours. Forster Mutizwa and Stuart Matsikenyeri both failed, and suddenly Mashonaland Eagles were fighting for survival at 71 for four. Regis Chakabva (24) and Tinotenda Mutombodzi (19) steadied the innings with a partnership of 40, but when they and Nathan Waller all went the score was 127 for seven.
Mashonaland Eagles were deep in trouble, once again lacking a top-order batsman able to stay in and make a big impression as Mutizwa has done in past seasons.
However, there now came together the pairing of Utseya and Jarvis, both playing their first Logan Cup match of the season. They did a superb job, finding no terrors in the bowling but simply playing each ball on its merits and taking advantage of anything loose, which is how their seniors should have played.
In 22 overs, they put on 94 runs for the eighth wicket, and when they were separated on 221, Mashonaland Eagles were right back in the game. Jarvis made 48, his highest first-class score, and showed again that he has the potential to be a genuine all-rounder.
The last two batsmen did not contribute much, although the new man – Tafadzwa Muzarawetu – stayed for Utseya to reach 77, at which point he was well caught low at mid-on by Rainsford. The total was 245, a deficit of 20. This last wicket enabled Chinouya to finish with five wickets for the third innings in succession, this time conceding 61 runs. He was a little inaccurate early on but bowled some fine deliveries, and Madziva was the best of his support staff.
With their slender lead, Mid-West Rhinos began their second innings with the utmost care, scoring only four runs off the first five overs. Vusimuzi Sibanda and Jaik Mickleburgh took no chances, but the latter departed in the eleventh over, as a rising ball from Muzarawetu took his glove on its way to the keeper. He made 10, and left the score 26 for one.
Sibanda saw out the day with Mark Vermeulen, the total being 39 for one off 19 overs.
Mid-West Rhinos are 59 runs ahead with one second-innings wicket down.